Like orange blossom nectar to bees, the honey orange aroma draws you in. Then you feel the subtle cornmeal crunch, and moist almond flour and carrot tenderness. With its sweet honey orange glaze, this buttery gluten free orange almond honey cake will have them swarming for more.It reminds me of my Mom’s go-to lemon cake. Like Mom’s, you poke toothpick holes and pour warm citrus glaze on top of a warm cake. Dear Mom, I loved your lemon jello box-mix cake, and like yours, this one has everyone sneaking seconds. But that’s where we part ways—this one’s made from scratch, and delights our gluten-free friends too.
I brought this winning dessert to a birthday party last month, because carrot cake is the birthday boy’s favorite. The carrots and cinnamon spice complement the orange, honey, and almond essence most nicely. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe–here you go! It’s a rich cake—so cut the slices thin.
Gluten-Free Orange Almond Honey Cake recipe notes:
- Bake your orange almond honey cake cake in a 9- or 10-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have a springform, line the bottom and sides of a 2-inch tall 9-inch cake pan with parchment and refrigerate the cake after baking, before carefully removing from the pan. Let come to room temperature before serving.
- Make this cake the day before you plan to serve it—or earlier in the day. Because there’s no wheat gluten to help bind, the cake needs to cool completely, and better yet, spend an hour in the fridge before cutting or transferring to a serving platter.
- About citrus zest flavor: ***If a recipe calls for zest, like this cake, be sure to include it. Zest, the colorful outer skin of citrus, contains essential citrus oils and makes all the difference in final flavor. (The other day I was prepping this jicama fruit salad with a friend, and we didn’t have a decent zester—just a large-hole cheese grater—to zest the lime. She was going to skip it, thinking zest was just for color. Now she knows. And I just ordered her a new microplane zester!)
- Honeyville brand blanched almond flour works best in this cake. (They sell it at Costco. Or you can order it online via my Amazon link.)
Get in the kitchen and cook something delicious! If not this cake, you might want to try these killer gluten-free chocolate chip cookies made with almond flour too. Or these cowboy cookies, also with almond flour.
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This delicious dessert is loved by all, including people who can't eat gluten! The honey orange glaze is to die for!
- The cake:
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- Grated orange zest from one orange, about 2 teaspoons zest
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Real Salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups almond flour (see note)
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
- The glaze:
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 stick cinnamon, optional
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (see note)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap a 12x12-inch square of parchment paper over the metal bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. (Springform pans usually are flat on one side with a lip on the other—put the flat side up, even though it seems upside down.) Clamp the parchment inside the metal ring with the pan bottom; the parchment will become an easy-to-remove lining. Brush the sides of the pan with melted butter, or line the sides with strips of parchment the height of the pan.
- Beat butter until light and smooth. Rub sugar and orange zest together so the orange oil infuses the sugar.
- Whisk the cornmeal with the baking powder, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon, until the spices are evenly dispersed. Set aside.
- Beat the sugar into the butter until the mixture is light and aerated, about 5 minutes. While creaming the butter and sugar, stop and scrape the button and sides of the bowl twice.
- On low speed, mix the almond flour into the creamed butter, until just combined. Remove from mixer and transfer to a large bowl. By hand, using a large rubber spatula, fold in the cornmeal mixture. Fold in the beaten eggs, orange juice, and carrots, until the batter is well-mixed.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake 25 minutes, then lower the heat to 325°F, and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched with a finger.
- Make the glaze while the cake is baking. Mix the orange juice, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon stick, if using, in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer until the glaze reduces and thickens into a light syrup. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the orange liqueur. Keep warm.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, use a toothpick to poke holes every inch or so, then pour the warm glaze over.
- Let cool 2 to 4 hours. Every so often, tilt the pan to swirl the glaze over the top of the cake. When the cake is no longer warm, and the glaze has been absorbed into the cake, refrigerate for an hour, to make it easier to remove the cake from the pan. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and unclamp to remove the sides of the pan.
- You can leave the cake on the springform bottom, or, very carefully, slide the cake off the parchment paper onto a serving platter. (The cake is moist and honey-sticky so you have to be super cautious when moving it.)
- Honeyville blanched almond flour works best in this cake. They sell it at Costco, or you can order it online via my Amazon link.
- For higher altitudes, reduce the sugar by 2 tablespoons.
- Grand Marnier is the perfect orange liqueur for the glaze. If you don’t want to add the liqueur, just skip it.