Every once in a while, we try to go without too much gluten or flour-based foods. This means cutting out most bread, pasta, and baked goods. I usually don’t go so far as to make baked goods with gluten-free flours, just because it feels like it’s missing the point. Sometimes though, I just want to cheat a little and have something yummy and baked. That’s when I turn to almond flour, which is really just finely ground almonds. I sometimes substitute some of the flour in my favorite recipes with almond flour too. The combination retains some of the original texture, but gives it a more toothsome, chewiness that works really well for things like cookies.
This cake was surprisingly delicious and incredibly easy. The fresh, sweet glaze is not too cloying because the whole citrus gives a slightly bitter undernote. The great thing about this cake is how moist it is, and it only gets better as it sits and the glaze intensifies. And who wouldn’t want a piece, with that lovely golden color and glistening glaze?
Flourless Citrus Saffron Cake
1 seedless orange, 1 lemon, and 3 tangerines or clementines, washed and halved with any extraneous seeds removed
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey
Microwave half the citrus for about 6 minutes, until they are fully soft and some juice starts to collect on the bottom. Combine a tablespoon of the hot juices with the saffron threads. Meanwhile juice the remaining citrus and set aside.
Pulse the cooked citrus whole in a blender or food processor until pureed. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the eggs until combined. Add the vanilla, almond flour, and baking powder and stir to combine well. Add the saffron, butter, and citrus puree and stir to combine.
Pour the batter into a springform pan that has been buttered with parchment on the bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your springform pan. I used a small 6-inch one, so my cook time was about 30 minutes. You want to make sure when you test with a toothpick that it comes out clean. It will be golden on top. Allow to cool for about an hour in the pan.
While it’s still warm to the touch, remove the cake from the springform and place on a cake plate or plate with a lip so the glaze doesn’t run off the sides. Combine the remaining citrus juice with the honey and stir until dissolved. Puncture the top of the cake with a toothpick all over. Pour the glaze over slowly, in brief intervals, until it’s all absorbed. This can also be done before removing from the springform if you want to really let it soak.