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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Almond and Orange Liqueur Cake {Gluten Free}

Yes, you read correctly: Bake It With Booze has gone gluten free again!  And, honestly, I'm beginning to think this gluten free baking thing is a great way to change up your favorite recipes.  This cake is super moist...Full of orange flavors...And has a very, very pretty presentation -- The Oooh and Aaah affect!

I made this cake for my boss's retirement reception and it was a huge hit with the crowd.  She is gluten free so I had to come up with a extra special cake just for her.  She's been such a wonderful boss, even though I've only had the chance to work for her these last 8 months. 

This yummy and elegant cake was all gone by the end of the reception (we did save a piece for my boss to take home) and I'm not even sure whether I got a piece!  I do have a vague memory of moist almond cake surrounded by soft and billowy orange frosting...

And, I am sorry, but I have no pics of the cut cake as it was gone before I could "stage" a good shot.  You'll just have to trust me that it was as pretty on the inside as on the outside!

One more eye-candy shot of all our sweets at the retirement reception...Sugar commmaaa!! 

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Prepare your pan and oven as directed.  Get your ingredients together.   If you have two mixer bowls, then you just have to separate the eggs in each bowl.  You could also beat the egg whites with a hand mixer.
Beat the egg whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks.

Mix the egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar and oil.  Beat on high speed until thick and almost doubled in size – a solid 2 minutes.  Mix in orange extract, liqueur and zest.
Gently stir in the almond flour mixture on low speed.  Now, lighten the batter by adding about 2 cups of the egg whites and mix in on low speed just to combine.  It's okay if you have streaks of egg whites. 
Mix in the remaining egg whites by hand in 3 parts.  Gently fold until mixture is no longer streaky and is well combined.  It will fill up your bowl!
Divide the batter into the pans and bake as directed.  You will want them to be "set" and lightly browned.  The original recipe called from a oven temp of 375F...You can decide what works best for you.
Let cool in the pans, loosen the sides with a knife and remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Make the crumb coat and frost as directed.  I didn't take pics of this step as you've seen my basic frosting recipe and method many, many times.  I'm thinking it might be nice to have just one post for the frosting step...What do you think?
Once the crumb coat (a bit more beefy than a typical crumb coat...) has set (in the fridge), start making your Orange Liqueur Frosting.  You will need to chill this a bit before piping so that the roses don't run off you cake...Trust me on this one...I've learned my lesson!

One more shot of the finished cake...Pretty huh?  And, it really is easier than you think.  Here is a video of Stephanie at 52 Kitchen Adventures frosting an ombre' style cake...You use the exact same technique, just not all the variation in hues.  More on ombre' next month!

Almond and Orange Liqueur Cake {Gluten Free}
Makes 8” cake, 3 layers
Adapted from Simply Gluten-Free (original recipe makes a 2 layer cake)


4 cups finely ground blanched almond flour
1 1/3 cup super fine sugar, divided
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
11 large eggs (separated)
2 tbsp cup vegetable oil (or full-fat yogurt)
1 tsp orange extract
1/4 cup Orange Liqueur
Zest of 3 large oranges, finely grated (about 1-1/2 tbsp)

Crumb Coat
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp Orange Liqueur
1-2 tbsp orange juice (from your oranges)
1 tsp orange extract
Zest of one orange
Orange food coloring or gel
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Corn syrup

Orange Liqueur Frosting
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
2 tbsp Orange Liqueur
1 tbsp orange juice (from your oranges)
1tsp orange extract
Orange food coloring or gel
1-2 tbsp cream or half and half (start with 1, add another tbsp as needed)
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Corn syrup

For the Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Generously spray 3 – 8 inch round cake pans with shortening or non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the cake pans with the parchment rounds.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.
3. Zest the oranges and set aside.
4. Separate the egg yolks and whites into two large mixing bowls. Beat the egg whites, 1/3 cup sugar and cream of tarter until they form stiff, glossy peaks.
5. In the mixing bowl with the egg yolks add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and oil.  Beat on high speed until thick and almost doubled in size – about 2 minutes.  Mix in orange extract, liqueur and zest.
6. Gently stir in the almond flour mixture on low speed.
7. Fold in the beaten egg whites.  Start with 2 cups of the egg whites and mix in on low speed just to lighten the batter.  Mix in the remaining egg whites by hand in 3 parts.  Gently fold until mixture is no longer streaky and is well combined.
8. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Let cool in the pans for 20-30 minutes.  Loosen the sides with a knife.  Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.

For the Crumb Coat
1. Cream the butter for 30 seconds on medium speed in a stand mixer. 
2. Add the liquids and food coloring and slowly increase the speed to medium into you have almost an emulsion (not too long or the butter will get too warm).  You want this frosting to be a pale orange.
3. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated.  Beat on medium for 30 seconds.  Adjust consistency by adding corn syrup in 1 tbsp increments, beating on medium for 30 seconds after each addition. 
4. Beat on medium high for 1 minute.
5. Frost between layers.  Frost sides and top and smooth the surface. 
6. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before frosting with the Orange Liqueur Frosting.

For the Orange Liqueur Frosting
1. Repeat the same instructions for the crumb coat, except increase the amount of orange food coloring/gel to achieve a deeper orange color.
2. Removed well-chilled cake from the refrigerator.
3. Fill piping bag with frosting and use a large star tip. 
4. Pipe roses in 3 layers up the side of the cake.  Start at the bottom row and alternate the roses on each layer. 
5. Pipe the top using the same rose pattern, starting on the outer row and working toward the center.  Fill in any gaps between roses on the cake with piped stars.
6. Refrigerate for 3 hours and lightly cover with plastic wrap or place in cake carrier.

Farewell, Sue...Happy retirement and safe passage!  Ellen

P.S. Sue on the left and that's my friend, Martha baker and reception organizer extraordinaire, on the right.  :)
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  1. I've been wanting to do an Ombre Cake--you one "uped" me! Also, I love that you did a gluten-free (again, uped me) as I have a lot of friends who cannot digest wheat products. I can just smell the orange aroma from the zest and I bet it is the moistest cake. You've been a busy baker, my friend, Love you, Me

  2. Ellen, That is the prettiest cake I have EVER seen!! I wish I could've seen it in person, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way it looks and I'm sure it tasted great as well :) So pretty...


  3. Hi Ellen, the special cake you made for the reception was absolutely delicious, delightful, daring, and beautiful!! I'm going to give the recipe a try, but may need some coaching from the pro (you)! Thanks again for such a special treat. Forever in your debt.


  4. Hi, this recipe looks wonderful and I'd love to give it a try. Would you please clarify how much oil/ yoghurt is needed? Thanks

    1. Hi Daisybee! Thanks for finding this error, my apologies. It is 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. I do think you might be able to leave it out as the almond flour and all those egg yolks have lots of fat. The original recipe from Simply Gluten-Free had no oil in the recipe. I added the oil to help off-set the affects of the liqueur. It was a very moist cake with lots of flavor. Thanks again and let me know how it turns out. :)


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