Vanilla Orange Cake

A loaf cake with a slice cut off next to oranges.

This vanilla orange cake is sweet, fragrant, rich, and flavourful. It’s nutritious enough to enjoy for breakfast or a snack, yet sweet enough to satisfy a dessert craving.

This gluten free, paleo diet friendly orange loaf cake is filling, nutrient-rich, and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. 

Main ingredients and substitutions 

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Freshly grated orange zest adds a delightful orange flavour and fragrance to this cake. I like to use a microplane zester like this one to quickly and easily remove the zest:

Pure vanilla extract is another key ingredient in this recipe. I avoid using artificial vanilla flavour and recommend using pure vanilla extract if at all possible. Vanilla complements the bright, floral flavour of the orange zest perfectly in this cake.

This recipe calls for six eggs, which may seem like a lot, but I find that when baking cakes with coconut flour it’s necessary to use plenty of eggs in order to achieve the right texture. There’s no good substitute for either the eggs or the coconut flour in this recipe, but if you’re looking for an egg free or vegan treat, give this buckwheat banana bread a try instead. 

I used maple syrup to sweeten this orange cake, but you can substitute honey instead if you prefer. Manuka honey adds a particularly delicious flavour to baked goods.

This cake calls for extra virgin olive oil. You can substitute melted coconut oil, avocado oil, or any other oil you prefer.

How to make this vanilla orange cake

This cake is quick and easy to prepare. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then add the eggs, unsweetened applesauce, olive oil, maple syrup, pure vanilla extract, fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix those ingredients well.

Next you’ll add the coconut flour and baking soda. Whisk again to incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter.

Cake batter in a white bowl being whisked.

Line a medium sized loaf pan (mine is 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inches) with parchment paper, then pour the batter into the pan. Bake the cake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake looks clean upon removal.

Raw orange cake batter in a loaf pan.

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan and serving.

Storage and freezing

Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze it for up to six months. I like to slice the cake before freezing so that I can easily defrost the exact amount I want.

Optional additions 

To take this vanilla orange cake to the next level for a special occasion and pretty presentation, you can brush the baked cake with an additional tablespoon of maple syrup and sprinkle some extra orange zest on top before serving.

Or you can add 1/2 cup of finely chopped nuts such as pecans or almonds and stir them into the batter before baking.

More gluten free dessert recipes

For another easy and delicious treat, try this dark chocolate hummus recipe. It’s made with chickpeas but you wouldn’t guess that from its sweet, chocolaty flavour.

Or try this edible brownie batter. It’s gluten free, vegan, nutritious, and will satisfy any chocolate craving.

A loaf cake with a slice cut off next to oranges.
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5 from 1 vote

Vanilla Orange Cake

This vanilla orange cake is fragrant, sweet, and delicious. It's gluten free, paleo diet friendly, and easy to make.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, paleo, refined sugar free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 175kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add the eggs, unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest, pure vanilla extract, and salt to a large mixing bowl and use a whisk to mix well.
  • Add the coconut flour and baking soda and whisk again to combine the dry ingredients.
  • Transfer the batter to a parchment paper lined medium sized loaf pan (mine is 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inches) and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake looks clean upon removal).
  • Let cool completely before removing from the pan and serving.
  • Makes 12 slices of vanilla orange cake.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze for up to six months.
  • Optional addition: brush the baked and cooled cake with one additional tablespoon of maple syrup, then sprinkle with some extra orange zest.

Nutrition

Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg