Roasted Orange and Almond Cake

As you all know, I definitely have more of a savoury tooth than a sweet one. But when I do get that craving – I get it hard. And this Orange and Almond cake definitely ticks all the boxes for me. It’s sweet, but not overpowering due to the mixture of acidic oils which helps to not only keep the cake moist but keeps it from being too sugary. Plus, the addition of oranges on top that have been dried in the oven but still keep their fresh flavour and adds a chewy texture, just adds a whole new layer to the cake – it’s just like eating nature’s candy. This deliciously spongy orange and almond cake is best served with your favourite cup of tea and enjoyed outside in the sunshine or curled up on the sofa. 

Vegan cakes can sometimes be tricky to get the texture right. Without the addition of butter or eggs, the final product can become very loose and crumbly or can become quite dense and hard. So, this is one that had a lot of trial and error to get right, and I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed it. The cake has a delightful light crumb that falls apart in your mouth – not on your plate. Through the combined combination of acidic sources: the orange juice, lemon zest, cider vinegar and the orange oil essence combined with the dry ingredients (including an extra punch of bicarbonate to really ensure the cake rises properly) you are left with the perfect texture of cake. Springy to the touch and soft and moist on the tongue. 

You could easily make this into a Gluten-Free cake, too. You could either opt for a Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour but make sure to check the product doesn’t already contain Bicarbonate or Baking Soda, as some do. If yours does – just reduce or omit the addition. Or you could even swap for a coconut or almond flour. Polenta is another great alternative and works perfectly with the almonds. The final texture, if using polenta will have a bit more grain to it, but it’s still delicious either way.  

If you can’t get your hands-on oranges, lemons or lime work great too. However, you would need to add additional almond milk and sugar. Orange juice has a higher sugar count than that of lemon or lime juice, which would make for a rather bitter finish. You could keep the orange juice, and just swap out the topping of fresh slices if you prefer. The flavours all work great together – so you really can have a little bit of creative license here. Sliced figs would also work, when in season (in the late summer or early autumn). They pair great with both orange and almond – so a delicious twist, and so do plums – I have a Fig, Plum and Almond Cake recipe that is both vegan and flourless so a great option for any dietary preferences, but still nails the flavour and decadence of a dessert. 

If you wanted to kick the flavour up a notch, you could also add in some warming spices. Cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg would all add an extra layer of depth to the cake. I’d serve warm with ice cream. A non-dairy cream or coconut yoghurt makes the perfect pairing for the original recipe. Keep the cake in the fridge before serving and then dollop with your favourite accompaniment, if you wish. The cake doesn’t need it – it’s moist and flavourful enough on its own, but to add something a little special and really make a treat of it – why not go all out? I have lots of simple recipes for plant-based custards, creams and ice cream in my books Rebel Recipes and Be More Vegan. They are some great staples to keep up your sleeve for when it’s time to whip out the cake. 

For more delicious cakes, why not try my Almond, Lemon and Rhubarb Cake (that you have all been going crazy for on my Instagram), a Spiced Apple and California Walnut Cake with Crispy Crumb Topping or my Lemon Olive oil Cake with Roast Plums I always find that adding fresh fruit to my cakes and bakes is a great way to not only get your family eating their recommended allowance of fruits and vegetables – but in a delicious treat – but it helps adds another level to the final product. Of course, you can use dried fruit in cakes, but you really can’t beat the fresh flavours that come from the actual fruit itself, in all its juicy glory. It’s also a great way to challenge yourself to use more seasonal produce. Each season comes with its own yield of produce – the Spring and Summer bring the light and fresh berries and the Autumn and Winter are packed full of apples, pears and festive clementine’s. Each one begging to be paired with something equally as delicious and all whipped up in a bowl and baked into a cake to share and serve to friends and family. 

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Info

 

  8-12 servings
  20 minutes preparation time
  45 minutes cook time

Ingredients

For the cake;

  • 150ml orange juice
  • 150ml almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange essence
  • 125ml olive oil 
  • Zest 1 lemon

Dry ingredients;

  • 150g self raising flour 
  • 225g ground almonds 
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate

Topping 

  • 1- 2 clementines or oranges peeled and sliced thinly 
  • 2 tsp caster sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. In a bowl, stir the orange juice, milk, cider vinegar, vanilla, orange extract and oil, and lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and ground almond. Stir to combine.
  4. Now add the liquid mixture to the dry mix. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into a lined loose bottomed cake tin.
  6. Slice the oranges then top the cake mix and press in a little. Sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Now place into the oven to bake for roughly 40-45 minutes or until the middle in cooked. Check by inserting a tooth pick into the middle – if it comes out clean it’s cooked.
  8. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  9. Keep cake in the fridge. 

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