Gluten Free Tangerine Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Gluten Free Tangerine Cake ~ this flourless cake is such a wonderful surprise, made with whole tangerines and almond flour in the Italian tradition ~ it’s impossibly moist and bursting with citrus flavor,  just like biting into a fresh tangerine!

Gluten Free Tangerine Cake with slice taken

VINTAGE VIEW ~ this gluten free tangerine cake is from TVFGI archives, first published in 2012. As part of a new series on the blog I’m reviving some of the best recipes that you may have missed over the years ~ I’ve updated my notes, taken new photos, and enjoyed making this wonderful cake again. It’s even better than I remember it!

Slicing a Gluten Free Tangerine Cake

Cakes made with whole citrus fruits have always fascinated me. The concept comes from the sunny island of Sicily, where citrus trees grow like weeds. This one is made with whole tangerines, peel and all! They’re boiled, de-seeded, and processed into a brilliant orange puree. The puree is blended with eggs, sugar, and almond flour, poured into a tart pan, and baked into the moistest, most delicate, tangerine cake you’ve ever tasted. This is an experience not to be missed!

This fresh tangerine cake is made without any flour or oil of any kind, and yet it’s fluffy, moist, and fabulous!

Boiling tangerines for a Gluten Free Tangerine Cake

Cut tangerines for a Gluten Free Tangerine Cake

It’s hard to believe that the boiled tangerines, above, will magically morph into such a delightfully fluffy cake with so few ingredients and such minimal effort. It blows my mind every time. I used my Vitamix, which does an amazing job blitzing the tangerines into a silky puree, but any good food processor will work.

Tangerine puree for a Gluten Free Tangerine Cake

I bake it in a 9-inch springform or tart pan with a removable bottom so I can lift it out for serving and cutting. (You can also use a cheesecake pan.) The cake bakes up moist and dense, but with a light, almost sponge cake texture. I know it sounds strange, but it really is light and dense at the same time.

Gluten Free Tangerine Cake in a tart pan ready for the oven

The cake slices like a dream, and will stay most for several days at room temperature. If you’d like to make it a day ahead, dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

Gluten Free Tangerine Cake with cake server

TIP: To get the pretty lace effect lay a doily or piece of lace on top of the cooled cake and then sift powdered sugar over all. Carefully life off the lace and voila! Don’t be afraid to try, you can always cover up with a solid layer of powered sugar if necessary.

See my post on HOW TO DECORATE A CAKE WITH LACE for detailed instructions on how to achieve this pretty and surprisingly easy look. The technique is so versatile and can be used for all kinds of special occasion desserts from the winter holidays, to Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, etc.

Gluten Free Tangerine Cake on a wooden table

Sometimes the message of a post can get drowned out by all the text and photos…so I’ll just put it here in plain black and white ~

Try this, it’s sensational.

A slice of Gluten Free Tangerine Cake ~ image

After making this cake in 2012 I went on to make a FLOURLESS WHOLE MEYER LEMON CAKE in 2013 which is wonderful, too. I’m already experimenting with pink grapefruit and blood oranges ~ I’ll keep you posted ;)

Gluten Free Tangerine Cake
Rate this recipe
12 ratings

Category: cake, dessert

Yield: serves 10-12

Calories per serving: 262

Gluten Free Tangerine Cake


  • 1 pound tangerines to make 11 1/2 ounces of puree (approximately 5-6, but weigh them)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp Amaretto (completely optional)
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Step one is the only time consuming part of this cake. Wash your tangerines and put them in a saucepan covered with cold water. (They'll float, but don't worry about that) Bring to a boil, and boil for a full 15 minutes. The boiling removes the bitterness in the citrus skin.
  3. Drain and let the tangerines cool for a bit. Slice them in half, and then in half again. Remove any seeds and discard, but do this on a plate so you don't lose any juice or pulp. Put it all in a food processor and process until completely smooth. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. My finished puree weighed 11 1/2 oz, (about a cup) and I highly recommend weighing the puree and only using the 11 1/2 ounces. Too much puree will throw off the balance of ingredients in this cake.
  4. Set aside, or refrigerate until the next day if you want to do this ahead.
  5. The rest is a one bowl deal: Beat the eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Fold in the almond meal, orange pulp, baking powder, and Amaretto, if using. Mix until well combined.
  6. Pour into a buttered 9" spring form pan.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the cake is browning too fast, cover loosely with a sheet of foil.
  8. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to finish cooling.
  9. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Decorate with some citrus zest if you like.

Tips for making the perfect gluten free tangerine cake~

  • use good, sweet, seasonal tangerines…your cake will be as good as your fruit, so choose the best!
  • Since you will be using the whole fruit, I recommend organic tangerines, if possible.
  • Weigh the puree so that you get the proper amount in your cake.   It should be 11 1/2 ounces.
  • You can experiment with flavoring this cake.  I added Amaretto on a whim, and you could use other spirits like Grand Marnier.  You could also leave out the alcohol and use some vanilla or almond extract.


Don’t forget to pin this sensational Gluten Free Tangerine Cake!

Flourless Whole Tangerine Cake

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply


  • Reply
    Kathryn Simpson
    December 10, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Hi Sue, I have just checked on Google and it says I cup of almond flour is 96grms do that equals to 288grms, does that sound about right. Sorry to be a nuisance. Sue Simpson.

    • Reply
      December 10, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Yes that’s right.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Simpson
    December 10, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Hi Sue so that would be 450grms of ground almonds, that sounds alot is that right?

  • Reply
    Kathryn Simpson
    December 10, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Hi I love the sound of this cake I have made one using whole oranges before. The only problem I have that nowhere in my village in Spain sells Almond flour just the regular flours so can I just use regular flour and do I have to alter anything else if doing this. Also does 11 1/2 ounces translate to 300 ml.

    • Reply
      December 10, 2018 at 7:57 am

      I haven’t done this with regular flour Kathryn, it’s really formulated for nut flour. You can easily make your own almond flour by grinding raw almonds in a food processor, if you have one. I think 11.5 ounces should be about 340 ml.

    1 4 5 6