Gluten Free Mandarin Cake

“This cake originally started out as a way for Dan to offload some of the mandarins that we had piling up but it turned out to be a real crowd pleaser. (The crowd being me and Rei Baby and she doesn’t eat solids yet so yea….). The soft texture and little chunks of mandarin make for a tasty desert that all the family will love” – The Big J

Gluten Free Mandarin Cake


As the weather heats up and spring moves toward summer, this tangy citrus cake is the perfect refreshing accompaniment to a tall glass of water. It is Aquatober after all…

This is my new favourite cake. You’re probably thinking that I say that about most of the recipes in my blog, and you’d be right because if I don’t love it, it doesn’t make it (the chocolate beetroot cake that I attempted last week is a classic example – I didn’t even have the heart to offer that failure to The Big J. Back to the drawing board on that one). But I am seriously in love with this Mandarin cake and all of it’s dense, citrusy glory. Yum!

Although I could have done a sugar free version, there were 2 things stopping me:

  • The Big J bought maple flavoured syrup instead of pure (and that was despite the fact the shopping list had in bold NOT FLAVOURED – PURE ONLY!)
  • And I wanted some icing on this cake. Ok, so really, even if I did have pure syrup in the cupboard, I was always going to coat this cake in as much icing as possible. It’s a citrus glaze icing too, nom nom nom.

Oh and this recipe uses WHOLE mandarins. That’s right, skin and all. You just roughly chop and remove the pips first then everything is done in the food processor. I even made the icing in the food processor too because I’ve spent way too long in the past trying to squish little compact balls of pure icing through a fine sieve. Well not any more thank you very much!

Gluten Free Mandarin Cake 2


  • 4 Mandarins
  • 2/3 cup Castor Sugar
  • 4 Eggs at Room Temperature
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 150g Almond Meal
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºc. Prepare a 22cm springform pan by lining the base and oiling the sides.
  2. Roughly chop whole mandarins, removing seeds as you go. Place mandarins, with skin and sugar, into food processor and process until quite liquid.
  3. Add eggs, oil and process until combined.
  4. Using pulse, add the almond meal and baking powder and quickly process until just combined.
  5. Pour into prepared tin and bake in pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the spring form pan (leave base on). Once completely cool, remove base and ice with Citrus Glaze Icing.


  • 2 cups Pure Icing Sugar
  • 2 tsp Butter
  • 2.5 tbs Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Acting quickly before the icing starts to set, pour the icing over your cake allowing it to drizzle down the sides.

Gluten Free Mandarin Cake 3

Can you see those tasty flecks of mandarin rind scattered throughout the cake? They are divine! Even though it’s bed time now, I’m so tempted to sneak over to the fridge and just have a smidgen more…

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