Gluten Free Orange, Almond and Poppy Seed Cake

Orange, almond and poppy seed cake is another flourless cake from the list of 5 different gluten free orange and almond cakes I baked on regular basis several years ago. To publish this recipe I had to bake this cake again to make new photos for publication. I am glad I had to do it. I forgot how good this cake was. Having baked all 5 orange and almond cakes one after another in quick succession gave me the chance to compare their taste. I remembered that my favourite was the one with a touch of rice flour. However, I have changed my mind after having orange and almond cake with poppy seeds again. It became my strong favourite now.


I always bake this cake in a ring shape baking pan, using butter to grease and sugar to dust the pan to get thick and crunchy crust. This is another simple and easy cake to make, where nothing can go wrong. Ring shape pan provides perfect conditions for even baking. The cake itself is lighter compared to other orange and almond cakes, has fluffy and crumbly texture. The combination of a hard crust and soft and moist body of the cake makes it irresistible.


for 24-25cm ring baking pan, 4.5cm deep, or 19 cm springform pan

  • 200g cooked orange puree (one medium orange)
  • 60g (3 table spoons) poppy seeds
  • 150g almond meal, sifted
  • 150g sugar (30g for the pan, 120g for the cake batter)
  • 5g (one tea spoon) vanilla sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • unsalted butter to grease baking pan
  • icing sugar for decoration


  • wash an orange, cover it with water in deep sauce pan and cook for 1 hour on medium heat
  • cut orange in quarters, let them cool, make orange puree using food processor or stick blender
  • butter baking pan
  • use part of granulated sugar measured for the cake to dust baking pan
  • beat eggs with sugar and vanilla sugar on high speed until at least double the volume and pale (best results are achieved using benchtop mixer)
  • add orange puree and just mix it in on lower speed until fully incorporated, do not overmix
  • sift almond meal
  • mix in almond meal into the mixture by hand using spatula
  • add poppy seeds and mix them in
  • spoon the batter into baking pan


  • level cake batter using spatula


  • I bake all my orange and almond cakes placing baking pan into cold fan forced oven set to 170 degrees C for 50-55min. I have found that this process allows the cake to rise and cook evenly and provides the formation of the best crust. Alternatively bake in preheated to 160-165 degrees C fan forced oven for 45-50min.
  • rest the cake on a wire rack until it cools down


  • dust the cake with gluten free icing sugar


This cake is very easily separated from the pan because of its thick crust. It is not necessary to keep the cake in the pan to rest to get it out. Sometimes I even put the cake on a wire rack back to the switched off oven to dry any extra moisture from the crust. Don’t be afraid that it might make the cake dry. The cake itself will stay moist for 3-4 days without refrigeration. To bake this cake I used frozen for 4 weeks and defrosted orange puree. It did not make any difference to cake preparation, taste or texture. This happened because I cooked several oranges in one go to be able to make all 5 cakes without cooking oranges on each occasion. I measured the necessary quantity of orange puree, placed puree in a zip-locked freezer bag and used each portion after defrosting, either overnight or in warm water, when I needed it fast.


It is better to use serrated bread knife to make a clear cut of the crust. The cake is soft, moist and light, with small pieces of orange peel from coarse orange puree adding extra texture. Contrast in the level of sweetness in the crust and in the cake adds different dimension to cake’s taste. Vanilla flavour from vanilla sugar also comes through, intense orange flavour is slightly subdued by poppy seeds. I understand now why I was baking this cake nearly every week some time ago. It was forgotten when I stopped baking for nearly three years. I am glad I had a chance to revive this cake.


The same cake can be baked in another ring cake pan – mini Bundt cake pan. I grease the pan with unsalted butter and dust with sugar to cover all surface.


Sometimes we have this cake for lunch with berries and yogurt.


General remarks and tips for baking any orange and almond cake in detail can be found here

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