In the quest for something gluten free, today I have this Tunisian Orange Cake for you all. This time armed with a recipe from a friend so it was sure to be a hit! Why not dive into a little bit of North African flavours with this almond and orange cake. Full of flavour and even easy to make.
The first thing I want to say today is, Happy Mother's Day! Well, depending on where you are reading this from, it may or may not be a holiday. You see, being from Canada married to a Brit and living in Spain, there are three Mother's Day to consider. Lucky me right.? I get to indulge in three whole days a year where it's all about me and everyone waits on me hand and foot. So, which one do we celebrate? None of them is the answer. Right about now, I think I'm feeling ripped off.
We didn't really plan it that way, it just kind of happened and it's probably too late to start now with the kids being 16 and 13. Mind you when they were smaller they did bring things from school which was really sweet and I am pretty sure somewhere around here I still have the cards, photos and home made jewellery, that I have worn by the way. So, it's all good.
If you happen to be celebrating Mother's Day, have a great one. If not, celebrate for the sake of it. We don't always need titles to have a great day. I can guarantee nobody in my house today will utter the words "Happy Mother's Day", but it won't dampen the day for me. I know I have kids, I know they tolerate me...ha! So what else do I need?
Let's get straight to cake today because I really don't have anything to say that's really relevant or that anybody wants to hear.
First of all, it's gluten free!!! I know, me and gluten free don't mix but somehow this time around I made a success of it. Strange, I know...ha! If you remember a little while ago me having a go at some gluten free muffins? Ummm, well if you want to see how that went you can check it out here. I will warn you thought that the recipe attached in that post isn't gluten free it is merely me taking a look at how the gluten free baking went for me. My first attempt at the Orange and Blueberry Muffins was a gluten free attempt. But the actual recipe that I felt worthy of sharing, wasn't!
This cake on the other hand was a huge success and well worth sharing. So, let's see how it came about and what makes is so good.
I've been looking for something easy that I could make with success for a gluten free baby shower that I'm going to next weekend. It had to be easy, no fail and tasty. Because my skill level for gluten free is limited shall we say. Because I am on the uneducated side and probably not going to make a habit of it, I am a little lazy it trying to figure it all out on my own. So I went in search of help this time around. There is a time and place for winging it and, trust me, this wasn't that time.
So, like all things Pinterest & Instagram there a million and one things to choose from. Where in the world do I start? Do I just bring a fruit platter and call it a day. No, I want to make a cake. Main reason, because I want to..ha! So I called off the searches and started to think about who I could ask or recipes that may have already been sent to me in the past. Remember I wanted it tried and tested and not just by your sister. Like the masses. I was in luck.
I was fortunate enough to have contact with someone who does cook and bake for the masses with success. So, that seemed like a good avenue to go down for me. If it's good enough for the crowds, it got to be good enough for a baby shower, right?
So, I went in search for recipe that was sent to me a while back. I found it and I knew it had been tried and tested many times and a real winner. So, this was going to be my cake.
Unlike the recipes I write, or that you see in most places, it was quite vague. Well, there was enough information in there to get the job done but no notes or lengthy explanation. Just pour, mix and bake. Well, basically that was what it was like. I consider myself pretty good at baking, not decorating, but baking yes. It contained a handful of ingredients and seemed pretty straightforward. Only problem I could see was that I didn't have the right size cake tin. Now, I know I always talk about getting by and substituting, but I wanted this to go right. So, I wanted the right size cake tin.
Off I went in search of a 6 inch spring form pan. Yes, that small. Guess what? I didn't succeed. I found 5 inch and 7 inch, but none of the exact size I needed. So the bigger one it will have to be because there is no way in the world I am making a 5 inch cake. That is just too tiny to be bothered with, right?
After I got home with my imperfect cake tin, I got out all my ingredients and armed with the recipe, I was ready to bake the cake. I started on it and it was all going well, real wall. Too easy. Love this easy cake making stuff. Then I was noticing that the mixing bowl seemed far larger than the cake tin I was about to pour this batter into and there was no way in the world it was ever going to fit. Is this one of those magic tricks? I am going to pour the large quantity of batter into the world's smallest tin and it's going to fit. It's going to be just like that, I know it. Well, you know that didn't happen. I am not Houdini.
I took another look at the recipe and I had done everything exactly right. Everything. So, I just had to use some common sense and either use a bigger tin or use less batter. If you bake cakes, you know the batter shouldn't be flowing over the edges, right? So, I took out 1/2 of the batter and that seemed fine by me. I put in the the oven for the stated time and let it bake.
Well, it was done pretty much on time and it looked and smelled really good. So, success after all.
I let it cool and dressed it up like you see here, and it turned out a real winner. The proof was in the eating and it was delicious.
If you are familiar with Middle Eastern or Moroccan and North African desserts you will be well aware they are quite different to the type us North American's are used to making. Generally much denser and quite often sticky and generally very moist. Not to mention, full of flavour.
Well, this cake delivered on all those fronts. I was surprised at how flavourful it was. The zest along with the ground almonds is what really made this cake a huge success.
It is a really easy cake to make, despite probably looking a bit on the fancy side. It is a three step cake though. The steps being the cake, the syrup, and the glaze. But it's all easy and doesn't use anything fancy or unheard of. Even I have heard of ground almond for example!
I used a spring form pan for this recipe but you could use a tin the removable sides without the spring if that is all you have. You need to use a tin with high sides because as you can see it rises quite high. So don't use just a regular cake tin because I think you will be disappointed.
Apart from that, it's all explained in the recipe below. Oh and if you happen to be wondering about my recipe mess up, well apparently I can't read. Like all people that cook and bake for the masses usually their recipes are written just so. Long story short the recipe I was using was for more than one cake! How had I not figured that out? Zero points to me for common sense on that front. But don't fret because the recipe written here is for just one cake. One perfect little cake.
Happy baking friends and I'll be back with something delicious in a few days!
Tunisian Orange Cake
Serves 8 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Bake time: 1 hour 15 minutes
For the cake:
1 1/2 Cups/175 grams ground almonds
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 Cup/150 grams caster sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 Cup/180 ml sunflower oil
For the syrup:
Juice of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons sugar
For the glaze and decorating:
1 Cup/110 grams powdered sugar
3-4 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
Zest of one orange
1/4 Cup/25 grams pistachios, roughly chopped
Grease and flour a 7 inch spring form pan. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine the almonds, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.
In a large whisking bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil until foamy. About 2 minutes. Stir in the zest of the orange and lemon. Stir the dry ingredients into the whisked eggs.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cook.
Make the syrup in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the juice and sugar bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and let cook and reduce for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the orange juice and whisk until it's smooth.
Remove the sides from the cake and transfer to a serving plate. Pour the syrup over the cooled cake. Drizzle over the glaze. Top with pistachios and orange zest. Ready to serve.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Julia and I have a passion for wholesome fresh food. Here you can find what's cooking in my Spanish kitchen, with inspiration from my Newfoundland roots!
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