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Flourless almond and orange cake

Theo A. Michaels / 23 September 2020

A gluten-free flourless Greek cake full of zesty sweet oranges and nutty almond flour.

Orange and almond cake
Photography by Mowie Kay.

Cooking time

2 1/2 hours




For the cake

  • 4 oranges
  • 400 g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 400 g caster or granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 12 UK small eggs

For the glaze and decoration

  • 6 tablespoons apricot conserve
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (preferably Greek)
  • 250 ml Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1/2 an orange and 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2–1 orange, peeled and separaterd into segments
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped pistachio kernels
  • Icing sugar, to dust (optional)

You will need

  • A 22-cm/81/2-inch diameter springform cake pan, lightly greased with butter


Oh for oranges and almonds... sigh. This cake is my wife’s favourite, despite being flourless it remains moist and the puréed whole oranges give it a sharp vibrancy that is hard to beat. I’ve dressed this up by decorating it, but if I’m honest, most of the time in our house it barely makes it out of the baking pan before we’re cutting away slices each time we walk past.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the oranges whole and boil them for 2 hours, topping up the water as necessary to keep them fully submerged.

Once soft, gently lift the oranges out of the water and let cool for 10 minutes before putting in a blender. Pulse until they are a pulp and then pass this through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pushing it through with the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Combine the ground almonds, baking powder and caster/granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sieved orange pulp, add a small squeeze of lemon juice and mix to combine. Whisk the eggs and pass through a coarse sieve directly into the bowl and beat until fully incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then remove and let cool in the pan.

To make the glaze, put the apricot conserve in a small bowl with the brandy, add 1 tablespoon cold water and stir to combine. Brush this glaze over the cooled cake to give it a little shine.

Put the yogurt and caster sugar in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Decorate the cake by spooning the sweetened yogurt over the cake, arrange the orange segments on top and finish with the pistachios and a sprinkle of orange and lemon zest. Adding a dusting of icing sugar is optional.


This recipe is extracted from Rustica by Theo Michaels, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£16.99) Photography by Mowie Kay © Ryland Peters & Small


Love Mediterranean food? Visit our Greek recipes or Mediterranean recipes sections, or try some of Theo Michaels' other recipes, including meat-free moussaka and avgolemono (egg and lemon) soup. We also have a wide variety of delicious cake recipes.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.