Orange Ginger Tea Cake: Gluten & Grain Free

Orange Ginger Tea Cake


While browsing some of my favorite blogs yesterday morning, the mere mention of crystallized ginger rearranged my entire day. I had to make something with warming, chewy, gingery-ness—to go with a cup of tea, preferably. Inspiration hit and I was out the door with my grocery list faster than you can say almond flour.

Almond flour?

Yes, almond flour, because I wanted something gluten-free my daughter could enjoy, so I avoided grains all together. A few months ago, I made an almond flour based cake with a pleasing texture and flavor from The Urban Baker, which I served at a bridal shower brunch. It was very popular at the brunch and my own family liked that it was moist, delicate, and wasn’t overly sweet. This provided a good foundation for the ginger hankering I was set to indulge with Orange Ginger Tea Cake.

Did I mention I was in the middle of a post about curry?

Well, that is still in the works, so I couldn’t help but sneak a little cardamom into the mix—just for fun. I call this a tea cake because the crumb is more like a muffin or snack cake than a dessert cake. Bits of crystallized ginger are the highlight in almost every bite against a backdrop of fragrant orange and hints of cardamom. Less sweet than traditional dessert cake, it is perfect for a brunch or afternoon tea. Of course, you could serve Orange Ginger Tea Cake for dessert with fresh berries and whipped cream … oh boy, I may be headed to the store again!

Orange Ginger Tea Cake: Gluten & Grain Free
Bits of crystallized ginger are the highlight in almost every bite against a backdrop of fragrant orange and hints of cardamom.
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup orange juice -- juice from one orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest -- zest from one orange
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • ½ heaping cup crystallized ginger -- coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • powdered sugar (optional) -- for dusting
  • butter or cooking spray -- to coat baking pan
  • 9" spring form pan
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a spring form pan or tart pan with removable bottom with parchment paper and spray parchment with cooking spray or lightly butter.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cardamom; stir until well mixed and spices are fully incorporated.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, honey, sour cream, orange juice, zest, and extract until ingredients are well blended.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in the crystallized ginger and pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes, then sprinkle sliced almonds over partially baked cake. Continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes until golden brown, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Leave cake in the pan and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run sharp knife around edge of cake to release from edge of pan and remove pan sides from cake. Cool completely on wire rack.
  7. Slice and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Notes & Suggestions
Almond meal/flour is available in the baking section at most health food stores and in the gluten-free section of large grocery retailers.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 8-12

Orange Ginger Tea Cake — Ready to Taste!

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
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15 Responses to Orange Ginger Tea Cake: Gluten & Grain Free

  1. kitchenriffs October 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Wow, this has nice flavor! You can’t go wrong with cardamon. I’ll be patiently eating these while I wait for your curry post (I love curry!). 😉
    kitchenriffs recently posted..Boeuf BourguignonMy Profile

    • Judy October 18, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      Yes, very tasty, the cardamom is wonderful. I love the mysterious undertones of curry, it is different everywhere you go–it’s been fun experimenting with it.

  2. Karen (Back Road Journal) October 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Orange and ginger go so well together. I’ll definitely put this on my things to try list.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted..A Rainy Day Can’t Get Me DownMy Profile

    • Judy October 18, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      Thanks Karen, I think you’ll like it. :)

  3. savorysaltysweet October 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    I love what you’ve got going on here–the pop of ginger, the great texture of almond flour, the warmness of cardamom. This looks just wonderful.

    • Judy October 18, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      Thanks, it sure satisfied my need for ginger today. :)

  4. Raymund October 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Another perfect fall recipe, coffee or tea it would be good

  5. Lynn October 18, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    This sounds and looks like a wonderful recipe but I could never afford almond flour. Do you have any substitute suggestions?
    Lynn recently posted..Orange Ginger Tea Cake: Gluten & Grain FreeMy Profile

    • Judy October 18, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      Hi Lynn, thanks for taking time to ask and comment. Though I have not had a lot of experience with it, coconut flour is a recommended alternative for almond flour in gluten-free and grain-free baking. I have heard some say it requires more liquid, so you may find a need to adjust that as well. I did find a couple of sites which discuss various flours in relationship to price you may find helpful as follows: and

      I do understand what you mean about affordability with the specialty flours, I have found it requires our eating less of these type of treats so we can afford the healthier alternative flours. I so appreciate your question, please feel free to ask more!

  6. Linda October 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Judy, this sounds and looks fabulous. So nice as you mention for a brunch. I don’t like overly sweet desserts. It’s also so lovely for the fall with the almond and orange and spice flavors. I happen to have a bag of almond flour in my pantry and crystalized ginger, how perfect!
    Linda recently posted..By Request: Caramelized Apple New York CheesecakeMy Profile

  7. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef October 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    I love making a cake that anyone can eat and this sounds delicious! I can’t wait to bake this.
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Bacon, Asparagus & Cheddar Quiche – guest postMy Profile

  8. mjskit October 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    This cake sounds and LOOKS fabulous! Love the cardamom, ginger, and then the crystallized ginger all in one cake. I’ll have to start looking for almond flour.
    mjskit recently posted..Black Bean and Shiitake Enchiladas and GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) October 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Really sounds like a wonderful cake to enjoy with some afternoon coffee during the cooler weather. :-)

    Have a great weekend Judy!
    Jed Gray (sportsglutton) recently posted..Thirsty Thursday: Port City Brewing Company PorterMy Profile

  10. April @ The 21st Century Housewife October 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Your Orange Ginger Tea Cake looks wonderful! Although my family and I can eat gluten, I often use almond flour in baking for its delicious flavour and texture. I love the spices you have used as well.

  11. Susan Saldanha August 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    So lovely to see you use spices that are unusual. I am definitely going to try this and eat it along side sweet homemade chai, like my mother made back home in India. I have used orange zest, and cardamon in french toast and my kids loved it, so I think your cake will be a hit in my home. Thanks.

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