This deliciously sticky vegan orange cake is incredibly moist, made with ground almonds and yoghurt, and finished with an orange drizzle syrup.
🍴 Why you will love this recipe
A perfect vegan teatime treat, this sticky upside-down orange cake with a citrussy orange drizzle syrup is sticky, moist and totally more-ish. No-one will ever guess it is vegan!
It is very easy to make, with no fancy equipment needed. Follow my simple step-by-step photos for great results every time!
You could serve your sticky vegan orange cake with a morning coffee, for a fancy afternoon tea, or as a decadent dessert served with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream.
📝 What you need
Oranges The biggest, juiciest oranges you can find are ideal! If you can only find smaller oranges you might need 3 for the orange slice layer, and the juice of 2 for the drizzle syrup.
Rapeseed Oil gives the cake a beautifully soft crumb. You can use any flavourless oil like sunflower or vegetable oil, but avoid any with a stronger flavour (coconut or olive oil).
Vegan Yoghurt Use an unsweetened dairy-free yoghurt (the cake is sweet enough already!). I use soya as it has the highest protein content so it best for baking, but an oat or nut based yoghurt will be fine too.
Ground Almonds add a rich and moist texture to the cake. If you want to make it nut-free, just swap for more self-raising flour of the same weight instead.
There's no need for any fancy equipment to make this cake - you won't need a food mixer just a bowl and spatula will do.
However the one piece of kit that will make a big difference is a loose-based cake tin, around 23cm across. I love my loose-bottomed tins from Lakeland - pleasingly heavy, and nothing ever seems to stick.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Vegan Orange Cake
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼 .
Slice two oranges thinly (with skin on). Simmer the slices in a sugar and water syrup for 15 minutes then remove from the syrup and cool.
Arrange the orange slices on the bottom of a lined cake tin, starting from the centre and overlapping them slightly. For the cake, mix the flour, sugar, ground almonds, cornflour and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl.
Add the oil, vegan yoghurt and orange zest and mix until smooth. Pour the batter carefully over the orange slices and smooth to the edges of the tin. Bake for 30 minutes.
For the drizzle syrup, mix the orange juice and icing sugar microwave for 1 minute (or simmer in a saucepan) then set aside to cool. Prick the cake all over with a skewer or cocktail stick, and pour over the orange drizzle syrup. Leave for an hour or so for the syrup to infuse through the cake, then turn out and serve.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
If you have time, leave the cake overnight in an airtight tin or container before serving. It makes a big difference to the texture of the cake, drawing the moisture right through the cake for a very soft and moist sponge.
Once you have mixed the cake batter together, work as quickly as you can to get the cake into the oven. The raising agents start to work straight away, and you want the bubbles to form in the oven, not whilst sitting on the side!
Frequently Asked Questions
This is a lovely moist cake, and is still delicious 3-4 days after baking, as long as it is stored in an airtight container.
You can, but the texture of the sticky orange layer isn't quite the same as when fresh so I would recommend baking from fresh if you can. If you do need to freeze the cake, you could make it without the orange layer, it would still be delicious.
Sticky Vegan Orange Cake
For the orange slices:
- 2 large oranges
- 200 g caster sugar
- 200 ml water
For the cake:
- 250 g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 225 g caster sugar
- 50 g ground almonds
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- 150 ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 200 g dairy-free yoghurt unsweetened
For the orange drizzle syrup:
- 1 large orange
- 75 g icing sugar
To make the orange slices:
- Cut the oranges into slices about half a centimetre thick, removing any seeds.
- Bring the sugar and water to a simmer in a large saucepan and add the orange slices. Simmer for 15 minutes, turning occasionally to make sure they are all fully submerged.
- Remove the slices from the syrup and set aside to cool. Discard the syrup.
- Grease a 23cm loose-based cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Arrange the orange slices in the tin, starting from the centre and working outwards, overlapping them slightly until all the slices are used up.
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) / 350F / Gas Mark 4.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, caster sugar, ground almonds and cornflour.
- In a jug, mix the oil and vegan yoghurt, then add the zest of the remaining orange (you will use the juice for the orange syrup).
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until completely smooth.
- Pour the batter into the tin over the orange slices, and gently smooth it to the edges of the tin.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted knife or skewer comes out clean.
To make the orange drizzle syrup:
- In a small jug or bowl mix the juice of the orange with the icing sugar.
- Microwave for 1 minute on full power (or simmer in a saucepan until slightly thickened) then set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Use a cocktail stick or skewer to prick the cake all over (whilst it is still in the tin), then spoon over the orange syrup, reserving about 1 tablespoon of syrup.
- When the cake is completely cool, turn it out onto a serving plate. Remove the baking parchment and brush the orange slices with the remaining orange syrup.
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