This blood orange almond cake with cashew buttercream is amazing, somewhat like a mix between an olive oil cake and dense pound cake. It's incredibly simple to make, so don't be fooled, it looks much fancier than it really is! The name is actually a little deceiving, since you don't really need blood oranges to make this low-carb, keto-friendly cake. Plain old oranges will do just fine, but it's citrus season and blood oranges are just so pretty, I had to use them in something. I adapted my favorite almond flour olive oil cake recipe to include a bit of orange and a few warm spices like ginger and cardamom, added the frosting, and found there's so much to love about this simple, keto cake recipe. It's easy, tasty, gluten-free, dairy-free AND keto-friendly!
how to make blood orange almond cake
My first attempt at a blood orange almond cake was sort of a flop. It tasted okay, but I was shooting for a keto version of an upside-down blood orange cake and it didn't work. The blood oranges left parts of the cake a blue-ish/black-ish tint that looked weird. (Side note- if you know any tricks to preventing the cake discoloration, please share.) So we ate it and I abandoned the upside-down orange cake idea and decided life is better with frosting anyway.
I nearly lost cake number two after I walked away from it and my kiddos decided to use the top of the cake as a battleground for their Paw Patrol toys. FYI, if this happens to you (ya never know) and you need to cover up tiny toy footprints in the cake, simply flip it over and, TA-DA, problem solved. I'm all about those useable pro tips! 😉 You can actually shoot a whole video with that nearly unsalvagable cake and no one will ever know...
So, after a flop and a very close call, here's an orange almond cake recipe I am really, really happy with. The main players are almond flour, olive oil, and FOUR eggs which keep this cake moist and tender. Monkfruit sweetener makes this keto-friendly (I used golden monkfruit this time but I've also made it with Lakanto's classic sweetener). And the sweet flavor combination comes from the blood orange juice/zest, cardamom, spices, and almond and vanilla extracts. Here's how to make it:
- Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the rest of the wet ingredients, including the blood orange (or orange) juice and zest. Whisk until it's all combined.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stir, then pour into a cake pan (a 9-inch cake pan or a springform pan), and bake at 325°F for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool (I recommend freezing before frosting).
- Frost and decorate with slices of blood oranges, berries, and zest.
what is cashew buttercream?
Cashew buttercream frosting is a smooth and creamy, non-dairy alternative to actual buttercream. It's super basic, and I adapted Minimalist Baker's cashew buttercream frosting recipe to make it keto-friendly and add a little orange flavor.
This recipe is so easy. Soaked cashews are the base. Throw them in a blender, add coconut cream, powdered monkfruit sweetener, some vanilla, juice/zest of an orange, and blennnnd. You end up with a silky smooth, dairy-free frosting that spreads great and can be modified for all your frosting needs!
pro tips for blood orange almond cake with cashew buttercream
- line the bottom of the cake pan with a layer of parchment paper for easy cake removal
- after blending the frosting, I suggest freezing it for about 30 minutes and then whipping it with a mixer to help it set to the perfect spreadable consistency
- scrape the frosting thin around the edges if you want a more rustic cake look (and an easier time frosting the sides!)
- keep the cake refrigerated until serving
- to store, first remove the fruit (i.e. orange slices, berries and basil leaves for a touch of green) and refrigerate
This blood orange almond cake with cashew buttercream is a simple and impressive keto cake recipe that is kind of THE BEST. And who ever said you can't have cake on a keto diet? Enjoy, friends!
you might also love...
- Lemon blueberry scones for an easy keto and gluten-free breakfast any day of the week.
- A creamy bulletproof matcha latté for a healthy, caffeine pick-up.
- An easy keto brownies recipe made with almond butter for extra fudgy keto brownies.
blood orange almond cake
- 2 cups superfine almond flour, packed
- ½ cup monkfruit sweetener (if using Lakanto, golden or classic sweetener will work)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs (pasture-raised when possible)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 blood orange, zest and juice
- 1-½ cups raw cashews (soaked 6-8 hours in cool water or 1 hour in hot water)
- ½ cup full-fat coconut cream (the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk)
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ⅓-1/2 cup powdered monkfruit sweetener (adjust sweetness depending on your preference)
- ¼ teaspoon blood orange zest
- 1 tablespoon blood orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
blood orange almond cake
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, monkfruit sweetener, salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the four eggs, then add in the olive oil, vanilla and almond extracts, and blood orange zest/juice. Stir with a whisk, then pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until the cake batter is combined.
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan (or springform pan) with parchment paper. Pour the orange almond cake batter into the cake pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 20-30 minutes. Run a butterknife along the edges to loosen it from the pan. Place a plate on top of the cake pan, then flip it, gently shaking the cake loose (this process should be easy if you lined the pan with parchment paper). Peel off the parchment paper, then allow the cake to cool before frosting (or freeze it overnight).
- Make the cashew buttercream and frost the cake. Garnish with extra slices of blood oranges (or oranges), berries, some orange zest, and/or fresh basil leaves.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the cashews (soaked and drained), ⅓ cup of powdered monkfruit sweetener, and the remaining ingredients.
- Blend or process for 2-3 minutes, then scrape down the sides and blend for a couple more minutes. Add more monkfruit sweetener if needed, and blend until smooth. This may take several minutes on high-speed.
- Pour the frosting in a bowl and set inside the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Take the frosting out of the freezer and using a stand-up mixer or hand mixer, whip the cashew buttercream until creamy.
*for the coconut milk in the frosting- if you don't have enough coconut cream, adding a bit of the milk is okay too!
*if you don't have parchment paper, you can "grease and flour" the cake pan with coconut oil or ghee and a tablespoon of almond flour
*keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve
*to store, remove the fruit garnish and place the cake in the refrigerator for up to four days
*the cashew buttercream recipe (adapted from Minimalist Baker) will make over 2 cups and you will likely have leftover frosting (keep store in refrigerator for up to a week)
* nutritional information is calculated without the monkfruit sweetener included because it has zero net carbs and zero calories
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 50.6mgCarbohydrates: 5.6gNet Carbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.