This time of year, there are a lot of viruses floating around. What better way to fight them off than a cake full of delicious vitamin C? This gluten free whole orange cake packs a serious punch of vitamins C and A, but you’ll be too busy enjoying the taste to notice. The secret? Whole oranges! Yes, peel and all. This may sound a little crazy, but trust me…the little pieces of orange peel add flavor and texture, without tasting, well, like orange peel. Think marmalade cake, without all the added sugar of jam. Drizzle with orange glaze, and you have a sweet treat that just might please your immune system nearly as much as your taste buds!
I found this recipe in a Sunset Magazine one day while waiting for tires to be put on my van. I had to read it twice…yes, that did say to put the whole orange in! It was one of those recipes that sounded so crazy that it had to be good (know what I mean?) So I snapped a picture of it with my phone, adjusted it for gluten free and tried it the next time I was in the mood for cake. Wow! I love citrus, and this cake really satisfied my craving for orange. The bits of orange peel gave it a wonderful texture, but were not at all bitter as I’d feared they would be. The orange made the cake nice and moist, which is helpful in gluten free baking. It was so good that when my daughter had to make a nutritious treat and write a report about it for science class, this is the recipe she chose. If you’re still on the fence about eating an orange-peel cake, you can rest assured that a class of skeptical fifth-graders gave it two thumbs up! To make the cake, just start with two whole, organic oranges, washed and cut into chunks. Pulse them in your food processor until they are smooth but not pureed (you want to have some little pieces left, the size of a current).
Add raw butter, eggs, evaporated cane sugar and gluten free flour mix (I used a mix of garbanzo bean flour, rice flour and tapioca flour but you can use almond or coconut flour or your favorite blend). Beat until smooth, and then pour into an oiled bundt pan
Bake at 325 degrees until a toothpick comes out mostly clean (about 55 mintues). While it cools, make an orange glaze from a few tablespoons of orange juice, powdered sugar (here’s how you can make it using real, healthy sugar), and orange zest. Invert the cake onto a plate, drizzle the glaze on top and enjoy!
Optional: Top with candied orange slices (candied in agave or honey) and orange zest for garnish.
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Have you ever tried a recipe that sounded weird but tasted great? What was it?