Editor’s Note: Since I opened a keto home bakery last July, I have made improvements to this recipe and am reposting. This is the most amazing orange cake you will ever eat and the improvements will guarantee your success.
Italian Orange Almond Cake made with whole oranges and olive oil is everything it promises. Depth and soul, sweetness and fragrance.
Made with whole oranges, this cake spans many cultures, including middle eastern, which is where I first came in contact with one of my most memorable bites of the year. A cake like this was served at a favorite new modern middle eastern restaurant in Nashville, Lyra.
I ate the cake even when I didn’t need dessert, savoring each moist, citrusy bite. They told me it was made with whole oranges and I knew I was going to make it.
Baking Process and Nutrition for Orange Olive Oil Cake
I used navel oranges, extra virgin olive oil, eggs, almond flour and Swerve as my sweetener, making this sugar free and naturally gluten free.
You can either use a light glaze or a heavier glaze like below.
There are many versions of this cake, some with almond flour (as Lyra makes) and some with regular flour. This is an almond flour version using olive oil and whole oranges.
If you use cara cara oranges, you’ll get an even deeper orange color as the picture below, but I don’t recommend blood oranges unless you really up the sweetener as they can be bitter.
The Sicilians have been making orange cake forever and I remember eating something very similar in Tuscany. While I might love looking at layer cakes slathered with frosting, single- layer cakes with a smattering of glaze call my name much more.
Orange Olive Oil Cake Tested Six Times
This year I made this I had a word of the year. Diligence. This cake has proven that to be true because in trying to get this right, I made it six times in two weeks It’s moist, but not too moist and all you taste is orange.
How to Test the Batter and Adjust Sweetener
Now that I have a home bakery and have baked over 1500 small cakes, I am certain of the amount of sweetener, which is one cup per one layer of cake or 12 small cakes.
The best way to test the batter is to microwave a tablespoon of cake for 30 to 60 seconds. This will help you make adjustments for flavor.
Glaze for Olive Oil Orange Cake
The glaze is super easy to make. I used Swerve Confectioner’s Sugar (powdered erythritol). You have to decide how thick you want a glaze. I like it thick sometimes, thinner other times. Start with 2 tablespoons of orange juice and add sweetener (up to a cup) until you get the viscosity desired. I reserve some of that pulverized orange to add in to the glaze. Then immediately apply the zest. I suggest waiting until the cake is completely cool first, or the glaze will run.
NEW: Orange Butter Glaze Option
This orange cake is very popular in my keto home bakery and has gone through even more improvements (after baking almost 1500 small cakes). You can look at the notes in the recipe to see what those changes are. Most recently, I’ve been adding a butter glaze using some of the pulverized orange mixture with butter and some of the Swerve Confectioner’s sweetener. It’s less sweet than the glaze mentioned above.
This has been met with rave reviews, making the orange cake the favorite in the bakery!
Baking with Olive Oil
I love baking with olive oil. It’s a healthy oil, and rises higher than a butter cake. You can use half olive oil and half avocado oil, which is what I do for the bakery.
Sweeteners for Sugar Free Olive Oil Orange Cake
I use two different sweeteners, Swerve granulated, Swerve Confectioner’s Sugar. You can make the confectioner’s by placing the granular into a Vitamix until it gets that confectioner’s texture.
I highly recommend this powdered erythritol as it causes no spike in blood sugar, has no carbs or calories and is not GMO. Read about why I use this sweetener here.
You can Make this into a Orange Bundt Cake
Only recently have I been making orange bundt cake, mainly to share with friends. Their rave reviews cannot be stated enough.
You can make a small bundt cake with 12 servings with this recipe. You can also multiply the recipe by 1.5 to make a larger bundt cake, which serves 16. If you do this, please use the bundt cake tips at this post for white chocolate raspberry bundt cake.
Sicilian Orange Olive Oil Cake is the Anytime Cake
This is a breakfast cake, a dinner cake and lunch box cake. It’s not messy, and doesn’t make many crumbs. When my mother fed this cake to the neighbor children who visit her (that’s a story), they went bananas over this cake and I’ve promised to make them one.
More Grain Free Cakes from Spinach Tiger
Italian Orange Almond Cake Made with Whole Oranges (Gluten Free)
- 1 1/2 large navel orange Or 1 extra large orange
- 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour 260 grams
- 4 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum see notes
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup olive oil see notes
- 1 cup granulated swerve
- 6 large eggs
- Baking spray or oil for baking pan I used this baking spray.
Orange Glaze for One Layer Cake
- 2 tablespoons orange juice from the other half of orange
- 1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar I use sugar free Swerve
- zest of the half orange
- Kitchen Equipment
- 9 inch cake pan
- baking spray
- parchment paper
- tin foil
Optional Butter Glaze
- 2 tablespoons orange mixture (that is used for the cake)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup Swerve Confectioner's Sweetener
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. (180 C).
- Prepare a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Use baking spray, or oil.
- Cut oranges into quarters, Place in pot to boil, adding just enough cold water to cover by 2 inches.
- Boil for 30 minutes. Drain. Cool. Drain. Place in Vitamix and mix until oranges look like a mush. You don't want big pieces of peel.
- Mix almond flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder together.
- Whisk until well incorporated. Set Aside.
- Mix olive oil with Swerve in the mixing bowl you will be making the cake.
- Add eggs one at a time on medium high speed.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Add 1 cup of orange mixture. Mix. (make sure to reserve 2 tablespoons for butter glaze). Mix thoroughly.
- Add flour mixture and mix just until incorporated on medium low.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. putting foil over cake loosely once it golden. (around 20 to 30 minutes). Inside middle should get to 205 degrees F. when tested with a meat. thermometer.
- Mix orange juice and confectioner’s sugar together.
- Cool cake completely before adding glaze, unless serving warm and you want a transparent glaze.
- If you want thicker glaze add more confectioner’s sugar.
- Garnish immediately with orange zest.
Optional Butter Glaze
- Put all ingredients in small saucepan at one. Heat until mixed together, stirring.
- Pour over cake while still warm.
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