gluten, egg & dairy free-orange cake

by Karen Swan

You know that moment, when you’re laying in bed, about to drop off to sleep and your eyes suddenly snap open and you realise you’ve left something somewhere?

That was me.  About a month ago.  I lost my engagement and wedding rings.

Opening the little tin I normally keep them in, gave me a heart attack.  They weren’t there.  They weren’t in any of the little places I normally keep them.

I went into a little panic.

Racking my brain for the last time I’d worn them and where I would have left them………all I could think was that I’d left them on the shelf in a public loo somewhere after taking them off to wash my hands.

I searched frantically.  I emailed every place I’d been.  Nothing.

Eventually I surrendered to the fact that they were lost.  I stopped looking.

Two days later my eyes snapped open as I lay in bed and I knew where they were.  Yep, I found them!  Hidden so well, I’d forgotten!

Orange & Olive Oil Cake. GF DF EF02
What does this have to do with cake?

Well, this is an adaptation of a Greek recipe, ‘Fanouropita‘, a bready, dense cake made in honour of St. Fanourios, the patron saint of lost things (and apparently the he can reveal the destiny of unmarried girls!).

I do love a little symbolism and the idea of baking and filling the house with amazing citrus and cinnamon aromas in thanks for finding something lost (be it a ‘thing’ or a feeling), to me is giving ceremony to everyday life.  Acknowledging and being grateful for the little things.

This cake is incredibly easy to prepare using ingredients you would already have.  If you aren’t using gluten free flour, then you won’t need as much baking powder  and you might like to adjust the olive oil down a smidge.

With no gluten no eggs and no dairy, this is a great recipe to have on hand!


360g Well & Good gluten free plain flour

1.5 T baking powder

160g sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

A full 3/4 cup of olive oil

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest of one orange, finely grated

1 tsp vanilla

Extra sugar for drizzling

Blanched almonds for the topping


Preheat your oven to 190 degrees.

Use olive oil and flour to line a round cake tin with removable base (mine was 20cm)

Mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar.

Using electric mixers, add the OJ, vanilla, zest and oil and mix well.

The batter is THICK, almost like a dough.

Pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle with sugar and top with the almonds.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Orange & Olive Oil Cake. GF DF EF06Cool before slicing.

Store in an airtight container for 2 days, but as with all gluten free baked goods, it’s best eaten on the day or within 24 hours.  I have some frozen, so I’ll update the page when I defrost them and let you know how it goes.

Orange & Olive Oil Cake. GF DF EF10
This is a traditional recipe, with many variations.  Some use butter and eggs, some add cloves and other seasonings.

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I took my inspiration from this recipe.

The definitive Bible of Greek cooking, Vefa’s Kitchen, also has a gorgeous version.

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