There is one thing that every person with a sugar tooth struggles with! After a meal, all they can think about is dessert. It’s as if the actual meal is a prelude to whats to come… dessert of course. Whenever I go out to eat somewhere, I always go through the dessert menu first, to decide how substantive my meal needs to be, so that there is plenty of room for dessert. Mostly, you’ll find me sweet talking my meal companions so that they will share the dessert with me, so that there is less guilt that I’ve undone the sweat session from the gym earlier in the day! Is this just me, or do you all also go through the same thing? There is one person I know that truly shared my agony for dessert after any meal. My grandma. The best thing though was that she polished off her dessert guilt-free! In a few days it’ll be a year since she left us and I wanted to make a dessert that I knew she would have loved. Oranges were one of her favorite fruits and I have flashbacks of her sitting in the wintery sun and sharing her favorite fruit with her children and grandchildren.
I wanted to make a healthy version of this cake without compromising on the taste and texture and it definitely had to still be a dessert! Man, did this recipe deliver! The cake is light, moist and melt in your mouth goodness you’ve ever tasted! Its the yogurt that really helps moisten the cake while keeping the crumb delicate. In an attempt to keep the cake healthier, I used half a cup of almond flour, added a mix of brown sugar and real maple syrup instead of white sugar and only added one tablespoon of butter! I did not have wholewheat flour on hand, so i went with half a cup of regular flour. If you have some at home, by all means use it (that stuff is great for you!!). For the almond flour, blitz some slivered almonds in the food process till it is nice and fine. Be careful not to over mix, you don’t want to end up with almond butter! Now i know you all would be thinking, how does all that even make an amazing dessert! Let me tell you, it does, go ahead bake it today and let me know how it does!
To add some pizzazz to the cake (you know I’m trying to impress y’all), I baked the cake in a 12×8 pan. This allowed me to have a thinner cake that I could cut into little rounds with the help of a cookie cutter. I then stacked these layers of cake with a loose frosting, that resulted in a cake drizzling with vanilla cream cheese frosting. This combo is a match made it heaven. The vanilla and the cream cheese in the frosting really compliment the orange cake and gives it that extra gooeyness. With the addition of segmented oranges and a drizzle of orange juice mixed with some maple syrup and orange zest, and these mini cakes are perfection!!
If you want to keep the healthiness of these cakes, you can skip the frosting (or make a looser frosting like I did) but the orange segments and the orange drizzle is a must!! If you make it in a regular cake pan, once the cake if out of the oven and at room temperature, drizzle the cake with the orange drizzle.
Go ahead and enjoy this cake! Its healthy, so you can eat as much as you want and feel good about yourself… at least that’s what I’m telling myself! My grandma will be pleased!
Orange Almond Yogurt Cake
Yield: Makes one 8-inch round cake or 4 mini 4-inch layer cakes
- Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- Zest of one medium orange
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large orange zested
- 1 large orange segmented
- Juice of half an orange
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, (or vanilla bean paste if you have)
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large sheet pan or a 8-inch round cake pan.
- Cream one tablespoon butter with the brown sugar and maple syrup. Add the egg, yogurt, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice.
Stir flour and almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour into pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cake is cooled, refrigerate the cake for twenty minutes.
- Use a round cookie or biscuit cutter to stamp out rounds of the cooled cake. Spread each layer with frosting and then add another layer. After adding a thin layer of frosting to the whole cake, chill in the freezer before adding an thicker layer of frosting.
- If making one large round cake, crumb coat the cake. Chill in the freezer for a while and then add a thicker layer of frosting.
- Whip the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar, a little at a time until the desired sweetness and consistency is reached.
For Orange Drizzle
- Zest an orange and segment the orange into pieces. Squeeze half an orange for its juice
- Whisk the zest, orange juice and maple syrup. Mix in the orange segments.
- Drizzle on top of the prepared mini cakes
*I wanted a looser frosting and therefore put less powdered sugar, if you want a thicker frosting to cover the cake, use the recommended amount of powdered sugar.