Spanish Orange and Almond Cake – Gluten Free!

I was delighted to hear that BBC Radio Scotland’s Kitchen Café was having a ‘free from’ special this week (2nd April), and even more delighted to be invited on as a guest.

Here’s a link to the programme – it will be online till the end of April…

Our daughter Rachael was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease ten years ago, and as such, has required to follow a strict gluten free diet ever since. According to statistics from Coeliac UK, one in 100 of the UK population is intolerant to gluten, but many of the ‘one in 100’ have yet to be diagnosed.

Following a gluten free diet can seem daunting at first, but with stricter requirements regarding food labelling, and more and more restaurants offering gluten free alternatives, (and taking the issue of cross-contamination seriously) life gets easier all the time.

Yes, you will need a separate toaster, jam jar and butter dish, in case of contamination from wheat-toast crumbs. Yes, you do need to keep gluten free ingredients in a separate cupboard in the kitchen, and yes, if like me you are the wrong side of 45, you’ll need to remember to take your specs to the supermarket.

But all is not lost! There are a myriad of great cookbooks and internet resources out there – it’s a case of experimenting, and being prepared to put a whole lot of ‘mistakes’ onto the bird table.

Here’s one of my favourite cakes. It might seem weird to use the whole orange, and for there not to be any butter, but the result is light, moist and utterly delicious. And it’s naturally gluten free!

Spanish Orange and Almond Cake

Spanish Orange and Almond cake.

Spanish Orange and Almond cake.


  • 2 large oranges, scrubbed and roughly chopped, pips discarded
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 225g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds
  • Sifted icing sugar


  1. Placed the chopped oranges in a small pan with a tablespoon of water, and simmer gently with a lid on for half an hour will the rind is soft. Allow to cool slightly then blitz in a food processor till almost smooth.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/GM4 and grease and base line a 23cm round springform tin.
  3. Whisk the egg whites till stiff.
  4. Whisk half the sugar into the egg whites, a teaspoon at a time.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar till really light and fluffy.
  6. Fold the oranges into the yolk/sugar mixture, then stir in the ground almonds.
  7. Fold the egg whites into the mixture, slowly and carefully, trying not to burst too many bubbles!
  8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top, and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes until the cake is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes – loosely cover with foil if the cake is browning too much.
  10. Dredge the cake with icing sugar, and allow it to cool in the tin.

This is delicious as it is, or served with raspberries and mascarpone cream as a desert. (It’s also very special with a shot of homemade raspberry gin!)

Let me know how you get on – and enjoy!! X