Oranges are our ingredient of the season. We’re filling our archives with zesty drinks, candies, crafts, and even cleaners!
This recipe for orange and almond cake produces a deliciously dense cake with just the right amount sweet, citrusy zest to brighten any cold and grey afternoon. And that’s why it’s become a winter staple in our house (of course, yesterday I happened to make it on one of the warmest & sunniest winter days, but I couldn’t fight the urge to bring the sunshine in!). The cake is finished with a sweet syrup made from fresh orange juice, and as a result, it definitely doesn’t need any sort of frosting, rather it pairs perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee ~ just what you’ll need after a day out in the snow.
The recipe comes from one of our favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem, which we may have mentioned here and here. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we share a favorite dish from the book!
A note about the ingredients ~
I love this cake’s short and sweet ingredient list. Of course the eggs, butter, sugar, flour, and salt are pantry staples; you just have to pick up fresh citrus and almonds or almond meal.
This recipe calls for the zest from four oranges and a lemon, as such, be sure to buy organic. There are two reasons to think about buying organic: 1. environmental and 2. health. From a health perspective, you’ll often see oranges and other citrus as being a “low pesticide residue” fruit as they are protected by their thick skin. Since those pesticides remain on the rind, anytime you’re using the zest in a recipe, you would be exposing yourself to a higher concentration of the pesticides if you don’t buy organic. And, I’m sure you know this, but an easy way to ensure that you’re buying organic in the produce section is to look for fruit and veg with a 5 digit code that starts with 9.
As for the almond meal, you can easily buy whole almonds and use a food processor to make the meal, but since this recipe calls for a whopping 2.5 cups, I find that it’s easier to just pick up a bag of pre-ground almonds. Not sure where to look? You can always find it for a good price in Trader Joe’s nut section.
When it comes to zesting the citrus, I find that it’s quicker and easier to use a zester that produces the nice long strips of zest. You can zest a whole orange (or four!) relatively quickly, and then use a chef’s knife to give the pile a few chops and create the smaller pieces that you need.
On with the recipe then. We’re trying out a new feature on our recipe posts, and we hope you like it! You can see the recipe below as in the past, but now, if you would like to print it, just hit the “print” button to the right of the title. That will open the recipe without photos in a new window as well as allowing you to print the PDF and/or save it as a file on your computer. yay! If you’re having any trouble or have any suggestions for further improvements to our recipe posts, we would love to hear them.
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cup + 3/4 cup sugar
- zest & juice from 4 oranges & 1 lemon
- 2 1/2 cups ground almonds
- 5 large eggs
- 3/4 cup flour
- pinch of salt
- Prep the oven and pan. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9.5 inch springform pan.
- Mix up the ingredients. Place the butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and all zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low until combined, but do not add too much air to the mixture. Add half the ground almonds and mix until combined. With the mixer on, add the eggs one at a time. Add the remaining almonds, the flour, and the salt. Beat until all ingredients are combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary.
- Bake the cake! Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Use a skewer or toothpick to test for doneness, you'll want the cake to be baked through, but still be moist.
- Make the syrup. When the cake is near done, place 1/2 cup of the citrus juice and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan on medium-high. Bring the juice to a boil and then remove it from the heat.
- As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, brush it with the boiling juice, allowing the syrup to soak into the cake. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it.
- Serve as is or add a dollop of whipped cream.