Domestifluff - Food.Craft.Etc


  • I'm Kristen, a clumsy but determined home cook and crafter living in the Boston area with my husband, B, and I have an interest in all things food and craft.

    This blog was created to keep track of my various projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity.

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Gluten Free, Sugar Free Orange Poppyseed Cake

Glazes, drizzles, and any confectioner’s sugar based frostings have become the bane of my sugar free existence, so we’re just going to ignore the fiasco of an attempt at an orange glaze on what is otherwise a very nice cake. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that unpleasantness out of the way (and, hey, if you’re on a sugar free diet and have come up with a nice glaze or drizzle recipe, I’d love to hear it!), I want to talk about my new favorite flour blend.

Late last year, I picked up a copy of Elana Amsterdam’s The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook (her chocolate chip scone recipe is a must try!). I’ve been using almond flour in my baking for a couple of years, but this cookbook has taken my interest to the next level. I’ve been blending almond flour with my other new favorite flour, coconut flour, and a bit of a starch like cornstarch or arrowroot starch with great results!

This orange poppyseed cake is a new favorite. The crumb is fantastic, and it stayed very moist for at least four days (that’s how long it lasted before we gobbled it all up). It’s a dense cake, like a pound cake, but it’s not heavy. In other words, it doesn’t sit in your stomach like a brick, which is a very good thing.

At the last minute, I decided to add almond extract to the batter because I’ve been hoping to recreate the taste of these yummy almond poppyseed muffins that I had years ago (in my pre-gluten free and sugar free days) at an office potluck, of all places. I think I came pretty close to the flavor with this cake, but unfortunately the almond sort of overpowered the orange, so if you want an orange-ier cake then you can leave out the almond flavoring. And, if you’re not sugar free, you should be able to substitute table sugar 1 to 1 for the xylitol with no problems.

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Orange Poppyseed Cake


1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup xylitol
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
5 eggs
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2-3 oranges)
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
1/3 cup poppyseeds


1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9 inch cake pan with oven parchment, and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl, add the softened butter and xylitol and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until blended.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Blend with a fork until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the orange juice to the egg and butter mixture and mix until you can no longer see pockets of dry ingredients throughout the batter. Add the orange zest and poppyseeds and mix until evenly distributed.

4. Using a spatula, spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pan. The batter will be very thick.

5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack before turning the cake out of the pan and serving.

Posted in Alternatively Sweetened, Cakes and Cookies, Desserts, Food, Gluten Free | 13 Comments »

13 Responses

  1. Erin at Vale Design says:

    Holy smokes does that look tasty! My sis-in-law is a gluten free gal and she is going to love this recipe! Maybe I can sweet talk her into making it for me :)

  2. Kaitlin says:

    That picture is so great! It’s, like, a perfect slice! This sounds awesome!

  3. Kaitlin says:

    Oh – and I also wanted to say that I feel like the use of almond flour probably makes this cake all the more delicious than normal poppyseed cakes. But I’m curious – does the coconut flour impart any distinguishable flavor?

  4. Kristen says:

    Thanks, Erin! Hope you can convince your sis-in-law to give it a try!

    Kaitlin – Thank you! The coconut flour actually doesn’t impart any discernable taste in this particular recipe, at least not that I noticed. In some recipes that I’ve tried with it, especially more savory things, I definitely notice a slightly coconut flavor, but in most recipes I haven’t noticed it at all.

  5. china sim card says:

    I have not eaten poppyseed cake yet,although I like to eat the cake.The picture you show can cause a person’s appetite.

  6. The Motherload » Amy’s Notebook 04.07.10 says:

    […] gluten-free orange poppyseed cake looks so yummy (@ Domestic […]

  7. Ann says:

    I can’t wait to make this. One question – I haven’t cooked with xylitol before. I usually stick to sucanat or honey. Do you have a good substitution reference you use for this? It’s the only change I want to make.

  8. Kristen says:

    Ann – You should be able to substitute sucanat 1:1 for the xylitol. Though sugar does have different properties than xylitol in baking, I don’t think that you’ll have any significant texture differences in this cake if you use sucanat. The only reason I wouldn’t recommend honey is because it’s liquid and may change the texture.

  9. Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen says:

    Oh do I ever get excited when I see a beautiful cake recipe like this and realize I have everything I need to bake it. I have one lucky boyfriend today!

  10. Boston Wedding Photographer says:

    This cake is being made and will be dessert tonight for my happy family.

  11. Cindy says:

    What could I substitute for the orange juice to make it more blood sugar friendly?

  12. Kristen says:

    Cindy – How about substituting with lemon juice? Adjust the level of sweetener upward by 1/4-1/2 cup of xylitol or 1/4-1/2 tsp. of stevia (you’d have to experiment to see what works for you), but you’d still get the citrus flavor.

  13. Cindy says:

    Kristen – thanks for your response. Sounds like a good idea (I don’t know why I didn’t think of it – lol).

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