Flourless Orange Cake

Cook Eat WorldDessertFlourless Orange Cake
By Published On: November 12th, 20216 Comments

This super moist orange cake is a cake you’ll come back to time and again. Soft, juicy and impossibly orangey it uses whole oranges to create something really very special. Learn how…

A flourless orange cake and slice of cake sit on plates on a colourful background of citrus fruit illustrations.

This orange cake is based on a recipe from one of my culinary idols, Claudia Roden. A flourless cake that is SO moist, so flavourful it’s almost too much! I just love flourless cakes, they are mid way between cake and pudding and have a texture like nothing else. This cake has an intense burst of citrus orange essence and that shouldn’t come as any surprise — there are two whole orange in it, skin, pith and all!

When I first baked this cake, many years ago, I was sceptical that boiling whole oranges and creating a puree would be anything other than gross, but on first taste I was convinced! My recipe doesn’t stray too far from Roden’s, but there are a couple of notable changes that I’ve incorporated that suit my palette a little more. You can check Claudia Roden's Orange & Almond Cake recipe here.

A whole orange flourless cake

Boiling oranges for long enough will help create a form that can easily be pureed, skin, pith and all. It creates a truly rounded sweet, bitterness. Some may not like the bitter quality, but I think the sugar in the recipe cancels out much of that - however, I have also, over time, discovered that I can dampen the bitterness by changing the water mid way through boiling - this seems to work, so I do it every time now.

two navel oranges

Almond meal (almond flour) is the alternative to wheat flour here, which gives a nutty fragrance, and light texture to the cake. And then there are the eggs - all six of them! A lot for a cake, but it’s the eggs that gives structure to the cake. The predominant flavour comes from the oranges of course and it’s their cooking method that is most unusual and ultimately ingenious.

What variety of orange works best?

I’ve have noticed the variety of orange can impart different qualities to the cake - Valencia is my favourite with it’s sweet tanginess, Navel work very well, as do Seville. I’ve also made a delicious version using blood oranges too.

Can I make this cake with lemons?

Lemons do not work I’ve found, while there’s a good lemon aroma to a version made with lemons, the flavour is a little sharp and quite bitter. That said, I did make a version with ‘Lima Dulce’ (Mexican sweet lime), also known as Persian sweet lime or Indian sweet lime, that was divine!

A flourless orange cake, dusted with icing sugar, sits in the foreground with a slice taken out of it. The slice of cake sits in the background out of focus.

Ready in a few simple steps

This cake is simple to make, ready in a few easy steps. It takes a little while, but trust me, to get the fullest flavour from the orange is key to the recipe’s success. You’ll appreciate the wait! And you’ll have sublimely flavoured flourless orange cake for days! Perfect with a coffee!

  1. Boil the oranges (I boil mine for 40 minutes, then change the water and then another 40 minutes)
  2. Puree the oranges (in a blender or with an immersion blender)
  3. Combine all the ingredients together and pour into a lined loose bottom tin.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and that's it!
  5. Leave in the tin for a while and it shrinks, it comes out perfectly every time if you line the tin with baking parchment.

So, pop the kettle on and brew yourself a nice cup of tea - and get ready for the most citrus, moist cake you'll ever taste.

A slice of flourless orange cake sits on a plate with a fork. The rest of the cake is blurred in the background.

How to make Flourless Orange Cake

A slice of flourless orange cake sits on a plate with a fork. The rest of the cake is blurred in the background.

Flourless Orange Cake

Rate this recipe

4.84 from 12 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine European, Mediterranean
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time2 hours 35 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 12 Slices
Calories (per serving) | 266



  • Preheat oven to 170ºC/340ºF
  • Using a little butter or oil, lightly oil a 23cm/9″ spring form baking tin - line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. Set aside.
  • In a large pan bring about 2 litres / 2.5qt of water to a boil. Drop in the two oranges and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Drain the water and add another 2 litres/2.5qt of cold water. Bring this to a boil and simmer for another 40 minutes.
    Drain and leave the oranges to cool for 30 minutes.
  • In a blender, or using an immersion blender, blend the oranges into a puree.
  • In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients until well combined.
  • Pour the cake batter into the baking tin and bake in the oven for 45mins-1 hour or until the cake is done. Check by inserting a skewer or knife into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. It'll shrink slightly, which will ensure it comes away from the sides and pops out of the tin perfectly. Remove all the baking parchment and turn out onto a wire rack (right side up) to cool completely.
  • Once cooled completely, sprinkle with icing/confectioners sugar and serve!
  • I keep mine lightly covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for the week (if it lasts that long!)


Calories: 266kcal (13%) | Carbohydrates: 25g (8%) | Protein: 9g (18%) | Fat: 16g (25%) | Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg (27%) | Sodium: 67mg (3%) | Potassium: 71mg (2%) | Fiber: 3g (13%) | Sugar: 20g (22%) | Vitamin A: 168IU (3%) | Vitamin C: 12mg (15%) | Calcium: 100mg (10%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)
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A flourless orange cake and slice of cake sit on plates on a colourful background of citrus fruit illustrations.

Did you make my Flourless Orange Cake

How did you go? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to tag @cookeatworld at Instagram.

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