Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Orange Almond Cakes

Featured Ingredient: Orange + Zulka sugar giveaway

Undeniably, North Americans eat too much sugar. According to conservative USDA estimates, Americans on average consume 22 teaspoons of “added sugars” each day, or 355 additional calories, which is more than double what is recommended by the American Heart Association. Likely us up here in Canada are not far off these numbers.

Still, there are many times when my recipes call for some sort of sweetener such as granulated sugar. When it comes to cooking with sugar, I use a two-prong approach. Firstly, I use much less than what typical baked good recipes call for. I’ve never met a muffin that actually needed 1 cup of sugar. Second, I stick with a little less guilty options such as coconut sugar and honey.

Some recipes such as these moist and fragrant flourless orange cakes adorned with vanilla scented yogurt goodness are best served with a lighter style of sugar. A good candidate is Zulka pure cane sugar. It’s non-GMO, sourced from family farms and is more flavorful than traditional white sugar. You can use as a direct 1-to-1 replacement for regular white sugar in your recipes.

Though it seems odd, boiling whole oranges reduces the bitterness of their pith and softens the rind so you avoid bitter, chunky cakes. Since you are using the whole orange, it’s preferable to choose organic. Another benefit is you get some of the antioxidant compounds thought to reside in the orange peel.

As is the case on most Wednesday’s, it’s time for another Muffin Tin Mania product giveaway. The kind folks over at Zulka would like to award one of my readers with some of their wonderful cane sugar to work with in the kitchen this holiday season.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post that says “I’m sweet on Zulka” along with some way of identifying yourself such as your initials, name or email address and I will use this online tool to randomly select a winner. I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday November 28th, so if you entered write the date down on your calendar and check back in then for a chance to claim your prize.

Congrats to Julie who was randomly selected the winner of her very own Zulka cane sugar. 

Orange Almond Cakes

2 navel oranges
5 large eggs
2/3 cup natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek
1 tablespoon honey or cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh mint 

Place whole unpeeled oranges in a medium sized saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Drain water, fill with fresh water and simmer for an additional 45 minutes. Drain oranges, cut into quarters, remove any seeds, and place in a blender or food processor container. Blend into a smooth pulp. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer or metal whisk until fluffy and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in the baking powder. Fold in the orange pulp, almond flour and almond extract. Divide mixture among 12 standard sized greased or paper lined muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cakes comes out clean. Let cool several minutes before unmolding.

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey and vanilla. Serve yogurt sauce over cakes and garnish with fresh mint if desired.


  1. I'm sweet on Zulka. :)


  2. I'm sweet on Zulka!

    Suzan E

  3. I'm sweet on Zulka! I make limeade by hand several times a week and I always use Zulka to put together a simple sugar syrup. In fact, it's the only sweetener we have in our house!!

  4. I'm sweet on Zulka! I love using Zulka everyday.
    Emily M.

  5. I’m sweet on Zulka! I use a similar sugar now, but I would love to try Zulka.

    Eva S.

  6. I love this recipe! Thank u! ;)

  7. A week and a half later, I finally tracked down almond flour and made these for breakfast this morning. It's a good thing I wake up early. They were delicious, and even my 11 year old son loved them. I am serving the rest at a Christmas party tonight, along with your pancetta with fig jam, just about the best thing I ever had.

    One note: these orange muffins, which I made in a greased Pampered Chef stoneware tin were pretty hard to get out in one piece, even after letting sit for quite awhile. Next time, I will use paper liners and see how that goes.

    Thanks for all the recipes. You have made healthy cooking fun and gotten my family more open to new foods.

  8. So glad you enjoyed them Michiel. Agreed, the pancetta fig cups are one of my favs in the book.

  9. cool! tnx for posting this! ;)


I love hearing from fellow muffin tin fans, so let me know what is on your mind.