My first bite of this amazing cake was soon after my son was born. My mother-in-law brought over a few pieces for my husband and me in those early days when a meal delivery was an incredible gift. It was love at first bite and I shamelessly asked her to make us several more cakes over the next few months. It is a wonderful not-too-sweet bite to have after a meal or for a breakfast. It also is great to gobble down after a 3:00am nursing---I have put this to the test repeatedly.
My in-laws discovered the cake while they were living in Australia on sabbatical. It is an old British recipe that has several variations, such as using meyer lemons instead of oranges, or adding grated ginger, but I like the almond and orange version that I was first served best.
Ayurvedically, this cake is a perfect treat for new mothers, with ojas building almond meal and pasture-raised eggs that can add to your breastmilk's flavor and boost production. It is also a grounding. stabilizing food, which most mother's need after laboring and delivering their baby or babies. Many new mothers avoid citrus during the first six weeks as their milk is established with concerns of it being off-putting to their newborn's belly, but because the oranges for this recipe are boiled, the acidity is reduced greatly and I have not heard of any mother or baby having trouble with this cake.
It is also a naturally gluten-free cake, so if gluten is an issue for you or for the ones you are sharing it with, be sure to also substitute a gluten-free flour to dust the pan with.
I have adapted the ingredients lists from a few different recipes and offered the step-by-step instructions that I use myself. If my recipe works for you, then wonderful, but if it needs to be tweaked to make it perfect for you, adapt my recipe or look for variations online that might please you more.
I have made this for every blessingway, baby shower, and meal-share for new families since this cake was first shared with me. Each and every time, is has been a huge hit and also sending out the recipe to friends who are eager to make it themselves.
When I am making this cake, especially for mothers-to-be and new mothers, I know they are nurturing their own bodies with it, as well as their baby's, so I like to first get myself centered before I begin the recipe. I settle into washing my hands and tying my apron, keeping the mother of honor in my mind and wishing her a blessed good birth and a joyful, healing postpartum. I send up a prayer that this cake will nourish her and her baby and serve their bellies well. I put on uplifting music or sing myself while I prepare the ingredients. Like the recipe, make this ritual your own, with your own prayers and wishes and meditation as you feel drawn to do. Allow your heart's goodness to fill you and carry over to all who will share in the cake.
Almond Orange Cake Batter
• 2 large navel oranges, (choose oranges with unblemished skins as the entire fruit (minus the seeds). yup, that includes peel, pith and membranes too!
• 2.5 cups of finely ground almond flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 5-6 eggs, depending on size
• 1 cup or sugar
• 1 tsp of vanilla
• Juice of one lime
• 1/8 cup of water
• 1/8 cup sugar
Boil whole oranges for 1 hour. Allow to cool and deseed if needed. Put oranges into a food processor until broken down.
Set oven to 350° and butter a 9-inch spring-form pan adding a parchment paper round to the butter bottom, then butter the paper as well. Follow up with a dusting of finely ground unbleached white flour.
Add vanilla, sugar and eggs to the oranges and use the food processor to incorporate completely.
In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour and baking powder.
Then slowly add the dry mixture to the wet, scrapping the sides as needed while, batter is well mixed.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until toothpicks come out clean. It is moist cake, but toothpicks should not be wet.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in it's pan.
To begin the drizzle, add it's 3 ingredients in a heavy-bottom pot over med-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Depending on how you like it, you cooking it here, or you can let it reduce even further to make more of a syrup.
Using a toothpick, poke holes around the top of the cake and begin spooning the drizzle over the entire top of the cake while it both are still hot.
Allow the cake to cool at least 30 minutes before running a knife along the inner edge and removing your spring-form ring and placing it on a plate or stand.
Share and Enjoy!