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Middle Eastern flourless Orange cake

Middle Eastern flourless Orange cake, Middle Eastern flourless Orange cake

Middle Eastern flourless Orange cake and a love letter to my Sister


I’ve been thinking about my sister a lot lately. It’s not like I don’t see her often (she lives in the same suburb). I see her most days – I bump into her at school pick up – but sadly, unless we book in a ‘cup of tea’ date, it’s a quick smooch and a warm rub on the back as we rush past each other, with our tribe of daughters who need to be somewhere.


Needless to say, I adore my sister, and I always have done. She is the oldest child, I am the middle child, and we have a younger brother. As young sisters, I dressed like her, sang with her, belting out the Nolan Sisters to the tape deck with our leg warmers pulled high. I danced with her as little girls do –  we enjoyed 13  years of ballet lessons together, danced as teenagers together at parties, and as women, enjoying the music and the moment. We went to school together, and we shared secrets, we shared friends, we had each other’s backs, we laughed, we cried…we grew up.


We stood right next to each other, as Maids of honour at each other’s weddings. We are the godmothers to each other’s beautiful daughters. After all of this and with the natural constraints of time – both of us being working mothers – slowly, we had less and less of that precious time together. As I write this, it makes me sad. I miss our late nights, sitting up, sipping wine and smoking cigarettes as we would talk, tell stories and console each other about ‘the one that got away’.


I miss how often we would laugh until we would cry or until the chocolate milkshake would burst out of my nostrils with such gusto (this hurts, by the way) because I have no self-control when a good belly laugh with her is building. I also miss the easiness and simplicity that you feel when you see someone you love so often. It is a beautiful thing.


We recently vowed to make more purposeful time for each other when it was just ‘us’ and ‘our time’. We have slotted in some sweet coffee catch-ups, even if half an hour was all we had.

My sister is one strong woman. She has braved some challenges over the past few years, and now I watch her regaining her health, nurturing herself, nurturing her family, and she has a fab new job to boot. She is beaming, and it is so beautiful to see. For health reasons, she has completely changed her diet and boy…can you see the benefits! In the process, she is cutting right back on gluten.


I have taught many cooking classes of late, and I recently added this Middle eastern flourless orange cake to a couple of our class menus.


This cake is one of my favourites. It is moist, it’s light, and the texture from the coarsely ground almonds is divine. It really is ‘a piece of cake’ to make. It is simplicity at its best. We all need a bit of that in our lives to make time for things we like to do and those we love.


Every time I have cooked it lately, I thought of my gorgeous sister. It is the perfect cake to cook for someone who is gluten intolerant, and it will be a nice addition to our little dates. Now, they can include a quick pot of tea and a big slice of cake. If you can’t eat cake with your sister, who can you eat cake with?


Kirsty, this cake is for you with lots and lots of sisterly love.



Middle eastern flourless orange cake

Serves 8-10

Middle Eastern flourless Orange cake, Middle Eastern flourless Orange cake

Moroccan inspired flourless orange blossom cake

This is a truly beautiful cake and making your own almond meal by blitzing up toasted blanched almonds gives it such a lovely texture.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Moroccan, Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 324kcal
Author: Nellie Kerrison | Relish Mama


  • Electric beaters
  • Blender or stick blender or a food processor


  • 2 oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 300 g blanched almonds whizzed up in a food processor or blender to make course almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • To serve
  • Marscarpone or thickened cream or icing sugar or orange zest.


  • Wash the oranges, place them in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for approximately 2 hours. Drain & allow to cool. Coarsley chop the oranges, discarding any seeds (the peel stays on). This step can be done a day in advance & stored in the fridge, if youlike. Forgive me for not including the cooking of the oranges in the preparation time but really, they are just cooking themselves whilst you go about your business.
  • Place the oranges in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Alternatively, you could use a stick blender or traditional blender.
  • Whisk the eggs and the sugar, using electric beaters, until thick and pale. Add the orange, almond meal, orange blossom water and baking powder and fold until just combined.
  • Pour into a greased, 22cm round pan and bake in 170c fan forced for about 50-60 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool.
    Dust with icing sugar and garnish with orange zest.
  • Serve with sweetened cream or mascarpone, if desired.


Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 204IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 2mg

9 thoughts on “Middle Eastern flourless Orange cake”

  1. Cara Kuramoto

    What a beautifully written post Nellie. And, as a friend who was lucky enough to share a pot of tea and slice of this very cake, I can vouch for it! Delish! Here’s to sisters everywhere. Cara

  2. What a beautiful post. I found myself getting all teary, and thinking of my very best girlfriend who I grew up with but who lives far away now. Like you and your sister, we enjoyed many, many slices of cake (and bottles of wine… and cigarettes, come to think of it) together too!

    1. Thanks Lisa. I really loved writing this post & thinking about the many lovely years with my Sister.
      Lovely to meet you last week. Happy Blogging to you also. Your Blog is a treat! – Nellie

  3. Yes Nellie, you certainly have a way with words and a beautifully written article from the heart. I’m sure I’ve had this in your class, amazing and now I can’t wait to cook it myself!! xoxo

  4. Yes it is an easy cake. Not sure about the cooking time though and wonder if the 170deg and 50mins is for fan forced? I cooked without the fan at 170deg in my gas oven, which if anything is usually a little on the hotter side of the setting, and the cake took one and a half hours and was still very moist This is a considerably longer time than the 50 minute guide. Dare I say it but Nellies creation looks as if it might have “caught” which is even more surprising given my experience. Slivered almonds made a nice addition. I was pleased to make the cake and some parsnip, sweet potato and orange soup as the Sandringham possums have discovered my orange trees and I did a big pick.

    1. I am so pleased you cooked it and found it simple enough. I have a thermometer in my oven (which is one of the best $10 spent ever) & so I can confirm that in my oven, this cake cooks on 170 conventional for 50 minutes to 1 hour max. Having huge possum issues here also this year. I do wish they’d find other pastures to roam in.

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