Flourless Chocolate-Orange Almond Cake

"One of my friend's has celiac disease and cannot eat anything with gluten. Unfortunately for her, this usually means she cannot enjoy a lot of foods, particularly desserts, at gatherings. I made this cake with her in mind for our holiday party. It is rather time-consuming but definately worth it! The cake was rich and decadent and my friends really enjoyed it."
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:
1hr 40mins


  • 1 14 cups whole almonds (about 6-7 oz.)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 12 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated orange peel
  • 6 large eggs, seperated
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 tsp extract)
  • 14 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush bottom of 10-inch springform pan generously with butter or margarine.
  • Blend almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in food processor until almonds are finely ground. Add chocolate; blend until chocolate is finely ground.
  • Whisk cocoa, orange juice and orange peel in small bowl until smooth.
  • In another bowl, combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. sugar. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat until yolk mixture is very thick, about 4 minutes.
  • Beat in cocoa mixture. Fold in ground-almond mixture.
  • Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and salt in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 Tbs. sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry.
  • Fold whites into chocolate batter in 3 additions. Transfer to prepared pan.
  • Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  • Cool cake completely in pan on rack. If making a day ahead of time, cover with foil and store at room temperature.

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  1. To adapt this recipe, I used a total of 6 tablespoons of sugar (4 tablespoons with the chocolate, and 2 tablespoons with the egg whites), and the rest Slenda, to serve to diabetic family members. With this change, it had the texture of a moist, dense brownie, and was enjoyed by all.


I have the somewhat ironic distinction of not only being a registered dietitian, but also a graduate of culinary school. Needless to say, my two sides often "fight" when it comes to cooking. I try to compromise and make everything healthy without losing too much flavor. I keep everything in check by participating in my other hobby, long-distance running. While others may eat to run, I usually run to eat!
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