Because Life is a blend of flavours…

Whole Orange Almond Mini Cakes with Orange Syrup

by Sugar et al

I am very excited about this one. Not only because it is sweet post but it uses one of my cannot-do-without fruits. And in its best form ever – WHOLE! Yes,  skin, pulp..everything. No seeds though. If that has already excited you, I have not even come to the more interesting facts. There is no butter, no flour in the cake. So gluten-free, reduced fat, healthy, however you like to call it. For me, not having to zest an orange for an orange cake is brilliant enough so with pleasure I call it a whole orange cake.

The cake is known to be a classic Passover dessert drawing inspiration from Morocco, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. And trust me when I say, the flavour is to die for!

During my childhood, the appearance of oranges marked the onset of winter. One funny memory that I have is dozing off in the school bus on my way home and waking up to the smell of citrus. Almost everybody was biting into an orange. Back then fruits were strictly seasonal. With the way technology has evolved in the present day much of our produce is omnipresent. And we have so many options to choose from. So coming back to the cakes, while all varieties of oranges can be used, Navel being seedless would be the safest bet. If you are using any other variety make sure the seeds are left out. Or the resulting flavour could be bitter.

While the cake is extremely simple to put together with just 5 ingredients, I would like to share a few tips that help in the process. After boiling the orange in water let it cool down in the liquid. That way the boiling time (the boiling time mentioned was 2 hours in the recipe, I boil it for 40-45 mins) can be reduced and the fruit is still softened. In case you do not have seedless oranges at hand, before pureeing make sure you take the seeds out by cutting it open. Grease the cake pan well and dust it with a generous amount of sugar so you get a nice caramelisation on the outside of the cakes. I use a mini bundt pan to get individual portions, you can double the recipe and bake a 8 inch cake instead.

The cake is intensely orangey in flavour, moist and beautifully fragrant. The original recipe did not call for a syrup. But the syrup does give it a touch of sophistication. Serve it warm with some ice cream or whipped cream on the side and you are sure have guests raving about your dessert. Don’t believe me, give it a shot!

Whole Orange Almond Mini Cakes with Orange Syrup (adapted with variation from
1 Orange (I used Navel Orange)
125 g castor sugar plus extra for dusting (a little more than 1/2 cup)
125 g almond meal/ground almonds (about 2/3 cup)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder

Wash the orange and cook in boiling water for 40 mins. Allow the orange to cool in the water before pureeing. This can be done ahead of time. Once cooled, puree the orange in a food processor or using a hand blender.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Butter a mini bundt pan/muffin tin/ramekins and dust it with a little castor sugar. Place the eggs and castor sugar in a mixing bowl and beat well. Stir in the orange puree followed by the almond meal and baking powder. Pour into the bundt pan and dust the top with more castor sugar. Bake for 35-45 mins until the top is golden brown. Drizzle with orange syrup before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Orange Syrup

Juice of 2 Oranges (when short of time, you can use store-bought juice but the sugar will need adjusting as per sweetness)
2 tbsp castor sugar

Bring the ingredients to a boil and let the mixture reduce slowly till it thickens to a syrupy consistency.




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28 Responses to “Whole Orange Almond Mini Cakes with Orange Syrup”

  1. Pavithra says:

    Aha, the first paragraph elevated the dessert to a different level, and the entire process seem easy and the cake looks absolutely delectable!
    Although I didn’t know almond meal ever existed, just googled and figured, HaHa! A very good substitute for regular flour!
    The cake more or less looks like a mini donut to me :). Also I love the syrup consistency & texture – I think you boiled the syrup to the right point!! Love it.

    • Sugar et al says:

      Thanks Pavithra! I realised that many will not be familiar with almond meal after your comment so added a little note (ground almonds)Here it is available in every store but I guess you will need to do some grinding yourself. But you know what, it is worth the effort:-) Thanks for bringing it up.

  2. I am equally excited, how not to because firstly, oranges are my fav and looking at the beautiful outcome, its actually double excitement. Love the flavor and the creative style of capturing the pictures. Really breathtaking.

  3. I absolutely adore oranges, probably my favourite fruit and I love all things made with oranges. I particularly like that this cake is gluten free as I am going GF …again. Looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it.


    • Sugar et al says:

      Glad that you like it Nazneen. Oranges add a fantastic flavour to everything, sweet or savory. I hope you do try it out:-)

  4. Oh these mini cakes sound amazing, love the idea of using the whole citrus. it give so much more flavor.

    • Sugar et al says:

      Thanks Evelyne. I was intrigued by the idea of using whole oranges initially but was so happy with the outcome:-)

  5. so gorgeous! I love mini cakes…and love how you did the citrus flavor of orange! You’re just amazing!

  6. Rita Bose says:

    Wow! These cupcakes look so cute and delicious! I will have to try this out! :)

  7. There’s just something special about oranges, almond meal and sugar – these look delicious! And extra points for using the mini-bundt tin, I get so fed up with the extra cleaning and greasing that mine barely gets any time out of the cupboard!

    • Sugar et al says:

      You said it..they are a mindblowing combination! And I so agree with you about washing up:-) Thank you for stopping by Jas!

  8. Such gorgeous pictures and mouth-watering mini bundt cakes, Sonali!!! I can imagine how wonderful was their citrus aroma in the air and great moist bites…Mmmm!!!

    • Sugar et al says:

      Thank you Denise. Yes, the aroma is the highlight of the cake. I love the scent on my hands too after making these cakes.

  9. Soni says:

    Oh I love oranges and this cake is calling my name!I love that it uses almond flour and is so easy to make!Will be trying it out very soon :) Gorgeous pics too!!

  10. Wizzy says:

    Love, love, love these little cakes and I just happen to have a bunch of golden calamansi that would be perfect with this. This just went to the head of my To- Be- made list!

  11. Sugar et al says:

    Thanks Wizzy! I hope you try it out..they are a favourite at my place:-)

  12. Nilu A says:

    I am already so excited about this cake Sonali.. Will try it soon.. Bookmarked it dear :-)

  13. Dhanish says:

    Wow, this is something awesome Sonali. Look at the color. Oh my god! What a lovely outcome. I thought the process was quite difficult, but it seems very easy with no effort. :) Definitely want to give a try to this golden orange cake.

  14. Sugar et al says:

    It is really a simple process with great returns. I love the colour too. Thanks Dhanish:-)

  15. [...] an amazing texture to the cakes. Rich but not heavy. Last time I paired it with orange to make a gluten-free treat but this time I wanted a recipe that would also use up the flaked almonds lying in my cupboard. [...]

  16. CCU says:

    Your photos are so beautiful my friend, these mini cakes look bursting with flavour :D


  17. […] they always taste delicious and the appeal to most people. And they smell amazing too. Remember my Gluten Free Whole Orange Almond Mini Cakes…I’ve made it a number of times and I wanted to experiment with spice this […]

  18. […] Sugar et al: Whole Orange Almond Mini Cakes with Orange Syrup […]

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