Barb Hodgens
Barb Hodgens

Barb Hodgens loves to cook with alternative, healthy whole food ingredients, with a focus on gut health. Barb has overcome her own gut health issues through healthy eating. Share your ideas, comments and photos at the end of this post :)

orange and almond syrup cake

Grain-free, dairy-free and sugar free and couldn’t be healthier!

It’s amazing how a few simple whole ingredients can turn into a cake with the right kitchen tool! This fabulous blender cake begins not only with whole almonds in place of flour, it uses whole oranges too! Yes, including the peel! Trust us; in under a minute the Vibe Blender System produces a smooth cake batter without a fleck of almond or peel. Note: This really requires a high-performance blender - without powerful blades and a killer motor, you’ll definitely end up with lumpy batter.  

With the whole food approach, the texture is not your typical, light and fluffy, nutritionally sparse tea-cake. What you get is moist and dense like a brownie or pound cake. The secret? First, we simmer the oranges until the skins are tender. The bitterness gets washed away and, in the blender, the squishy cooked oranges, puree down into a healthy, honey-sweetened marmalade tasting batter.

Because it is so dense, the cake is large enough to feed a crowd. On its own, it’s a perfect snack (especially spread with butter) but add the syrup and it’s special enough to serve as a dessert, either warm or cold. We highly recommend also smothering it in homemade yogurt, cultured cream or quark. The tang of yogurt is a perfect accompaniment with the delicious orange syrup glaze.

orange and almond syrup cake

You can use either whole blanched almonds or almonds with their skins on. Skins will produce a darker batter. If you have sensitive digestion or are on the SCD and GAPS diet, we recommend using activated almonds. If you don’t have whole almonds, 2 ½ cups of almond meal is a fair substitute.  

With honey as a sweetener, the cake can be SCD & GAPS friendly. On the down side, honey burns easily, so to avoid the top becoming too dark, lay a sheet of baking paper over the cake while it’s cooking.

Choose the cake shape to fit the occasion. Square is great for lunch boxes, round looks lovely as a dessert cake and for high tea, use a tea-ring which looks awesome dripping with orange syrup and garnished with strips of orange zest. 



Cake Batter
3 cups whole almonds
2 whole oranges
4 large eggs (use 5 if small)
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter melted (60 grams)
3/4 teaspoon of bicarb soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Juice of 2 oranges
2 tablespoons of honey


1.    Preheat oven to 170°C / 340°F
2.    Line a 20cm x 20cm tin with baking paper or grease a round spring form tin liberally with butter or coconut oil.
3.    Place two whole oranges in a saucepan and cover with water.
4.    Bring to the boil and then gently simmer for 45 minutes. Add more water if you need to. When the oranges are done the skins will be soft and they may have burst open.
5.    Slice the oranges in half, cut off the fibrous ends and remove the seeds then set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

orange and almond syrup cake

6.    While the oranges are cooling prepare the remaining cake batter ingredients.
7.    Place the almonds in a dry Vibe blender jug and put the lid on.
8.    Pulse the nuts approximately four times – taking the jug off the base between each pulse to shake the nuts away from the blades. A chunky grind is all that is required.
9.    Now add all the ingredients on top of the ground nuts.
10.  With a spatula, burrow down into one side of the nuts so that some of the wet ingredients run down towards the blades. 
11.  Insert the tamper tool into the lid and place it securely into the jug.
12.  Blend on ‘smoothie’ mode for 40 seconds, using the tamper to push the wet ingredients down into the blades.

orange and almond syrup cake

13.  Stop once and run a spatula down under the blades where dry almonds get trapped.
14.  Blend for a further 20 seconds.
15.  Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
16.  Lay a piece of baking paper over the batter and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake springs back when you touch it.
17.  When it’s done, turn the cake out onto a cooling rack.
The cake is delicious with or without the syrup.

orange and almond syrup cake

For the syrup
18.  Juice two oranges and then strain to remove the pulp.
19.  Pour the juice into a small saucepan.
20.  Add the honey
21.  On the stove-top, gently simmer the juice with the honey for 15 minutes. Stir every now and then to make sure it doesn’t burn. The juice will reduce and become a sweet citrus glaze.
22.  Pour half the glaze over the cake and a little more over each portion when you serve.
23.  Decorate with fine strips of orange peel if you like.
24.  Store the cake, air-tight for up to a week in the fridge.


orange and almond syrup cake