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!

Gluten Free Whole Orange Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 whole organic oranges (I used blood oranges), washed and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 cup organic, raw butter
  • 1¼ cups organic evaporated cane sugar or rapadura
  • 3 large organic, free range eggs
  • 2½ cups organic, gluten free flour (or whole wheat flour, or your favorite flour blend)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
For Glaze:
  • 1½ cups powdered organic cane sugar (make your own using this tutorial)
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon organic orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Oil a cake pan with coconut oil or raw butter, set aside. In a large bowl, beat together raw butter, cane sugar, and eggs.
  2. Whirl orange chunks in a food processor until mostly smooth but not pureed, leaving some pieces of peel about the size of a current. Measure 1½ cups of the oranges and add to the batter, beat until blended. Add the flour, baking powder and soda, and beat again until smooth. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a plate and allow it to cook completely (do let it cool all the way...we rushed this step and the glaze melted into the cake. Tastes good, but not as pretty!)
  4. Prepare the glaze: Mix the sugar, orange juice and zest together in a bowl. Pour over the cooled cake.

    Optional: Top with candied orange slices (candied in agave or honey) and orange zest for garnish.

 

This gluten free whole orange cake is as delicious as it is good for you! Whole oranges pack a punch of vitamin C and add to the moist, rich texture. Yum!

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Have you ever tried a recipe that sounded weird but tasted great? What was it?

 

Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson

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