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The Whole Orange Cake Experiment

The Whole Orange Cake Experiment

I discovered this recipe which uses whole oranges (minus only the pips) in a cake. I was intrigued but I’m trying to eat healthily so I’m avoiding refined sugar as much as possible and I am not going to be experimenting with dessert recipes for a while. Then I had this bunch of bananas that were so ripe all they would be good for was baking in a cake. I often bake simple cakes with almond flour, bananas, eggs and whatever fruit I have to hand. So I decided to experiment with making a whole orange cake using bananas rather than sugar to sweeten the cake. Since it was an experiment I also added in some frozen raspberries that I had leftover.

whole oranges in the blender
The recipe which inspired this is clear that you should use oranges with a thin skin. As you can see there is a lot of pith (the white part of the orange peel) in these skins. But as it was an experiment I went with what I had.

I really like this cake but I wasn’t sure whether to post it here or not. It needs some major changes in order to be ready to serve to company but the taste is good – it has the tangy orange taste of the orange bit in jaffa cakes which I love. I did have to add honey, the bananas were definitely sweet, but not sweet enough to cover the bitterness of the orange peel. And with the honey it tastes great but the texture is all wrong. It’s far too moist and I didn’t push the raspberry purée through a sieve (and it was too thick for that to have worked)  so there are quite a lot of raspberry seeds in it. Even though this isn’t really a complete recipe I decided to post it anyway because I’m going to return to this but as it requires 6 over-ripe bananas there will be definite gaps between experiments. It’s more inspiration for the next experiment than a proper recipe.

It is gluten-free and dairy free. The sugar in it is all from fruit and honey which means the energy it provides is nicely laced with nutrients. As the “flour” is ground almond it’s high in (plant) protein and as it also has 3 eggs blended into it it’s pretty much choc-full of protein. The fat in it is from again the almonds, eggs and also the bananas, all three are sources of good fat.

If you are going to give it a go, it goes best with black tea.

Ground almonds, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, very ripe bananas, whole oranges, eggs and frozen raspberries. (and some honey was also added)

Makes 9″ cake

  • 200g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch finely ground salt
  • 6 over-ripe bananas
  • 2 whole organic oranges, preferably thin skinned
  • 125g frozen raspberries
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 2 generous dessertspoons runny honey
  • desiccated coconut to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Mix the ground almonds, salt and baking soda well together in a bowl.
  3. Mash up the bananas with a fork.
  4. Wash the oranges in water and then rub dry vigorously with a kitchen towel (best if it is coarse). Cut of the top and bottom of the oranges and discard. Then, still unpeeled, chop up into slices and remove any pips. Put in a blender and blend to a close to a puree as you can get.
  5. Add the mashed bananas into the blender and blend once again.
  6. Remove 5/6 of the banana-orange puree and put aside. Blend in the frozen raspberries with the remaining 1/6. Take this out and put aside.
  7. Add the banana-orange puree back into the blender, turn it on and add the eggs one by one into the mix through the opening in the top.
  8. Add in the honey and the cinnamon and blend again.
  9. Pour this mixture into the almond mix and mix in well. Stir in sloppily the raspberry mix.
  10. Place this mixture in a 9″ lined cake tin and bake for about an hour or until it is slightly firm to the touch.
  11. Allow to cool completely,  turn out on a plate and sprinkle over some of the coconut.
Banana-orange puree and some frozen raspberries
Take out 5/6 of the banana-orange puree from the blender.
Raspberry, orange & banana puree
Blend the raspberries in with 1/6 of the orange-banana puree.
add the eggs
Take the raspberry-orange-banana puree out of the blender. Add back in the orange-banana puree and blend in the eggs.
add cinnamon
Add a generous amount of cinnamon.
adding a spoon of honey
The bananas were sweet but not sweet enough to overcome the bitterness of the orange peel so I added a couple of dessertspoons of runny honey.
cake pre-bake
Cake ready to go into the oven…
cake cooling off
I should have lined the tin with greasing paper. Whenever this happens I find it best to allow the cake to cool completely before attempting to take it out.
a slice of whole orange cake with black tea
A slice of whole orange cake; not good enough for company – but lovely all the same.