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Gluten free Blood orange & ginger, almond cake

Prep Time:

15 Minutes

Cook Time:

1 Hour plus 1 hour to cook the oranges



About the Recipe

We used to bake this at the café where I used to work, and it always sold out each week. There's something about the texture that almond meal brings to cakes that really makes me happy. Plus, it makes this cake gluten-free as a bonus. We use our blood orange and ginger marmalade in this recipe as a replacement for the sugar; it adds a lovely depth to the cake, enhancing the orange flavour from the cooked oranges.

Don't be alarmed that this cake uses the whole orange. Boiling the oranges until soft removes a lot of the bitterness and adds to the moisture content of the cake.

To top it off, we've used a classic buttercream with orange zest to add even more citrus notes and sprinkled with poppy seeds and toasted almonds for texture and to make it look pretty, of course!


For the cake:

  • 2 large oranges

  • 250g almond meal

  • 6 eggs

  • 200g blood orange marmalade

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

For the icing:

  • 125g salted butter at room temperature

  • 100g icing sugar

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 15ml milk of choice

  • Poppy seeds and toasted almond flakes to garnish


  1. Either the night before or a few hours before you plan on baking the cake, place the oranges in a large saucepan. Put the oranges and cover with water, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cooking for around 1 hour with the lid on until soft enough to puncture with a spoon. Remove from the water and leave to cool.

  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a 23 x 13 cm loaf tin with baking paper. Get your butter out of the fridge to come to room temperature.

  3. Once cool enough to handle, slice the oranges into quarters and remove any seeds and excess pith that is normally in the middle. Place the cut pieces into a blender along with the marmalade and eggs, blend until smoothish, scraping down the sides once or twice in between.

  4. In a large bowl, place the dry ingredients and mix until evenly distributed. Fold through the wet mix and stir until fully incorporated.

  5. Pour into the cake tin and put in the oven on the middle shelf. Cook for around 40 minutes until golden brown and slightly raised in the middle. The cake will still have a slight jiggle but should look cooked and not like liquid. Don’t rely on inserting a knife as it will never come out clean.

  6. Once cooked, remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and leave to cool in the tin.

  7. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin and take off the baking paper.

  8. Now it's time to make the buttercream. It’s super easy—you can do this by hand, but if you want it super light and airy, make sure to use your KitchenAid or Kenwood Chef. In a bowl, add the sugar and softened butter and begin beating with a wooden spoon or K beater if using a machine. Keep mixing until light and fluffy, then add the milk and continue mixing until fully incorporated.

  9. Spread on top of the completely cooled cake and smooth out with a palette knife. Sprinkle generously with poppy seeds and toasted almonds, and serve with a lovely mug of coffee.

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