Orange poppy seed cake gluten and lactose free

I have many recipes for sweet and savoury baking with cottage cheese or firm ricotta cheese. Since I tried cream cheese to make cake batter, I have discovered many advantages of cream cheese in gluten free baking. The results will always be the same and thus reliable. Cream cheese texture is easier to work with, especially mixing it with orange puree to an even paste texture. Cream cheese as a product usually has an extended shelf life, compared to home made cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, bought from deli department in a supermarket. Keeping frozen portions of cooked orange puree in the freezer (which I do) and cream cheese in refrigerator (which I do now), makes an easy option to bake the cake whenever I want it. It takes not more that an hour and a half to have a moist and delicious cake for a treat. Since I created this recipe, the cake became number 1 for regular bakes in our household. It is not too citrusy, only 100g of orange puree is used, not too moist and wet, as some orange and almond cakes can be, as almond flour is used in 1:1 mixture with rice flour. Because of all this qualities I wanted to have the recipe also lactose free, as lactose free cream cheeses are readily available. Sour cream in the original recipe is replaced by extra cream cheese.

I like to bake this cake in a narrow and long tin and present it as an upside down cake with crunchy crust, which can be achieved when coconut oil or ghee butter used to grease baking tin is sprinkled with sugar.


  • 250g lactose free cream cheese
  • 3 large eggs (160-165 without shells)
  • 100g sugar (you can add 20g extra if you want sweeter cake, or extra 10g vanilla sugar for more intense vanilla flavour)
  • 1 tea spoon vanilla extract
  • 100g cooked orange puree (with skin on)
  • 115g almond flour
  • 115g rice flour (McKenzie’s rice flour will give more soft batter with flatter cake surface)
  • 20g poppy seeds
  • 9g gluten free baking powder


  • switch the oven to 165-170C (fan forced)
  • grease baking tin with coconut oil or ghee (mine is 30cm x 11cm)
  • sprinkle with regular sugar, remove excess of sugar
  • mix all dry ingredients in a bowl
  • in another bowl mix cream cheese with orange puree to an even paste
  • whisk eggs with sugar until triple in volume (4-6 minutes depending on a mixer you use)
  • add 2-3 table spoons of whisked eggs to cream cheese paste, combine
  • add one third or half of the dry mixture and mix it in
  • add the rest of the whisked eggs, combine
  • add the rest of dry mixture
  • combine thoroughly to an even texture
  • transfer the thick batter to a baking tin
  • level the surface
  • bake 55-60 minutes at 165-170C fan forced oven
  • fully baked cake will be slightly separated from the tin walls
  • gently tap the tin with the cake inside on each side of the tin, this will make sure that the cake moves freely inside the tin and ready to be turned over to a wire rack

This cake can be sliced when warm or even very warm. To make sure that you have a crunchy crust, place wire rack with the cake into switched off oven for 15-30 minutes. The cake is truly delicious as is, but we also like to make thin dry crackers from it. To do that I slice the cake that has been cooled down to 1.5 – 2 mm slices, put them on wire rack and bake them at 130-140C for 20 minutes or until they are completely dry. These crackers can be stored indefinitely in a container with a tight lid.


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