Gluten-Free Mediterranean Orange and Almond Honey Cake

Joy to world…the holiday-aka baking-season is here! What’s cozier than a crisp December night, the hint of the first snow in the air and the smell of something sweet wafting from the oven? While much of December is often dedicated to cranking out dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies I thought I would kick off my holiday baking with a moist cake dripping with the Mediterranean flavors of honey, orange and almond.

I was first introduced to the concept of honey cake by my husband and friends from India who explained that traditional honey cake is a popular Indian bakery sweet in which a vanilla cake is drenched in a honey syrup and then topped with fruit jam and shredded coconut.

Earlier in the year for the Indian festival of Diwali I searched long and hard for a good honey cake recipe and found an amazing, fool-proof recipe on one of my favorite cooking blogs: Raks Kitchen. If you have not already, you absolutely need to check out this beautiful Indian cooking blog which also specializes in egg-free baking.

For this orange cake I adapted the honey cake recipe from Raks Kitchen, making gluten-free substitutions and swapping the traditional red fruit jam/coconut topping for the more Mediterranean flavors of orange and almond. I hope that this citrusy, honey treat will help to make your holiday sweet! (Hey, did that rhyme?)

Serve as a simple and elegant dessert, as a sweet bite along with an afternoon coffee or tea or even at a holiday brunch-these orange cakes would be perfect to pair with morning mimosas!

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Mediterranean Orange and Almond Honey Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A light vanilla cakes gets a Mediterranean twist with orange jam and almonds, all moistened with a delectably sweet honey syrup
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
For the cake
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum included
  • ¼ cup almond flour (optional-if not, just add another ¼ cup regular gf flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of sweetened, condensed milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the honey syrup
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
For the topping
  • 4-5 TBS orange jam or marmalade
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1.5-2 TBS almond slivers
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C)
  2. In a bowl whisk or sift together the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate mixing bowl mix together the condensed milk, oil, orange juice, egg and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix well
  4. Transfer the batter to a 8x8" square baking pan greased with butter and dusted with flour. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean
  5. Let the cake cool in the baking pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
  6. Meanwhile, prepare honey syrup: boil the water in a small saucepan with the sugar until the sugar dissolves (stirring). Turn off the heat and let the water cool to lukewarm and then stir in the honey
  7. Trim the sides of the cooled cake and level the top if needed. Prick the top all over with a fork to create holes. Using a spoon, pour the honey syrup all over the top of the cake, allowing it to be absorbed. (You will likely have extra honey syrup. One option is that you can pour the extra syrup back into the cake pan and place the cake pieces on top of later for storage and more syrup absorption).
  8. Prepare the jam topping by melting the orange jam/marmalade with the sugar over low heat in a small saucepan until thinned. Spread the thinned, warm jam over the entire top of the cake. Sprinkle with almonds. Cut cake into desired size squares. Store in the fridge-tastes best after some refrigeration . Enjoy!
Notes
* If you would like to make this cake egg-free, omit the egg and increase the vegetable oil to ½ cup

*If your GF flour blend does not contain xanthan gum, simply add 1 tsp of xanthan gum to the dry flour mixture

 

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C)

2. In a bowl whisk or sift together the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate mixing bowl mix together the condensed milk, oil, orange juice, egg and vanilla.


3. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix well

4. Transfer the batter to a 8×8″ square baking pan greased with butter and dusted with flour. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean


5.Let the cake cool in the baking pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Don’t mind the crack in my cake-I accidentally dropped it while inverting onto the wire rack!

6. Meanwhile, prepare honey syrup: boil the water in a small saucepan with the sugar until the sugar dissolves (stirring). Turn off the heat and let the water cool to lukewarm and then stir in the honey


7. Trim the sides of the cooled cake and level the top if needed. Prick the top all over with a fork to create holes. Using a spoon, pour the honey syrup all over the top of the cake, allowing it to be absorbed. (You will likely have extra honey syrup which you can pour back into the cake pan and place the cake pieces on top of later for storage and more syrup absorption).

8. Prepare the jam topping by melting the orange jam/marmalade with the sugar over low heat in a small saucepan until thinned.

Spread the thinned, warm jam over the entire top of the cake. Sprinkle with almonds. Cut cake into desired size squares. Serve room temp. or refrigerated. Enjoy!

2 Replies to “Gluten-Free Mediterranean Orange and Almond Honey Cake

    1. Hi Mahtab! Using a light maple syrup sounds like a great idea-I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure it would work well, as maple syrup and honey are often interchangeable as sugar substitutes. Thank you for a great idea! You and I will have to try and see how it works!
      Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

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