Delicious Christmas Orange Cake

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This Christmas orange cake is moist, flavorful and the perfect festive dessert to celebrate the holiday season. If you’re looking for a gluten free, dairy free Christmas dessert, this is it! Naturally gluten and dairy free, this light cake is made with fresh whole oranges, is subtly sweet and has tons of citrus flavor. The cake recipe also makes a festive new years and otherwise celebratory dessert.

Christmas season brings out the fanciness in all of us. All of a sudden, the house is immaculately clean, twinkling lights dance from every corner and special recipes make their debut. This orange cake recipe is definitely one of those special occasion type desserts. While you can just as easily bake this cake at any time of the year, the festive touches is what makes this recipe the perfect Christmas cake. 

Why You Will Love the Recipe

Gluten and Dairy Free: This recipe is naturally gluten and dairy free as is. No modifications are needed. 

No artificial flavors: While artificial orange flavor is used in other recipes, the orange flavor in this recipe is 100% natural. Yay for vitamin C! 

Intense orange flavor: If you like oranges, then you’ll appreciate the recipe. This is the best cake for orange lovers. 

Ingredients in Christmas Orange Cake

Wet Ingredients

eggs: You need six separated eggs for this recipe. The egg whites are what make the cake light and fluffy. It also gives it lift so no need for baking powder. 

oranges: Instead, of fresh orange juice, whole oranges are used. Yep, this includes the orange peel. 

honey: A touch more sweetness. 

coconut oil spray: for pan

Dry Ingredients

almond flour: super fine almond flour is highly recommended and naturally makes this cake gluten free. 

sugar: some white sugar is important if you’re going to get this cake just right. Otherwise, you’ll risk a bitter cake. 

salt: enhances the flavor of the other ingredients. 

flaked almonds and lemon rind: use for decoration 

Syrup

  • fresh lemon juice
  • cardamon 
  • sugar 

Tools Needed

If this will be your first time baking a cake, this is probably not the recipe to make. But, if you like baking and this is not your first rodeo, round up your supplies and let’s bake this cake. 

You’ll Need:

  • electric stand mixer  (An electric mixer is a necessity to whip the eggs whites to stiff peaks.)
  • spring form pan  (You can use another type of pan if you like. The spring form pan just makes removal easy.)
  • large vegetable peeler  (Needed for those lemon rinds cutouts that you’ll make.)
  • food processor (An easier way to chop the oranges.)
  • small saucepan 
  • large mixing bowl 
  • rubber spatulas
  • cake stand  (A beautiful way to display a beautiful cake).

Recipe Variations

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Add one cup of fresh cranberries or one cup leftover cranberry sauce to make this an orange cranberry cake. 

Orange Bundt Cake

Bundt cakes are a feast for the eyes and make a wonderful presentation especially around Christmas time. If you plan to use a Bundt pan, you’ll need to bake the cake a little more…anywhere from 50-65 minutes. Please test for yourself and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

​Orange Spice Cake

Spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and nutmeg make a tasty addition to this holiday cake. Start with 1 tsp each of cinnamon and cardamon powder. A smaller amount of nutmeg can also be added. 

How to Make the Best Christmas Orange Cake

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Step 2: Using a sharp peeler, peel the oranges and set aside. 

Step 3: Make sure to just remove the outer skin, not the white part or pith. Using a sharp knife you will have to remove the pith separately as to not make the cake bitter. 

Step 4: Once the pith has been removed, cut the oranges into chunks-being sure to remove any seeds. 

Step 5: Pulse the oranges into a pulp using a food processor. 

Step 6: Separate eggs yolks from the egg whites in a separate large bowl. 

Step 7: Add honey and sugar to egg yolks and whisk right away to avoid changing the texture of the eggs yolks.

Step 8: Whisk until the egg yolks are pale, fluffy and the sugar is completely dissolved. 

Step 9: Fold in almond flour. 

Step 10: Now add orange puree and salt. 

Step 11: Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric mixer. 

Step 12: Slowly fold an old a large spoonful of the egg whites into the almond and egg white mixture. 

Step 13: Once the egg whites are mixed, add the rest of the egg white mixture in two more equal increments. 

Step 14: Be sure to fold in the eggs thoroughly so that the mixture is even in color and the mixture doesn’t taste eggy. 

Step 15: Spray pan with coconut oil spray. 

Step 16: Pour into cake tin and level the cake batter with a rubber spatula.

Step 17: Arrange flaked almonds into a Christmas tree shape on the surface cake. (Tip: You can draw a circle on a piece of parchment paper the same size of the cake tin to accurately account for the number of almonds you will need, ahead of time). 

Step 18: Place in a preheated oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, checking in at the 45 minute mark. 

Step 19: Test doneness with a wooden skewer. 

Step 18: Remove the oven and allow to cool thoroughly before adding any decorations to the top of the cake.

How to Decorate the Top of the Cake

There are so many ways to decorate this cake. To make things extra festive, I created some stars using lemon zest. They are pretty easy to make. All you need is a vegetable peeler and a large lemon. Gently peel the outside layer of the lemon only (at least 1/2 inch think). Press out using small star cookie cutters. After cutting the lemon shapes, place in a 300 degree F oven for up to five minutes. Scatter with powdered sugar.

Other Ideas to Top The Cake 

  • fresh orange slices 
  • candied orange 
  • simple spice syrup (directions follow below) 
  • lemon rind cutout shapes (directions follow below) 

How to Make Spice Simple Syrup

  • 2 oranges 
  • 1/2 lemon (juice -reserve peel for lemon rind stars) 
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon (ground)
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Directions

  1. Squeeze juice of oranges and 1/2 lemon into pan. 
  2. Add sugar. 
  3. Add ground cardamon and mix until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Heat on medium-low for 20 minutes.

How to Make Lemon Rind Stars for the Top of this Beautiful Cake

  1. Using a cookie cutter press into peeled lemon rind to make the stars. 
  2. Put in the oven on low heat  (about 300 degree F for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Watch carefully and remove before they burn or curl. 
  4. Now you have a beautiful holiday twist.

How to Store

This cake is quite moist. So store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. May also be stored in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.

Yield: 6-8

Christmas Orange Cake

Christmas Orange Cake

This Christmas orange cake is moist, flavorful and the perfect festive dessert to celebrate the holiday season. If you're looking for a gluten free dairy free Christmas dessert, this is it!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large oranges
  • 6 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • thinly sliced almonds (for decoration)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel the oranges.
  3. Make sure sure to just remove the outer skin, not the white part or pith. Using a sharp knife you will have to remove the pith separately as to not make the cake bitter. 
  4. Once the pith has been removed, cut the oranges into chunks-being sure to remove any seeds. 
  5. Pulse the oranges into a pulp using a food processor. 
  6. Separate eggs yolks from the egg whites in a separate large bowl. 
  7. Add honey and sugar to egg yolks and whisk right to avoid changing the texture of the eggs yolks.
  8. Whisk Whisk the egg yolks are pale, fluffy and the sugar is completely dissolved. 
  9. Fold in almond flour.
  10. Add the orange puree and salt.
  11. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks using an electric mixer. 
  12. Slowly fold an old a large spoonful of the egg whites into the almond and egg white mixture. 
  13. Once the egg whites are mixed add the rest of the egg white mixture in two more equal increments. 
  14. Be sure to fold in the eggs thoroughly so that the mixture is even in color and the mixture doesn't taste eggy. 
  15. Spray pan with coconut oil spray
  16. Pour into cake tin and level the cake batter with a rubber spatula
  17. Arrange flaked almonds into a Christmas tree shape on the surface cake. (Tip: You can draw a circle on a piece of parchment paper the same size of the cake tin to
    accurately account for the number of almonds you will need, ahead of time). 
  18. Place in a preheated oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, checking in at the 45 minute mark. 
  19. Test for doneness with a wooden skewer.
  20. Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly
    before adding any decorations to the top of the cake.













Notes

Optional cardamon syrup may br drizzled over cake after baking.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 288Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 140mgSodium 127mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 4gSugar 22gProtein 11g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn't always accurate.

Other Gluten Free Dairy Free Christmas Desserts

Healthy Christmas Morning Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Cookies

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