Magpie Anthology

Orange Cake

With a plethora of oranges in the shops at the moment now is the time for this cake. Made from whole oranges, ground almonds, eggs and sugar.

Totally gluten free, no flour or butter in this recipe.

Everyone has a signature dish and this is mine. There are many variations of this recipe on line, some with more or fewer oranges and one with the addition of olive oil. This is my recipe and I have been making it for over thirty years and believed it to be Armenian in origin, but sadly that is not true. Where oranges are grown, Including in Southern Europe and the middle and near east, you will find a version of this cake. It is quite pudding like rather than dry and crumbly in texture.

Because oranges vary so much in size it can be hard to judge the quantities. If the mixture seems too wet before you put it in the oven, stir in more ground almonds.
If the oranges are not organic, change the water after half an hour and bring to the boil again.
I often cook this cake in the evening and if it is not cooked through, after an hour and a half, I turn off the oven and leave it overnight in the cooling oven.

4 (preferably organic) oranges
6 eggs
250g ground almonds
250g castor sugar
1 teaspoon of backing powder
Flaked almonds

Special Equipment
Spring form loose bottom cake tin 23cm wide
Food processor
Baking parchment
Mixing bowl


1. Put the oranges in a saucepan, boil until soft, up to a couple of hours. Throw away the water and leave the oranges to cool. Turn on the oven to 160 degrees. Line the cake tin with baking parchment.

2. Cut the oranges into quarters and remove any pips and the pith from the center. Put the quarters, including the peel, into the food processor, and blitz into a pulp. Pour the pulp into a bowl and put to one side.

3.Break the eggs into the food processer, add the sugar, baking powder and ground almonds and blitz. Once finished, mix with the orange pulp.

4 Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin and put in the oven for one hour. After an hour sprinkle the flaked almonds on top of the cake and put it back in the oven. If after half an hour the cake is not cooked through, cover the top of the cake with baking parchment and check it regularly.

Recipe and picture: Juliet Bawden from


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