sticky orange and almond cakes {gf}

These little orange and almond sticky cakes and me go back.

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.comWay back. Back to my time in Paris working in and out of a kitchen that I think two people could maybe stand in… if one of those people was a child at least. I’m going to have to dig out some pics of that adorable little kitchen that served me and my two kids well for two years- and quite a few others for whom I catered.

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.comIn real time it was 2004. Only ten years ago. But in terms of life chapters it could have been decades for some. I have the capacity to pick up and go and completely change my life and its circumstances. This can be a blessing and a curse and all in between. And I’m sure my kids wouldn’t disagree. I will say our time in France had a profound impact on broadening our cultural awareness, language skills, and we were flung far from our comfort zones. Spending nine months in a cooking school in an “anglo” class at Ferrandi and three months working in a restaurant gave me a foundation to begin building my cooking skills and the passion to bring cooking and merchandising together. I spent hours walking the streets of Paris, taking notes and creating Chez Chloe first in my head and on paper, then opened the original retail store and cafe in 2006. The cafe, though popular, lasted only two seasons. Not cut out for the stress of food service, I opted to keep going with only the retail. I suspect you might here more of this story as time goes on.

sticky orange almond cake GF @wendyellenthomas.comBut for now – let’s get on with these sticky cakes!

  • 2 whole oranges
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 250g (8oz) sugar
  • 250g (8oz) almond powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder

This is such a simple recipe. It was gluten free before there was ‘gluten free’. I love this orange cake because it is always a no fail recipe, it taste good and travels well. The original recipe comes from a DK book, Canapés, published in 1999 in the UK. I think I picked up this version from the old Librarie Gourmande when it was small and still located in the 6th arrondissement. Published in 2007,  Hors d’Ouervres, the US version is just as good and I always highly recommend it.

In the past, I have topped them with a little greek yogurt or a yogurt/ whipped cream blend. And they are darling with a garnish of pomegranate seeds as is suggested in the book. But for this round, simple sifted powdered sugar was my desire.

{print sticky orange and almond cakes}

You start with boiling 2 oranges till completely cooked- then set them aside to cool. This is the only reason you need to think ahead as they take about 90 minutes to cook and then another 20 minutes to cool.

boiled oranges @wendyellenthomas.comThen split them up and take out the pips

orangesPop them in the cuisinart. Or maybe a blender but honestly I’ve never tried it.

Almond Orange Cake GF-3And chew those puppies up.

Almond Orange Cake GF-4Throw in 6 eggs, 8oz of sugar, 8oz of almond meal and 1 tsp baking soda. That’s it.

Almond Orange Cake GF-5I line my 9×13 glass baking dish with parchment paper

Almond Orange Cake GF-6

and here is how the thin poured batter looks

Almond Orange Cake GF-7Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes. It should be firm to the touch. Pull it out and as soon as you can, gently remove the cake from the baking dish and cool on a rack (with parchment). When cooled you can pull off the paper and cut.I use to follow the book’s suggestion of a jelly roll pan so they would be a little thinner. And I’d use a 1″ round biscuit cutter to turn them into bite size pieces with piped topping and a little pretty somethin somethin.

For this batch – I cut the edges off (and ate them), I like to think for a clean edge but maybe it’s just so I could get my paws on some without actually eating the ‘good’ parts.

sticky orange almond cake GF

After the edges are off, I cut it into little individual square cakes.

I brought these to the concert for the band members of Ollie’s Seattle Tentet, who had their debut concert on Orcas Island a couple weeks ago:)

Almond Orange Cake GF-9

sticky orange almond cake GF

So there you have it friends. Try it you’ll like it. Makes for a nice brunch menu item as well.

Have a great weekend!

sticky orange almond cake GF

57 responses

  1. I am not much of a baker-cake person (much to my daughter’s disappointment!) but these look like such a breeze and gorgeous to boot! Boil the oranges??? I had to look at that twice and now I can’t wait to try it. The house must smell delicious! I’ll find out.


    • I know. It was a odd at first. I too am creeping up to the slippery slope and have ANOTHER birthday April 8- Close to yours I think. Hope it was or will be a good one for you. Feels like there’s about 15 minutes between each year.


  2. I know this cake–and love it. I first encountered a version of it through Nigella Lawson, which strained my credulity when I read about the cooking time for the oranges (now I used a pressure cooker). It’s wonderful, delicious and great even when a little stale. Also, everyone should have a little Paris in their past, even better if at different times of your own (and Paris’s) life. Thanks. Ken


    • I bet you know it. I love Nigella and have two worn out copies of How to be a Domestic Goddess (UK and USA versions). Good thinking with the pressure cooker. And yes a little stale just means more moist.
      And Paris – I’m about ready for a visit. I’ll always love it but I think I’ll keep it to just visits now:)


  3. Ok, I’m floored by the simplicity of this cake. Will be trying it stat! Thanks for the inspiration and the little glimpse into life in Paris. This season I’ve been unusually obsessed with citrus and this hits the spot big time.


  4. There’s a surprise in your recipe! what a great idea use the boiled orange… I’ve tried several orange cakes, but I’ve never used them this way! I’m sure the taste (and the smell too) has to be amazing! I’ll try your recipe, it made me too curious!


  5. Your sticky cakes look wonderful Wendy. It’s nice to know a bit of a back story to Chez Chloe too, I must’ve known about your cafe in Paris before but I don’t remember. It sounds like such a different existence so I definitely understand your writing here. Ten years is so long but yet so short as well. Thanks for giving us a little glimpse into Paris life xx


    • It’s hard to sometimes throw bits and pieces out but it was a huge part of who I am today. We lived in Paris from 2003-2006. It started as a year abroad for me to go to cooking school and my kids to have the experience. We just ended up staying longer and my son finished high school there. I opened up a little cafe back here on Orcas Island. The food part was fun and exciting. The business and managing people a challenge- all of it a great learning experience. cheers x


  6. What an amazing experience that sounded like, Wendy! I’m sure it played a huge role in shaping the people you and your kids have turned out to be. This is such an incredible cake! i don’t think I’ve ever seen whole oranges pureed into cake before! I just got a 9 cup food processor (YAAAAAY!!!) so I should put it to use by baking this beauty.


  7. Wow, it sounds like you had quite an awesome experience living in France! I’m jealous 😉 And this cake is right up my alley- i’ve been craving all things citrus lately. I love how simple it is!!


  8. Usually when I see ‘sticky’ I think of a syrup of some sort. I’m in love with this sticky no-syrup cake!

    I thought I was the only one who trimmed up the cake just so I could taste it. 🙂


  9. It’s inspiring to read about lives that can change like that, you’ve had so many adventures living that way. I’m envious because I’ve discovered that I’m not one to make changes in my life and esp not grand changes of any sort. I used to move apartments around town when I was younger.. but never cities, countries.. so now I’ll have to be content with travel instead! xx Oh.. and these sticky cakes are so unusual, using oranges like that must have made them incredible fragrant and bursting with citrus flavor!


  10. Wendy, in way I’m glad I don’t live next door to you …. and in another way I would love to be your next door neighbor. Because I would be over for a good cup of coffee before this was out from the oven. This is just my kind of cake. This I will make a go on … only have to find the almond flour or powder. And I’m going to eat it all by myself .. that is the best part of it.


    • Thanks! I understand that dilemma- I like a little piece of this orange cake with an earl grey tea for a little mid morning snack:) You could try grinding your own almonds for the almond meal. It’s a little tricky because it has to be finer but not so much that it starts releasing oil turning to nut butter. I think you could figure it out! cheers w


      • Wendy, to be honest I put a poppy seed parfait on the menu many years ago .. no more grinding for me. What an nightmare.
        I’m sure I can find almond flour in a health shop and maybe even my supermarket has it. Have to check it out.
        I just love the whole idea about the cake – not many ingredients, perfect.
        By the way I have done your Ricotta Pancakes – and they came out beautiful.So I can make pancakes now, but only in brunch size. Don’t tempt destiny to much. *smile


  11. Pingback: Spanish Orange and Almond Cake (Gluten Free and Dairy Free): Clandestine Cake Club meet No. 2 | tea and sesame

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