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Chocolate Orange Cake (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Maša Ofei
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Bake Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9-inch cake (12 slices)


A delicious gluten-free and vegan cake that is fluffy and decadent. Perfectly balanced amounts of orange and chocolate give this cake a luxurious feel without the fuss. A great dessert to make over the holidays!


  • 1 thin-skinned orange (approx. 250g / 8.8 ounces)
  • 1 cup / 230ml plant milk
  • 1 cup / 175g maize meal*
  • 1 cup / 225g cane sugar
  • ½ cup / 105ml neutral oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 cup / 125g almond flour / meal
  • ⅓ cup / 35g cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup / 60g apple sauce

Chocolate ganache (optional):

  • 120g / 4.23 ounces vegan chocolate (I used 55% dark and chopped up if using blocks of chocolate)
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons / 130g coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk) 


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit) line a 9-inch cake tin with parchment paper on the base, and oil the sides. Set aside.
  2. Place the orange in a small saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook on high heat for 15 minutes. It’s cooked when you can pierce the orange without too much resistance. Drain the water and slice up the orange into chunks, removing any seeds. Do this carefully so you don’t burn yourself. Set aside to cool. 
  3. While the orange cooks, bring the milk up to a gentle simmer.
  4. To a large bowl, add the maize meal and pour the warm milk over it, stirring immediately. It will thicken. 
  5. Add in the sugar, mixing to combine. The warmth of the milk will melt the sugar.
  6. Add in the oil and mix really well to incorporate. 
  7. Sift in the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  8. Add the cooked orange to a small food processor and blend for around 15-20 seconds. Add the apple sauce and blend again until you have orange puree. You will still have smaller chunks in the mix; that’s completely fine. 
  9. Pour the orange mix into the bowl and mix until combined.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and tap on the bench a couple of times to flatten the top.
  11. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
  12. Let it cool completely before removing it from the cake tin. It should separate from the sides on its own; however, I still like to run my knife around it just in case. 
  13. For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a small saucepan on very low heat on the stove (alternatively over a double boiler). Stirring as it melts.
  14. Once it has all almost melted, remove from heat and let it completely melt, stirring. The heat from the pan will finish the melting without burning the chocolate.
  15. Add in the coconut cream and whisk until thoroughly combined. I like to use a whisk to ensure that the chocolate and cream are well incorporated.
  16. Let it cool for around 10 minutes in the fridge, so it thickens. 
  17. Spread over the top of the cake and decorate with orange slices and / or orange zest (optional).
  18. It will keep in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 4 days.


Please use scales for this recipe to get the best results.

Maize meal: Maize meal is the consistency between corn flour (finely ground to a flour) and polenta (coarser brighter yellow meal). Not to be mistaken with corn starch which is a white powder that makes a squeaking noise when rubbed between your fingers.

Please see the tips in the post for more help with this recipe.

You can watch the full recipe video over on our YouTube channel.

  • Diet: Vegan

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