Guest Post 3: A craving for flourless orange, coconut and almond cake

orange coconut almond cake

I meet many awesome people in my foodly travels, and am so fortunate to have met the talented Adrianne, of bird.STUDIOS, on Twitter and in real life.

Adrianne is an inspirational foodie/designer who has a mainly raw diet and she can certainly teach me a thing or three about food and photography – check out the positively edible photos in this post for starters!

I hope you enjoy her post and her recipe (#111), the delightful result of which I have enjoyed first hand. Thank you for sharing this delicious dessert with us, Adrianne!

H 🙂

A craving for flourless orange, coconut and almond cake.
By guest blogger, Adrianne Barba

Up the road at my local cafe, I often peer through the glass cabinet at my favourite flourless orange cake – it looks dense and moist, but light and fresh at the same time. I was convinced I could replicate this as a raw, vegan version that could be just as delicious and irresistible (minus the processed flour, sugar, dairy, eggs and cooking)! Being a designer, I love my food to look beautiful as well as taste amazing, so it had to look the part too.

The recipe calls for almond meal. I like to make this myself by soaking and peeling almonds, letting them dry out a bit overnight and then blitzing them the the food processor, but you can use ready-ground almonds to save time. I love this cake for it’s fresh, citrus flavour. It seems like a lot of zest to put in, but trust me and go with it! It’s necessary to get the flavours balanced – too little zest and the cake becomes too sweet… Almonds and coconut have a natural sweetness to them already.

I like to serve this cake for morning tea, topped with tart raspberries and a drizzle of agave and orange blossom water. You can also pair it with a dollop of cashew creme (blend together a cup of soaked-overnight cashews, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a dash of agave syrup until smooth and fluffy) and orange segments to create a more substantial dessert. Divine.

2 cups almond meal
7 tbsp orange zest – grated from orange skin
1½ cups dried, shredded coconut
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp orange blossom water
1/3 cup light agave nectar
1/3 cup coconut butter/oil

To serve
2 tbsp extra coconut
¼ cup of raspberries
2 tbsp orange blossom water stirred through 1 tbsp of agave nectar

Grease a small, square cake tin or mold with coconut oil – you may want to also line your tin with glad wrap or baking paper for ease in unmolding. Add the almond meal, orange zest, coconut & cinnamon to a food processor and process until well combined. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the lime juice, orange juice, orange blossom water, agave nectar and coconut oil until mixture is well combined and sticks together. Press the mixture into the cake tin down firmly so it compresses well. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

To serve, unmold cake and slice into servings; top with coconut. Place a few raspberries on each, and drizzle agave and orange blossom water just before eating.

the lovely adrianne

A big thanks to Hannah, for letting me guest post on her lovely blog! See more of my food styling and photos on my website here:


17 Comments Add yours

  1. Maureen says:

    This looks and sounds divine as well as super healthy! Now if I can just familiarise myself with a couple of the ingredients then I am sure that I will put in the effort to give it a go (I’m not that big in the kitchen but I do like food!)… where would I find orange blossom water and agave nectar? the supermarket? maybe somewhere like the Herdsman growers market? or some specialty store. They sound like great ingredients for me to get to know 😉

  2. Adrianne says:

    Good question, Maureen. And thanks for your kind words! I get my orange blossom water from Fresh Provisions, and most gourmet or ethnic food stores have it. Agave nectar can be found in most health food or organic food stores. Definitely give the cake a go, it’s super easy 🙂

  3. Maureen says:

    Thanks for the info, will let you know when I have tried it… am taking a bit of a break this coming week so I hope make time for things like this. Looks like we’ll be having dessert one day this week, the kids will be happy.

  4. I almost got scared off, thinking this may contain evil almond extract, but bravely read on and was rewarded with the fact that it not only contains decidedly un-evil almond meal but looks absolutely delicious. It also intrigues me, as all raw foods tend to, and finally it makes me hungry. Quite a rollercoaster of emotions, it’s a wonder it hasn’t turned me to drink.

  5. Hannah says:

    Thank you to Maureen for your thoughtful comments, and to Adrianne for fielding Maureen’s enquiries!

    Conor – a pleasure as always 🙂 This really is a delicious & guilt-free dessert so I hope you can weather the emotional rollercoaster for long enough to give it a go!

    H 🙂

  6. Jasmine English says:

    OMG!!!!!! I’ve been SEARCHING for a recipe like this… a raw version of my favourite cake. Awesome! I kept finding ones in the US made with jicama. This is perfect.. Thanks so much for posting, can’t wait to try!!! Raw food enthusiast, Jasmine 🙂

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jasmine – and I hope you enjoy 🙂 Adrianne is one clever lady!

      H 🙂

  7. Aileen Sforcina says:

    Thank you Adrianne. This looks delicious. I’m discovering more and more the delights of raw foods – definitely the way to go for optimum health.
    I do quite a lot of work as a voluntary lifestyle educator. May I have your permission to use your recipe at public demonstrations? Credits to yourself of course.

    1. Adrianne says:

      Hi Aileen

      Of course you can; I’m flattered!


      1. Cindy says:

        I tried the cake. I think i did something wrong. i had slivered almonds. I processed them to very tiny chunks…what i thought was “meal” I used Amber agave, and the coconut butter/oil that i used was spectrum refined organic coconut oil (it didn’t say butter)

        Did i use the right ingredients? (of course i put in all others)

        When using the food processor to add liquids.. should i have used the dough blade or the cutting one. I tried the dough one but not much was happening, so i switched back to the cutting one.

        Mine looks a lot thinner. (i put it in an 8″ square pan) … brown .. not the pretty orange, and a bit bigger chunks.. not so light…
        Any ideas… yours just looks sooo good.

  8. Cindy says:

    sorry gave my other email.. i got married.. this is the right one..

    1. Adrianne says:

      hi Cindy, sorry to hear you’ve had some problems with the cake recipe.

      i had slivered almonds. I processed them to very tiny chunks…what i thought was “meal”
      This should still work, the texture of the cake though won’t be as fine as it would if you used almond meal – to get the smoothness there should be no large chunks and the meal should be the texture of flour. Maybe try sifting it and reprocessing the larger chunks that get left behind to get it smaller? Or even trying with ready-made fine almond meal?

      I used Amber agave, and the coconut butter/oil that i used was spectrum refined organic coconut oil (it didn’t say butter). Did i use the right ingredients? (of course i put in all others)

      As far as I know that should all be fine – I know different manufacturers use the name coconut oil or coconut butter, but it’s essentially the same thing (in hot weather it will be liquid, in cooler weather or when refridgerated it will solidify into a ‘butter’.

      When using the food processor to add liquids.. should i have used the dough blade or the cutting one.
      Definitely the cutting ‘S’ blade as the dough blade won’t have the power to cut through the ingredients and I’m guessing is only suited to traditional dough ingredients like wheat flour etc.

      Mine looks a lot thinner. (i put it in an 8″ square pan) … brown .. not the pretty orange, and a bit bigger chunks.. not so light…?????
      With the thinness – you can basically mold it to any shape you wish, I used a quite small but high loaf pan for the one in the photo, but you could always just half-fill a pan or container to suit whatever height you want it to be. I’m really not sure what’s causing the brown colour you mention sorry, as all the ingredients are quite light in colour… It should be a yellowish orange.

      Hope this has been of help!

      Adrianne 🙂

  9. Liv says:

    I’ve made it 4 times and it came out perfect each time did you put all the zest in as I believe that it what creates the colour. Liv

  10. Cindy says:

    Thanks for the reply.
    I see i should have processed the almond farther to get the flour texture. They were VERY tiny chunks.. but not flour like. Maybe just a tad bigger than corn meal.
    Or perhaps i can purchase almond meal at the health food store.

    Good news on the color.. It did change to yellow after it cooled. I put in the zest of a HUGE orange. I am not sure if it came to 7 TBSP. I think so.. I tried to measure… but it was so wet that it could really be condensed when I fit it into a tablespoon.

  11. Hannah says:

    I just love it when I leave my comments alone for a couple of days & come back to find the world has changed!

    >Liv – great to hear you were able to emulate the recipe. What did you think?
    >Cindy – I am sorry to hear about your dramas. I hope Adrianne’s comments help.
    >Adrianne – thanks for coming to Cindy’s rescue! This is truly a fabulous recipe.

    H 🙂

  12. JJames says:

    I think I’m in love. With how good this cake is and how cute the girl is.

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks for your comment, JJames. The cake is awesome, and Adrianne is gorgeous!

      H 🙂

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