Flourless Orange Almond Cake with Citrus Compote

Source: Stephanie Rosenbaum, author, Williams-Sonoma Kids in the Kitchen: Fun Food (Free Press, October 2006) (February 2, 2008).

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This recipe was demonstrated at CUESA’s Market to Table programs on February 2, 2008.

Inspired by the Arab-influenced pastries of Spain, this light but intensely flavored cake brings a taste of the Mediterranean to the Bay Area in winter. As it calls for ground almonds in place of flour, it’s a great option during Passover in the spring, or as a dessert for those who can’t tolerate wheat products or gluten. Adjust the fruits in the compote according to what’s best in the market—other options include sweet limes, pomelos, red grapefruit, or tangelos.

Makes 4 servings


4 eggs, separated
½ cup granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
¼ pound almonds, finely ground

Soaking Syrup
Juice from 2 oranges
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
¼ cup granulated sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons honey
1 cinnamon stick

Citrus Compote
4 kumquats
Reserved orange syrup
2 blood oranges
2 tangerines
2 Cara Cara or navel oranges


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan.

  2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until mixture is thick, pale, and forms a ribbon when whisk or beater is lifted. Fold in orange and lemon zests and ground almonds.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Stir one-quarter of the whites into the egg-yolk mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining whites. Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, until top is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  4. While cake is baking, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over low heat, bring orange and lemon juice, sugar, honey, and cinnamon stick to a simmer. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  5. When cake is cool, release from springform pan. Poke several small holes in top of cake and drizzle with half the syrup, reserving the other half for the citrus compote. Let syrup soak in for several minutes, then slice and serve with compote.

For the citrus compote

  1. Slice kumquats thinly, discarding stem and blossom ends.

  2. In a small saucepan, bring kumquats and reserved orange syrup to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Cut off both ends of each orange. Set orange on its end on a cutting board. Following the curve of the fruit, slice down in wide strips to remove peel and white pith, making sure all bitter pith is removed. Using a small sharp paring knife, release the fruit segments from between the “fans” of tough membrane. Repeat with remaining fruit.
  4. Combine fruit segments with reserved kumquats and syrup. Cover and chill until needed.


Farmers Market Ingredients