Sliced orange sponge layer cake with buttercream topped with clementine segments

Gluten-Free Vegan Orange Cake

This Gluten-Free Vegan Orange Cake is moist and fluffy, fresh and citrusy and filled with a rich buttercream! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Keyword gluten-free orange cake, gluten-free vegan cake, vegan orange cake
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 377kcal
Author Rhian Williams


For the cake:

  • 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) orange juice (freshly squeezed or from a carton)
  • 150 ml (2/3 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 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) **
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

For the buttercream*:

  • 100 g (2/3 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 wire racks 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


*For a stronger orange flavour, add an extra teaspoon of orange extract as well as the orange zest. Or if using orange extract instead of orange zest, use 3 teaspoons of orange extract. You can also add a few drops of orange extract to the buttercream.
**You can alternatively use almond flour


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 38IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 2mg