I first tried a traditional orange almond cake at a friend’s house. We had just finished a little work out session and I stopped by after. I wasn’t intending to eat as I hate snacking but she gave me a slice of cake and my workout made me so hungry I couldn’t resist. I’m not sure if it was just because I was super hungry but the cake was absolutely delicious! I’m not usually one to be tempted by traditional cakes unless they are chocolate, but this cake was good! I made myself promise that I would try to create a vegan and healthier version that was just as good. This is my attempt.
Taste-wise, I think the cake is pretty much the same. I had to work a little harder to get a deep orange flavour which is why I used my orange essential oil. This is not necessary and can be left out or replaced with a little extra orange zest. Texture-wise I don’t think my cake resembles the traditional one. The traditional orange almond cake I tried was very dense and moist (I loved that) my version turned out a lot fluffier and drier. I’m not sure if that is because I have a tendency to overbake my cakes? I’m always paranoid about serving a cake that is undercooked. I think this is because I have memories of my mum saying that undercooked cakes can be dangerous due to the raw eggs? If that is the case, it should not concern me as all of my desserts are vegan and egg-free. But I also know people that drink raw egg whites so I’m honestly confused over how dangerous it really is. After all these years of blogging, I am still a little afraid of baking. I have come a long long way and a lot of baking does seem quite natural to me now, but I still have so much to learn as well.
I’ve always loved using almond meal in my baking. I think it does a wonderful job of adding extra nutrition to desserts. Almonds are loaded with protein and healthy fats as well as vitamins and minerals like magnesium and vitamin e. When I first started experimenting with healthier baking many years ago (before I became mostly plant-based), I experimented with a lot of paleo baked treats. Paleo treats rely heavily on things like almond meal and coconut flour and so it gave me experience with working with nut flours and I really love them! (except coconut flour, I don’t like that) It is, of course, trickier in plant-based baking as you can’t use eggs, but its still a wonderful addition and a great way to sneak in extra nourishment.
You can make this recipe gluten-free by replacing the spelt flour with gluten-free flour blend or with buckwheat flour but I can not guarantee the results. The cake works wonderfully with a cup of herbal tea. I can’t wait to make this cake again. Our entire family loved it.
|Vegan Refined Sugar-Free Orange Almond Cake|| |
- 1½ cups wholemeal spelt flour
- ¾ cup blanched almond meal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp psyllium husk
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¾ cup almond milk
- Juice 1 orange
- Zest 1 orange
- ⅓ cup grapeseed oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 drops orange essential oil (optional)
- flaked almonds as decoration
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder coconut sugar, and psyllium husk.
- In a separate bowl mix together the almond milk, orange juice, and zest (I just grate my orange peel using a large grater), oil, vinegar, vanilla, maple syrup and orange essential oil (if using). Mix to combine.
- Pour wet mixture over the dry mixture and mix to combine until a cake batter forms.
- Pour batter into a lightly greased cake tin, sprinkle flaked almonds over the top.
- Bake at 170 C for 30 - 40 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool, slice and enjoy.