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:
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday

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    • says

      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.

    • says

      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!

  1. Susan Saldanha says

    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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