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Tunisian Orange Cake

4.34 from 12 votes

Why not dive into a little bit of North African flavours with this gluten free almond and orange cake. This Tunisian Orange Cake is not only fabulous, it’s gluten free and a whole lot easier than it looks. Surprise your family or friends with this special cake sometime soon!

Close up of a Tunisian Orange Cake.
Tunisian Orange Cake

If you are familiar with Middle Eastern or Moroccan and North African desserts you will be well aware they are quite different to the type us North American’s are used to making.  Generally much denser and quite often sticky and generally very moist.  Not to mention, full of flavour and delicious! This cake, much like the Citrus and Pistachio Cake is a complete treat!

What Makes This Tunisian Orange Cake Great

  • Fantastic flavour – this cake is bursting with a wonderful citrus flavour
  • Gluten free – this cake doens’t use any flour which makes it naturally gluten free. Instead almond meal is used to create the cake.
  • Moist texture – because of the oil, ground almonds and a syrup poured over the top, this is a super moist cake.
  • Easy to make – despite the appearance of this cake, it comes together quite quickly and is easy to make.
  • Keeps moist for days – because of the ingredients in this cake, it stays moister for long than most other cakes that would be make with butter and flour.
Tunisian Orange and Almond Cake on a tray.
Tunisian Orange Cake

Ingredients to Make This Tunisian Orange And Almond Cake

  • For the cake:
    • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
    • 1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
    • 4 Eggs
    • Zest of 1 orange
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 3/4 Cup caster sugar
    • 1 1/2 Teaspoons cinnamon
    • 3/4 Cup sunflower oil
  • For the syrup:
    • Juice of 1/2 orange
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • For the glaze and decorating:
    • 1 Cup powdered sugar
    • 3-4 Tablespoons orange juice fresh
    • Zest of one orange
    • 1/4 Cup pistachios roughly chopped

REMEMBER, The full recipe and instructions is always found at the end of the post in the recipe card.

Slice of Orange Almond Cake on a plate.
Tunisian Orange Cake

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven – Grease and flour a 7 inch spring form pan. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients – In a medium bowl combine the almonds, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. Make the egg mixture and finish batter – In a large whisking bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil until foamy. About 2 minutes. Stir in the zest of the orange and lemon. Stir the dry ingredients into the whisked eggs.
  4. Bake the cake – bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool – remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cook.
  6. Make the syrup – in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the juice and sugar bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and let cook and reduce for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
  7. Make the glaze – In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the orange juice and whisk until it’s smooth.
  8. Glaze and decorate cake – Remove the sides from the cake and transfer to a serving plate. Pour the syrup over the cooled cake. Drizzle over the glaze. Top with pistachios and orange zest. Ready to serve.
Tunisian Orange Cake on a silver tray.
Tunisian Orange Cake

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • I used a spring form pan for this recipe but you could use a tin the removable sides without the spring if that is all you have.  You need to use a tin with high sides because as you can see it rises quite high.  So don’t use just a regular cake tin because I think you will be disappointed. 
  • Can use almond flour – I used almond meal in this recipe, but almond flour will work just as well.
A Tunisian Orange Cake cut.
Tunisian Orange Cake

What Flavours go Great With This Cake

  • Coffee – of course, you know it will go great with a cup of coffee.
  • Vanilla Ice cream – serve ice cream on the side
  • Fresh whipped cream – whipped cream is always a great choice
  • Mascarpone cheese – it would be great served with whipped mascarpone cheese
  • Caramel – you can even top it with Homemade Caramel Sauce.
A beautiful decorated Tunisian Orange Cake.
Tunisian Orange Cake

Tunisian Orange Cake with napkins and a cup of coffee.
Tunisian Orange Cake

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a slice of orange and almond cake on a plate.
Tunisian Orange Cake

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Almond Meal and Almond Flour?

Almond meal is made from raw almonds and almond flour is made from peeled almonds. Almond meal is a little coarser in texture.

Can I add pistachios to the cake?

Although pistachios were only used to top this cake, yes you can add them to the batter as well. If doing so, make sure to roughly chop them. As well, toss them in a little almond flour or almond meal before adding them to the batter. This will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom.


Tunisian Orange and Almond Cake on a tray.
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Tunisian Orange Cake

Why not dive into a little bit of North African flavours with this gluten free almond Tunisian Orange Cake!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Moroccan
Keyword: cake, Gluten Free
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 441kcal
Author: Julia Pinney

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 Cups ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 Eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 Cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup sunflower oil

For the syrup:

  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

For the glaze and decorating:

  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons orange juice fresh
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/4 Cup pistachios roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Grease and flour a 7 inch spring form pan. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl combine the almonds, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • In a large whisking bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil until foamy. About 2 minutes. Stir in the zest of the orange and lemon. Stir the dry ingredients into the whisked eggs.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cook.
  • Make the syrup in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the juice and sugar bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and let cook and reduce for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
  • In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the orange juice and whisk until it’s smooth.
  • Remove the sides from the cake and transfer to a serving plate. Pour the syrup over the cooled cake. Drizzle over the glaze. Top with pistachios and orange zest. Ready to serve.

*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.

Nutrition Facts
Tunisian Orange Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 441 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 82mg27%
Sodium 111mg5%
Potassium 83mg2%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 148IU3%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 108mg11%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thanks For Stopping By & Hope To See You Soon!

By on May 13th, 2018
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About Julia Pinney

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22 Comments on “Tunisian Orange Cake”

    • Correct Sam, there is no flour. The ground almonds and eggs work as a binder for a cake. It holds together beautifully and is very moist and flavourful.

      Reply
    • Hi Tania, you can use either almond flour or ground almonds. I made both versions, I hope this helps. I’dd add it in the notes section of the recipe card. Thank you!

      Reply
  1. Hello Julia, this looks fabulous. My smallest spring form pan is 8 in. I am fine with conversion for ingredients, although given that it is a denser cake, do you think this will be ok? I am sure it will be but I have not done this style of cake before and it stands so well in the photos and I don’t want lose that. Just beautiful ❤️ Thank you!

    Reply
    • Yes Jackie, a larger pan is just fine. Just keep and eye on the baking time, as it will bake a bit quicker. As well, the cake won’t be as high. But it should work just fine. I hope this helps.

      Reply
    • Hi Jane, No the cake shouldn’t be oily at all. It does however have a slightly wetter texture than many cakes. It has a lot of eggs, oil and the syrup. What kind of oil did you use?

      Reply
  2. How did you get your cake so tall? I’ve looked at many recipes for this cake ( a lot of them also use gluten free bread crumbs as well as almond flour) and none of them look anywhere near as tall as yours and they seem to call for the 7′ pan as well. Your cake also looks darker overall inside and out. So is the picture shown actually this exact recipe?

    Reply
    • I promise you the picture shown is the actual cake I baked. I have never ever shown images on my site that are not the actual recipe I made. All recipes are made and photographed by me. The only thing I would say about lighting in food photography, is that it honestly doesn’t always accurately display the colours 100% correctly. But I’ve baked this cake many times and it comes out more or less just like the one pictured. I’ve had many readers say it’s not been as tall for them. While others have achieved the same look. I really hope this helps Tina.

      Reply
    • Hello, I have not made muffins with this recipe. I feel it will work, but you will need to decrease the baking time. I hope this helps!

      Reply
    • Yes, you could double the recipe. Baking time would vary but it shouldn’t be too much longer. I would probably add 10 minutes to the baking time and then check it for doneness at that time. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    delicious cake, that we’ve enjoyed even more the day after. The syrup was better settled in the cake and the taste was therefore more balanced.
    Thank you for the recipe

    Reply
  4. Hi Julia!

    Can I make this 2 days ahead. And if so do I add the syrup and glaze than or before serving?

    Do I refrigerate?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Diana, Yes, you can make this a couple of days before. Bake the cake and let it cool until it’s completely cooled down. Store it in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap. I would keep it at room temperature, so no need to refrigerate it. Then glaze it the day you are serving it. Hope this helps.

      Reply

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