This Gluten-Free Vegan Orange Cake is moist and fluffy, fresh and citrusy and filled with a rich buttercream! It comes together in one bowl and is refined sugar free too. Perfect for Christmas, birthdays, Mother's Day, baby showers and bridal showers!
As this Gluten-Free Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake has been so popular, I decided it was time to make another simple citrus cake, this time using oranges. Inspired by my Gluten-Free Vegan Vanilla Cake, this is a simple orange-infused sponge with a simple orange-infused buttercream.
Tips for baking with oranges
- I used my go-to sponge cake recipe, but added orange zest and substituted some of the milk with orange juice. This adds natural sweetness and also enhances the orange aroma, and simultaneously tangy and nectar-like flavour.
- You can either use freshly squeezed orange juice, or orange juice from a carton.
- If you prefer a stronger orange flavour in the sponge, you can add some more orange extract to the cake batter - instructions in recipe notes.
- For the frosting, I used my favourite cashew-based buttercream recipe, but used orange juice instead of water or milk.
- If you prefer a stronger orange flavour in the frosting, you can add a couple of drops of orange extract to the buttercream - see recipe notes for instructions.
How to make the cake
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Mix together all the ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.
Tip: Use a measuring jug to measure out the plant-based milk and orange juice.
- Transfer into two 18 cm / 7 inch sandwich baking tins.
Tip: Line the tins with greased baking paper to make the sponges easier to remove afterwards.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Transfer onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before applying the frosting.
How to make the orange buttercream frosting
- Place soaked cashew nuts, maple syrup and orange juice in a food processor.
Tip: Make sure the cashew nuts are soaked to make them easier to blend. Soak them overnight in cold water or in boiling water for at least 15 minutes.
- Whizz until completely smooth.
Tip: You will have to mix it around a few times to make it easier to blend up.
How to frost the cake
- Place one of the sponges on a cake stand or a plate and apply just less than half of the frosting onto it - you can use a palette knife for frosting for this.
- Place the other sponge on top and apply the frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
- Decorate as desired.
How long does this Orange Cake keep for?
This Orange Cake tastes best fresh, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
Substitutions you can make
- You can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil.
- The orange juice can be freshly squeezed or from a carton.
- The orange zest can be replaced with orange extract.
- You can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc.
- You can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc.
- You can replace the ground almonds (almond meal) with ground walnuts.
- For a nut-free version: replace the ground almonds (almond meal) with ground sunflower seeds or use 30g (¼ cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds.
- You can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you're not gluten-free.
More gluten-free vegan cake recipes
- Tropical Carrot Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Matcha Strawberry Cake
- Chocolate Cake
- Coconut Cake
- Strawberry Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Red Velvet Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
- Lemon Pound Cake
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Watch how to make this recipe
Gluten-Free Vegan Orange Cake
For the cake:
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) orange juice (freshly squeezed or from a carton)
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (use unwaxed oranges - or sub 2 teaspoons orange extract) *
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) **
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
For the buttercream*:
- 100 g (⅔ cup) raw cashew nuts soaked in cold water overnight or in hot water for 15 minutes
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
To decorate (optional):
- Clementine segments
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil).
- Once melted, add the orange juice to the same bowl along with the milk, orange zest, vanilla, maple syrup and ground almonds.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry.
- Transfer mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins).
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Once done, turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely before frosting.
For the buttercream:
- Drain soaked cashews and add to a food processor or blender with all the other ingredients.
- Whizz until completely smooth, adding more orange juice if necessary.
To frost and decorate the cake:
- Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand, and spread just less than half of the frosting onto it.
- Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the frosting to spread on top and around the sides of the cake.
- Decorate with clementine segments, if desired.
- Tastes best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
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Wow! Pure yum! I did have to make a few changes because of my allergies:
1) Allergic to almonds so used a mix of oat and sorghum flours instead of the almond flour. Since these flours are heavier than almond, I reduced the amount of flour by half. Worked well.
2) Allergic to baking powder, so used 2 t. soda and 1/4 t. citric acid. Worked well.
3) Allergic to cashews so used Simple Mills vanilla frosting instead. Worked well.
Lovely cake! Will definitely make again. Thank you for sharing. Will post a photo on pinterest.
Thank you so much, so glad you liked it! And thank you so much for sharing your substitutions, that's so helpful to know.
Hi Sheryl! Would like to know how much qty of oat and sorghum flour you used to substitute almond flour in this recipe? And also what was the qty of the total flour you used ? My family is allergic to nuts so would like to know a substitute that works well. Thanks so much ! 😊
Can you use almond flour for all of it? (No gluten free all purpose). I avoid the GF AP flour because of tapioca, etc.
No sorry that won't be the right texture! You can instead use buckwheat flour (though the flavour will change slightly) or oat flour (though the texture will be a bit different), or 140g white rice flour and 10g cornflour or potato flour etc.
For some reason I can’t have oranges but lemons are fine . Would lemon work in this recipe?
Yes! I have several similar lemon recipes, for example: https://www.rhiansrecipes.com/lemon-bread/