Blood Orange Cake – gluten free

And it’s even gluten free (photo: Sharon Heinrich)

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a big fan of oranges in cakes. I don’t know why, but I just don’t love orange desserts. Since coming to Paris, I’ve opened up to different flavors, and today I enjoy fruity desserts, though my preference is always the chocolaty ones, with praline, coffee and nuts. As you probably figured out, though—this post is all about orange cake, after all—the plot thickens. 


After I tried the orange cake made by Reviva Appel, one of the leading pastry chefs in Israel, I begged for the recipe, and she agreed to share it with me. When I read through it, I was shocked. Not a drop of gluten or milk, butter, or any other source of lactose. Such a short ingredient list bakes up into a culinary treasure beyond words. I made the cake a few times, and the last time I used blood oranges—wow! The result is a striking dessert, with an even deeper flavor profile than when made with regular oranges.

Blood Orange Cake
(Adapted from Reviva Appel)
Makes 1 20-cm springform pan
2 small blood oranges (Reviva’s original calls for regular
6 large eggs
250 grams sugar
250 grams almond meal or ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fleur de sel (or ¼ teaspoon regular sea salt)
Candied Oranges
2 small blood oranges, sliced into 3-mm rounds
300 grams sugar
150 grams water
*Tip: The cake is best if you prepare the batter and candied oranges a day in advance.

1. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the blood oranges to the pot (whole). Cook for 45 to 50 minutes, or until very soft. Remove the oranges from the water, and set aside to cool (I recommend cutting them in half so they cool faster).
2. Once the oranges have cooled to room temperature, process them in a food processor or in a bowl using an immersion blender. Add the eggs and process briefly until well blended and combined.
3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, almond meal, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add the orange mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir together.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Candied Oranges:
6. Put the orange slices in a pot, fill with water and simmer for about 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, in another pot, make simple syrup by combining the sugar and water and bringing to a gentle boil.
8. Using a slotted spoon, remove the orange slices from the water and stir them gently into the simple syrup. Make sure each slice is coated with syrup. Remove from the heat. Cool, then cover, and leave overnight.
9. The next day, remove the orange slices from the syrup to a rack with a piece of parchment paper underneath, to collect drips.

10. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20-cm springform pan and line with parchment paper.
11. Arrange the candied orange slices in the bottom of the pan.
12. Pour the batter over the orange slices.
13. Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick poked in comes out clean, but the cake is still moist.
14. Cool to room temperature, then flip the cake onto a serving cake, and enjoy!

Want some? (photo: Sharon Heinrich)


  • 15 November 2020
    Nancy Charlton

    I’ve gained 50 pounds just looking at the pictures 🤤. Thanks for letting me join. Do you have a recipe for salted caramel?

  • 22 January 2023

    Just made this – absolutely delicious; full of flavour, slightly gooey in the centre. Thank you!


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