I am a little bit in love with my gluten free spiced orange loaf cake already. Maybe it’s luscious mascarpone frosting…or the real satsumas making the sponge so moist…or the warming spices that make this cake feel like a big hug? Or maybe combined they are just the magic formula for one helluva delicious tea time treat!

It came to be as a bit of an experiment. I had some satsumas languishing in the fruit bowl and wanted to see if they would work well in a cake. Boiling them before using them in the cake batter makes 1) the satsuma flesh beautifully soft and sweet, 2) your house smell amazing. Seriously, who needs expensive scented candles when boiling satsumas makes your house smell this good :D.

The satsumas paired with ground almonds in this sponge really help make an incredibly moist cake. It even keeps well for a few days (rare for gluten free cakes), assuming you have enough self-restraint to not eat it all in one go! I always end up having two slices of this cake…it’s become my new weakness.

spiced orange loaf cake gluten free recipe

What Equipment do I Need?

The only main thing you need is a 2lb loaf tin. Please be sure to use this size as if you use a 1lb tin the batter will overfill it and make a big cakey mess in your oven while baking.

This is the most common size for loaf tins, so hopefully is already the one you have at home.

Aside from the tin, no other special kit is needed. I use a small blender to blitz the orange – I have the Kenwood Mini Chopper, which is super handy and very cheap.

An electric hand whisk always makes quick work of cake mixes, but if you have a fancy stand mixer then do please feel free to use than instead. Equally, if you just have a wooden spoon that works perfectly as well and you’ll have much stronger arms by the end of it!

gluten free orange loaf cake

Do I Need to Use Satsumas?

Any small orange variety works well for this – satsumas, clementines or small easy peelers. They are lovely and sweet and cook quickly because of their small size.

I discard the skins and pith, however in theory you could include these two if you like a stronger, more bitter orange flavour.

If you only have large oranges, no worries! You’ll need to boil them for longer (1-2 hours depending on their size), then be sure to remove any pips before you blitz the orange flesh.

gluten free orange loaf cake recipe

Are There Any Other Icing Options?

If you don’t want to make the mascarpone frosting or cannot tolerate much dairy, why not try a dark chocolate ganache instead. You simply mix 50% dark chocolate with 50% cream (or dairy free cream) and then stir until thick and glossy. Then you can pour over the cake and leave to set.

Spiced Orange Cake with Mascarpone Frosting Recipe

Time for the recipe! If you enjoy making and eating this cake them please do leave a review on the recipe card below. I am always grateful for your lovely reviews.

If you have any questions while you are making the cake, email me (Laura) at mygfguide@gmail.com or contact me on my social media channels (@myglutenfreeguide). I am always happy to help.

Laura xxx

gluten free orange loaf cake
Yield: Serves 6

Spiced Orange Cake with Mascarpone Frosting (GF)

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


For the cake:

  • 4-5 clementines/satsumas (approx 300g in weight)
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 115g gluten free self raising flour
  • 175g ground almonds
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp xanthan gum
  • 0.5 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • Pinch salt

For the frosting:

  • 40g unsalted butter, chilled
  • 150g mascarpone, chilled
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla essence
  • Zest of one orange


  1. Place the whole satsumas into a pan of boiling water and allow them to cook in their skins for 45 minutes with the lid on. The water should be on a low simmer throughout the cooking process. Your house will smell so good while these are cooking!
  2. Carefully take the satsumas out of the pan after cooking and set aside to cool for a few minutes until you are able to handle them. Then remove the skin, any seeds and pith (discard) and pop the flesh into a small blender. Whizz until smooth and juicy, then set aside in a bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175C (fan) and grease and line the base and sides of a 2lb loaf tin with a little butter and greaseproof paper.
  4. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric whisk until smooth. Add the caster sugar and beat again to combine.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, combining into the butter sugar mixture with a wooden spoon.
  6. Next in go the dry ingredients - sift the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, all spice, cinnamon, ginger and salt into the bowl and add the ground almonds. Incorporate the ingredients using a wooden spoon.
  7. Finally, add ONLY 180g of the orange pulp and juice to the cake (if you don't have enough, you can add an extra drop of carton orange juice to make up the weight, and if you have any leftovers chill and have in a yummy juice :D). Use the electric whisk to briefly beat the mixture for about 30 seconds until everything is fully mixed.
  8. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake in the over at 175C (fan) for 45 minutes or until cooked in the centre.
  9. After baking, carefully lift the cake out of the tin and remove the greaseproof paper. Set it on a wire rack and allow to cool fully before icing.
  10. Once the cake has cooked you can make that icing! In a clean bowl, mix your butter with an electric whisk until it is soft and smooth. You should be using chilled butter as this tends to yield a nice thick icing.
  11. Add the mascarpone to the butter and mix well to combine. Then you gradually mix in the sifted icing sugar - doing this gradually will help avoid any lumps forming. I would use a wooden spoon to initially mix the icing sugar in, then if you have an electric whisk this is handy for giving everything a final blend. You should end up with a lovely smooth frosting.
  12. Finally, add the vanilla essence and the orange zest to the frosting and stir it through until you have a nice even distribution.
  13. Use a small palette knife to slather the mascarpone frosting on top of the cake in a generous layer.
  14. Finish with the decorations of your choice or leave it plain and simple. Oven-dried orange slices make a lovely choice, orange zest or maybe even some chocolate orange buttons. Enjoy!

I really hope you enjoyed making my gluten free spiced orange loaf cake! If you want to try some of my other bakes (please do!), you may like some of these recipes:

Happy baking!

Laura x