This whole orange cake is a citrus lover's dream. A bite of the hearty yet tender crumb takes you to a sun-kissed orange grove surrounded by the sweet, floral aroma of blossoms. Bursting with a bright orange flavor that lingers on the tongue, the citrus cake brings a smile and a bit of sunshine to your day.
It's been a while since I last posted. With the son preparing and then sitting for his final board exams, I needed a bit of a hiatus. I finally stole a bit of time because I just had to share this delicious, moist orange cake recipe with you all!
To the eye, the orange cake looks like any other ordinary treat, albeit a very pretty one. But one taste is all you need to understand why someone would beg, borrow, or steal the recipe for this spring cake!
WHAT IS SICILIAN ORANGE CAKE?
Sicilian Orange Cake, also known as "Torta all'Arancia" in Italian, is a traditional dessert from the island of Sicily. The cake uses the purée of whole orange (yes, peel, pulp, pith, and all!), which gives it the most amazing and intense citrus flavor that's ideal for any time of year.
Unlike Pan d'Arancio (which translates to orange bread), you make an orange cake with almond flour, and that’s why it has a slightly denser texture. The consistency is more substantial, like a lovely pound cake, but it still feels light.
WHY TRY THIS EASY ORANGE CAKE?
It's incredibly easy to make; the blender and oven do all the work.
The most orange-y and delicious expression of the fruit you’ll ever taste in cake.
With a scoop of vanilla, it’s a dessert that disappears faster than you can think.
It pairs superbly with a hot cup of coffee or tea, so it’s perfect for breakfast too.
HOW TO MAKE A WHOLE ORANGE CAKE?
Step 1: Drop washed oranges into a small saucepan filled with water and then cook on medium heat till the fruit is softened and the peel bursts open. It took about 30 to 40 minutes for me.
Step 2: Carefully take them out and cool them. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut them into chunks and remove any visible seeds. Keep them aside.
Step 3: In a large bowl, whisk flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 4: Blend the cooled orange chunks with olive oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs into a smooth purée.
Step 5: Pour the orange purée over the dry ingredients and mix well.
Step 6: Transfer the orange cake batter to your prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Step 7: Let the almond orange cake sit for 5 minutes, and then carefully turn it over.
Optional step: The cake is ready to eat as-is, but I like to jazz up my citrus cake recipes, so I glazed it with white chocolate and topped it with candied orange slices as a finishing touch.
Final step: Serve and enjoy!
NOTES ON WHOLE ORANGE CAKE RECIPE
- The cake is not bitter. Yes, even though we’re using the peel. Why? Because it is a boiled orange cake. Cooking the fruit gets rid of that sharpness.
- I prefer mandarin oranges because they have a thinner peel, so they cook faster, and they’re either seedless or have only a few.
But if you can’t get your hands on some, don’t let that deter you from trying this gem of a moist orange cake. Use any type of orange, as long as it’s thin-skinned, like Malta or Kinnow. Why? Because they are easier to cook and de-seed.
- Almond flour is widely available in stores, but if you're like me and prefer to have more control over the ingredients in your recipes, here's how to make it at home.
Blanch whole almonds and then peel the skins. Dry them completely by spreading them out on a tray in a single layer. Then grind it into a powder. You can skip the whole blanch-and-peel spiel and grind them whole. Remember that the color of your cake will vary due to the skin.
- Prep your bundt pan. Make sure every random pocket, crook, and canny is buttered and dusted with flour, so the cake doesn’t stick to the sides.
I recommend using a bundt pan that does not have deep grooves as my strawberry cream cheese cake did.
- In the cake-loving family I live with, not even a crumb was left at the end of day 1. But if you have leftovers, store them in an air-tight container and refrigerate. The cake keeps for 4 to 5 days. It tastes delicious cold, or you can microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds to take the chill out.
ORANGE CAKE VARIATIONS
Oil: I unequivocally love the combination of citrus and olive oil, as it rounds out the fruitiness. Plus, olive oil keeps the cake moist even after several days.
But if you’re not head over heels with olive oil, replace it with melted coconut oil or any neutral-tasting vegetable oil.
Eggless: I’ve not tried an eggless recipe for a citrus cake, but it’s versatile enough to be made without eggs. Simply substitute with flax eggs (1 egg = 3 parts water + 1 part flax seed powder).
Add-ins: I implore you to sneak in candied oranges, either as a garnish or folded into the cake batter. Believe me, they oomph up the cake to 100! (FYI, they’re ridiculously easy to make.) The cake also takes chocolate chips really well.
The cake was already citrusy enough for us without being overpowering. But if you want to add sweeter and tangier dimensions to it and punch up the flavor, whisk in:
- Fresh orange zest
- Or a couple of drops of pure orange oil
Both are entirely optional. I didn't add any.
Garnish: Baking in a Bundt pan is a joy because it makes for the most gorgeous cakes. You don’t need to lift a finger to beautify them. Honestly, they need no garnish.
That said if you want to elevate this orange blender cake, dust it with icing sugar or white chocolate glaze. If you’re in the mood for something darker, dark chocolate pairs heavenly with it, so go ahead and switch it up.
CAKE FOR SPRING RECIPES
Half the joy of cooking is sharing it with others, which is why I’m always eager to hear from you. So go right ahead and drop a comment or reach out on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or Facebook. I hope you love this whole orange cake as much as we do!
Best Ever Whole Orange Cake
- 2 Oranges I used mandarin oranges
- 1.5 cups / 210 gms All-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup/ 55 gms Almond flour
- 1.5 tsp Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 cup/ 120 gms Caster sugar
- 1/2 cup/ 100 gms Olive oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup/ 60 gms White chocolate, melted
- Candied oranges, sprinkles
- Place the oranges in a saucepan filled with water.
- Cook them on medium heat for 35-40 minutes, until the fruit softens and the peel bursts open.
- Take them out and place them on a plate until cool.
- When they are cool enough to handle, cut them into chunks and remove any seeds.
- Preheat your oven to 180C. Butter your bundt cake pan really well. Coat it with flour to ensure the cake doesn't stick.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Place the orange chunks, olive oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract in a blender and blend until a smooth puree is formed.
- Pour the orange puree over the dry ingredients and mix gently until a smooth thick batter is formed.
- Transfer the batter into your prepared bundt cake tin and bake at 180C for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before turning it out carefully on a cooling rack.
- Pour the melted white chocolate over the completely cooled cake. Top with candied oranges and sprinkles.
- Let the chocolate set for about 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!