Gluten-Free Boiled Orange and Lemon Cake with Honey


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

There are many traditional recipes for a boiled orange cake, and this is just my version of the beautiful Middle Eastern-inspired cake: moist, rich and gluten-free. This recipe does take a little longer to cook than other cake recipes, as you need to boil the citrus fruits to make them soft enough to blitz into a puree. If you wish to decorate your cake with a flower, make sure it is safe to use with food and not poisonous.


  • 2 small oranges, scrubbed (but not peeled)
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed (but not peeled)
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 80 g honey
  • 7 eggs
  • 300 g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves


  • food processor
  • 23cm springform cake tin
  • hand-held electric whisk (optional)
  • doily (optional)


Pop the oranges into a large pan, then cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour, then add the lemon and cook for another 45 minutes. Drain off and discard the water, leaving you with just the fruit. Allow the oranges to cool down a little and then roughly chop and put them into a food processor with all of their juices. Blend them to a smooth puree and then set aside until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4) and line the tin with baking parchment. Put the caster sugar, honey and three of the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them together with a hand-held electric whisk until frothy. You can also do this with a hand whisk. When the mixture is frothy, add another two of the eggs with half of the ground almonds, the baking powder, cinnamon and cloves. Mix together using a wooden spoon until well combined. The mixture won’t look great at this stage but soon all will be well. Add the remaining two eggs with the rest of the ground almonds and mix again to combine. Finally, using a spatula, quickly fold in the citrus puree until evenly mixed.

Pour the cake batter into the lined tin and bake for 35–40 minutes, until the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool a little, then place a flat serving plate over the top of the cake tin. Holding both the cake tin and the plate, flip it over so that the cake tin is upside down. Put everything down on the worktop, release the springform tin and then lift it off.

If you wish to create the dusting design, place the doily on the top as a stencil, and then dust it with icing sugar and carefully remove the doily. The icing sugar will soak into the cake within 15 minutes, so do this just before serving. Top with a flower and a scattering of mint leaves, if you fancy it.

To decorate

  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • handful of fresh small mint leaves (optional)
  • flower of your choice (optional)