Low Carb Orange and Almond Cake

Low Carb Orange and Almond Cake

Low Carb Orange and Almond Cake

Delicious Low Carb Orange and Almond Cake is a classic that has been around for many years. Celiacs would be very familiar with this cake, as it used to be one of the only gluten free cakes available to purchase when eating out. Tried and tested over and over again, this recipe goes one step further, and removes any added sugars. Serve to diabetics or low carb, low sugar or Keto advocates, and they are going to love it. Inspiration was by Belinda Jeffrey’s lovely recipe for an Orange and Almond Cake.

Orange, vanilla and almond flavors go together beautifully in this recipe, and it’s also a simple recipe to make. 6 eggs are used to make this batter, so it is quite wet but be assured that it will come together nicely once baked. Be sure to use a large enough pan, as the recipe makes quite a lot of batter. Try adding some additional texture to this recipe by adding ¼ cup of slivered almonds or chopped macadamia nuts.

Boiling Oranges and Using them in a Cake Recipe

Boiling the oranges for this recipe is easy if you don’t already have some in your freezer. When on the stove, keep an eye on the water level in your pan, as the water can evaporate quite quickly. Frozen boiled oranges are fairly prolific in my house, so generally I just have to defrost some oranges to make this cake.

Defrost frozen oranges by leaving overnight in the fridge or for a few hours on the bench, before use. Never throw out oranges (or mandarins) that are past their use by date. Boil them up in batches before freezing them to use in recipes like this one. Save on both time and energy bills, plus you can create a cake like this in a much shorter amount of time.

Whole Oranges Do Not Cause This Recipe To Be Bitter

Adding whole oranges, pips and all, in this recipe won’t make the cake taste bitter at all. Baking with whole oranges in this type of cake is actually extremely common. Some of the most popular and best tasting orange and almond cakes in the world, are made using boiled oranges. Avoid using thick skinned oranges in this recipe as they have more pith in them. Generally if you use old oranges, the skin tends to be thin anyway, so it is never an issue. If your batter tastes bitter then you haven’t used enough sweetener.

Adding The Syrup

Pouring the syrup over the cake is optional to this recipe, but it tastes truly amazing. Try it first as per the the recipe, before you make any alterations. Should you find the syrup a little tart for your liking, try using half a lemon with the same amount of sweetener. Alternatively you can omit the syrup.

Low carb orange and almond cake
Boil old oranges in bulk and freeze so they are ready to make a Low Carb Orange and Almond Cake
Using Sweetener in this Recipe

Due to the fact that I am trying to reduce my sugar intake and wean off sweet foods, I don’t use a lot of sweetener in my recipes. Should you be concerned about how sweet this cake will be, please taste the batter first before you make any adjustments. Remember also that this recipe uses a monkfruit and erythritol blend. Sweeteners blended with erythritol are more like a regular sugar when you use it, as is Erythriol on it’s own. Some stevia and monkfruit powders are also really quite concentrated in sweetness, so make sure you select the right sweetener for the recipe.

I wouldn’t recommend using stevia or monkfruit in their purer forms as you need the bulk of the sweetener to add bulk to the recipe. I find some of the sweeteners I’ve sourced can be quite sweet and in that case I only use 2 tablespoons of sweetener.

Some readers have made this recipe using only 2 tablespoons of a sweetener, and think that the oranges have made the cake taste bitter. In fact, what they have done is not used enough sweetener because they have made an uncalculated switch. If you use a sweetener that has had erythritol and the ratio is close to 1:1 then make sure you increase the amount of sweetener used.Of course the cake isn’t going to taste right if it isn’t sweet enough. Rest assured, this cake does not taste bitter at all when made correctly with the right amount of selected sweetener or the right sweetener.

To Serve

Serve this cake, topped with some fresh plain Greek yogurt, whipped cream or mascarpone, and it tastes divine. Frost it with some Low Carb Cream Cheese Frosting as an alternative to the syrup.

Make sure you checkout this other lovely low carb sugar free syrup cake, for a Low Carb Lemon Syrup Cake. There is also a lovely Sugar Free Mandarin and Macadamia Cake as well. All three of these citrus cakes are lovely, and are pretty much no fail recipes. All feature the option of adding a citrus syrup, which I absolutely love, and think you will as well.

There’s plenty of great low carb cake recipes on this website. Just do a search for cake in the search bar and they will all come up. They include recipes for-
Low Carb Dark Chocolate and Zucchini Cake
Low Carb Carrot Cake
Low Carb Chocolate Fudge Cake
Low Carb Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Healthy Banana Bread
Low Carb Banana Loaf-a denser loaf with lots of nuts and seeds
Healthy Pumpkin Bread

Simply delicious!

Low Carb Orange and Almond Cake

Low Carb Orange and Almond Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Baking, Cakes, Muffins and Sweets, Dessert
Cuisine: Low Carb
Keywords: cake, diabetic-recipe, flourless-cake, gluten-free, Keto, lchf, low-carb, orange
Servings: 20 serves


  • 2 oranges thin skinned boiled for 50-60 minutes or thawed frozen boiled oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups almond meal/almond flour
  • ½ cup Monkfruit Blend or alternate sweetener that is approximately 1:1. If using a concentrated stevia powder or sweetener then only 2 tablespoons is required.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract I like to use this brand


Make the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 155 C/310 F fan forced and grease and line a large 9" baking pan.
  • Puree the oranges skin and all until smooth and set aside. Whisk the eggs on high for around 6 minutes till light and fluffy.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients to ensure they are well combined, particularly the baking powder.
  • Add the orange puree, vanilla essence and dry ingredients to the eggs.
  • Mix together very gently with a spatula, folding until ingredients have combined and taking care not to over mix. Pour into a lined and prepared large 9 inch (large) round baking pan.
  • Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until cooked in the centre of cake. Take care not to overcook.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  • You can serve the cake as it is or you can add a citrus syrup topping whilst cooling in the pan.

Citrus Syrup Topping

  • 2 tablespoons powdered low carb sweetener of choice to the juice of 1 large lemon.  Add the juice of an extra lemon and or/a little more sweetener if you would like this a little more tart.. Mix the lemon and sweetener together until combined. Poke holes with a skewer all over the top of the cake after it has cooled for 10 minutes in the pan. Spoon the syrup over the cake while still warm. Allow the cake to cool in the pan..

Serving Suggestions

  • Whether you added the syrup or not, this cake tastes delicious served with whipped cream, mascarpone or Greek yogurt.
  • Make up some additional syrup which can be poured onto individual servings of cake to taste.
  • Try topped with some Low Carb Cream Cheese Frosting as an alternative.

Recipe Notes

Using Whole Oranges in the Recipe-Adding whole boiled pureed oranges does not impart any bitterness at all to this cake. The whole oranges are pureed so there is no evidence at all of skin or pips and you cannot taste them. You may need to top up the water when boiling the oranges so the pan doesn't go dry
Using Sweeteners- I minimize the amount of sweetener used in recipes to reduce my sweet tooth, so you may wish to increase the amount to your taste, particularly in the actual cake recipe and especially if you don't add syrup to the cake at the end. Taste the batter after you have mixed it and it will give you an idea of whether it will be sweet enough for you. 
For best results use the 1/2 cup of a 1:1 (or similar) sweetener to add bulk to the recipe. Do not use a monkfruit or stevia concentrated powder as it will not add bulk to the recipe. 
This recipe is ideal for freezing.

Nutritional Information

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.2g | Protein: 4.3g | Fat: 8.3g | Fiber: 1.4g
Note that we calculate our own nutritional values so they may not be precise. Calculate your own if desired. Carb values exclude sugar alcohols such as Erythritol, as they generally have no impact on blood sugar levels. 50% of the carbs from Xylitol is added to nutritional values. This is consistent with industry practice.
If you liked this recipe, let us know what you think!Mention @alowcarblowsugarlifestyle or tag #ketohh
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64 thoughts on “Low Carb Orange and Almond Cake”

    1. It’s really easy. I often boil them in bulk for about 1/2 hour covered in water. Use them or freeze them whole to use at a later date. It’s a great way to use old oranges.

  1. I want to try it and have a couple of questions for you, how thick is the orange purée and how many servings is this?

    1. The puree is reasonably thick, I wouldn’t worry about it though as long as you use the number specified in the recipe. Regarding serves, it is dependant on how large you slice it. I generally get 16-20 pieces.

  2. Does the lemon syrup topping make the cake tart? Could I use orange juice instead?

    1. The cake is not tart. Perhaps try it with 1/2 lemon and a little stevia to see how you like it. It adds a contrast to the flavor that you wouldn’t get with orange juice. You can of course make it without the syrup as well. I personally love the additional moisture gained by adding syrup to cakes like this as well.

    1. Hi Sandra. You can use almond meal or almond flour wherever one is specified in all of my recipes.

    1. Hi Mable. I use powdered stevia that is blended with erythritol, it’s called Stevia Organics by Sugarless. I find that 2 Tablespoons is enough but if you want to add more you can. I try not to make my cakes too sweet as I am trying to reduce craving sweet things. I wouldn’t add too much especially if you make the syrup to pour on top of the cake as well.

  3. Hi, does the skin of the orange make the cake slightly bitter? Considering we are boiling the orange with the skin and making a purée.

    1. Hi Sana. A good question. Adding the skin does not impact on the taste of the cake at all surprisingly. You would never guess though as orange skin on it’s own is bitter. Try making the cake and let me know what you think. This is probably my most popular recipe so it is definitely not bitter. Karen

  4. Ok great thanks! And the seeds will also lose their bitterness? Just making it for the kids so want to make sure it’s not too strong for them.

    1. Sana, I think that boiling the whole oranges must reduce the bitterness of the pips and the skin. Puree the oranges well and you won’t even see any evidence of pips or the skin. This is a great healthy option for children.

  5. How many servings does this cake serve? Also I think adding some chopped up cranberries into the batter will taste awesome!

    1. Hi Darlene
      I have updated the recipe now so it is measured in cups. It would be 2 and a half cups.

    1. It serves 20, although how big you slice each piece is going to determine how many pieces you will get from it. Hope this helps.

  6. Thanks for that Kathy. I need a copy writer to check these things for me so glad you pointed it out.

  7. Made this last night as a breakfast cake. The good: the semi-genoise method makes for a much lighter almond flour cake that is moist and has a nice texture. The bad: Next time, I will either process only the zest and flesh of the oranges or add at least double the amount of sweetener. Using the whole orange leaves a bitterness that was too pronounced for my taste. A cardamom whipped cream helped. The recipe could also use a little salt. That being said, I will be making this again with the aforementioned tweaks. Best almond cake recipe I’ve tried.

    1. Hi Vicki. I’m glad you got around to making this cake. I think that perhaps you used a sweetener that isn’t as strong as the mix of stevia and erythritiol that I have specified in the recipe. Eg, if you used pure Erythritol, 2 Tablespoons will not sweeten this cake enough as it replaces sugar 1 on 1, where as the mix I use is a lot sweeter so I find 2 Tablespoons is enough. You could increase the specified sweetener by 1 or 2 Tablespoons but I would try the batter after it has been made first, as recommended in the recipe first, before adding any. It’s interesting that you found it bitter (and I think the sweetener was the issue), as it is not a comment I have ever heard from people who have made this cake and it’s my most popular recipe. I suggest that perhaps you could try it with a bit more sweetener in it or the sweetener I specified, as you suggested, as I do minimalize the amount of sweetener that I use in all of my cake recipes and recipes in general. I would perhaps try this first before changing the recipe and omitting the skin. If you want to make the cake that you baked a little sweeter now, perhaps add some more syrup to the top of it. The syrup will soak through to the cake. I love the sound of serving it with cardamom cream. May I also suggest that if you like this recipe, you try my Sugar Free Mandarin and Macadamia Cake, which is quite a similar recipe but very different in taste. It’s divine!
      Note also that I will alter the recipe so that measurements are there for Erythritol as well.
      Thanks Karen

  8. Karen,
    If I have Clementines how many would you substitute for the 2 oranges?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Linda
      I would probably use about 4 clementines. You could also have a look at my recipe for a Mandarin and Macadamia Cake which is very similar to this one and equally delicious. Just do a search in the search bar on my blog.

  9. Hi Linda,

    Made this cake this evening, it’s fab. I made a bit of a mistake though set the oven to wrong temperature, I struggle with conversion here in UK so accidently set oven on gas mark 6 but found after 40 minutes cake was cooked to perfection. Slightly crispy on top which gave a nice texture to the cake.

    Thank you so much for sharing.


  10. Hello Karen, my question is regarding the baking pan. I have ceramic dishes that are approximately 3 inches deep. Will this work for baking this cake? Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Hi Martha,
      I’ve never baked in ceramic dish but I’m sure it will be fine, and 3 inches should be fine as long as the dish is large enough to hold the batter. I would perhaps grease and line the pan with baking paper if you can. How big is the dish? I would also think that it won’t cook as quickly as the ceramic will take longer to heat up. Just keep an eye on cooking times, as you may have to extend it. This won’t impact on the cake though, so it will be fine. I wouldn’t increase the temperature though.
      This recipe does make quite a bit of batter. You could also divide the batter into 2 if the size of pan will be an issue.

  11. 5 stars
    A really easy recipe to make and tastes amazing. I love the citrus syrup. I never realised that you could use whole oranges in a cake. Thanks

    1. I microwave my oranges until soft, rather than boil them. I pierce the skin with a sharp knife and cook them in a covered bowl.

  12. 4 stars
    Topped with stewed plums blended down with 2oz of skinny syrup. This was for a family party held today.

  13. Tastes yummy
    My net carbs worked out
    3.6 per serve with ingredients/size/brand I used.
    Very happy with results ??

    1. Thanks for taking the time to write a review Liz.
      You will have to try the Mandarin and Macadamia Cake next- its a little bit similar to this recipe. It’s probably my favorite cake recipe. I look forward to hearing what you think of the recipe if you find the time to make it.

  14. 5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous recipe. Perfect for afternoon tea with family. No one guessed it was a keto cake.

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely feedback Felicity. It’s one of the most requested cakes in my house and I love how it caters for many dietary restrictions.
      Karen x

  15. 4 stars
    I’ve tried the recipe now with navel oranges, mix of a lemon and 2 mandarins and 3 blood oranges. All delicious. I have found I just like lemon (or lime) juice for glaze. I love the intense citrus fragrance of the cake.

  16. Hi there Karen
    I’m using Natvia, is that a good match for your sweetener (in terms of matching qty) do you think? Thanks!

    1. Absolutely Lisa. It’s a stevia erythritol blend so it is a similar product. Make sure you taste the batter once you’ve added it in case it doesn’t suit your taste, as you can vary the amount.
      Happy baking.

  17. 5 stars
    I have been on an orange almond cake kick recently, and this is the easiest recipe for me. Because of the bitterness concerns, after I boiled the oranges, I cut a small circle off the navel and the stem ends where the skin is thickest. It wasn’t bitter at all, but maybe that would have been true anyway. I only had 5 eggs, so that’s what I used. Lakanto Monkfruit was the sweetener. My 9×9 pan yielded 16 nice sized portions. I did use the syrup, but on the side, and everyone who tasted it loved it. This recipe is a real keeper! Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks so much Danielle. It’s my go to recipe when I have guests come over and I love that I can use any frozen boiled oranges I have in the fridge. You might want to check out the mandarin recipe as well. If you love this recipe you will enjoy that one as well.

  18. 5 stars
    Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

  19. Would monkfruit work in this recipe? I have the golden one and the white one. I’m fairly new to keto and still unsure about the sweetness.

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