My sister-in-law still bakes cakes for tea. Walk through her front door and the buttery smell of baking tempts every visitor, for what could be better than a cake fresh from the oven?

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake 

But I have to resist since I try to avoid butter and wheat and at one point, even wrote off cakes from my diet!

But no longer.

I now bake a cake that is flourless and without butter. Instead it is moist with olive oil, nutty with almond and fragrant with orange.

The idea of using olive oils in cake is not new. It is a Mediterranean tradition that is most suitable for modern diets with so many of us watching our cholesterol counts. As for the omission of wheat, again it is necessary for those who are allergic to the grain. Wheat often causes bloating and gas in the stomach.

All unromantic reasons for baking a cake.

Nonetheless, the results are delicious. While its shape is modest because of the lack of flour, its intense orange flavour more than makes up for it. Other recipes use stewed oranges to add bulk, but I can do without the extra bother.

If you are not used to the smell of olive oil, opt for the light variety or use canola instead. Their high levels of monounsaturated fats may even reduce cholesterol levels.

Now everyone can eat cake!


Orange and almond olive oil cake (For 6-8)

  • Grated peel from two oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 250g almond meal
  • 1 generous tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Greaseproof paper


  1. Heat the oven to 190ºC. Line a 21cm spring form tin with greaseproof paper and grease with butter.
  2. Place egg whites into one bowl and whole eggs in the other. Using an electric whisk, beat whites till they form stiff peaks. Leave aside.
  3. Add sugar to the other bowl with the whole eggs and beat till mixture thickens.
  4. Grate orange peel directly into the bowl. Add almond meal, baking powder, salt, then the orange juice and the olive oil.
  5. Fold in the beaten egg whites into this mixture.
  6. Pour mixture into the prepared tin and bake for half an hour. Test with a skewer. If it comes out clean, it is done. Cover cake with foil or greaseproof paper if you think the top is burning and the cake is still not done.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When cake is cold, you will find it easy to remove it from the tin.
  8. Serve with icing sugar dusted on top of the cake. If you like, offer fresh orange slices as well.

Contributor Details

Ms Sylvia Tan
Popular Singapore food writer with seven cookbooks to her name.​

Sylvia Tan 

Ref: P16