Gluten-Free Mandarin Pudding Cake

Published on Nov 30, 2023

  by   Kristina Stosek

6 reviews

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 90 minutes Serves: 10 - 12
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Recipe updated Nov 30, 2023

This gourmet, Grain-Free Mandarin Pudding Cake is a dairy-free and gluten free dessert bursting with zesty flavors derived from whole, fresh mandarins. Accented with a touch of cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla, and without added fats. This golden, extra moist pudding cake is exceptionally delicious.

a slice of grain free mandarin cake on a plate

What sets this Mandarin Pudding Cake apart is its unique preparation.

We slow-cook whole mandarins, blending them into a velvety sauce that infuses the cake with the essence of fresh mandarin flavor. This gluten-free dessert’s moist texture and perfect crumb are thanks to the combination of mandarins and almond flour.

In addition, it’s both dairy-free and free from added fats, creating a balance between a moist cake and a pudding, all with that refreshing mandarin kick.

close up of mandarin cake slice on a plate

This Gluten-Free Mandarin Pudding Cake is a winner in every aspect. 

No added fats, grains, or dairy make it a wholesome choice, and with just 10 ingredients, it’s a simple yet health-conscious addition to your gluten-free dessert repertoire. Its pudding-like texture, reminiscent of a moist cake, is simply irresistible.

Dubbed a pudding cake for its superb moisture, this gluten free recipe achieves its mandarin-rich flavor using fresh mandarins and mandarin peels. 


It’s a breeze – simmer mandarins with peels until soft. 

whole mandarins in a pot with water

Blend until smooth. 

blended mandarins with peels in a blender

 Incorporate the mandarin sauce into the dry ingredients.

cake batter in a bowl with a spatula


  • Medium size pot
  • Food processor or a high-speed blender
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 bowl
  • 8 x 2-inch round cake pan or springform pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatula


  • Mandarin oranges
  • Almond flour
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Baking powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Fine sea salt

With only ten ingredients and an easy process, even those new to baking can create a visually stunning and delicious result. 

What makes this grain-free mandarin pudding cake healthy-ish?

Fresh mandarins, antioxidant-rich mandarin peels, almond flour, eggs, fresh lemon juice, a hint of vanilla, and a dash of spices create a nutritious dessert.

side view of a slice of mandarin cake

Curious about the moistness of this gluten free, dairy-free, fat-free cake? 

Mandarins take the spotlight, infusing the cake with succulence, while almond flour contributes to its soft, crumb texture. Our gluten-free mandarin pudding cake is a simple recipe with a complex and stunning flavor, making it a healthier dessert choice. 

mandarins and a halved mandarin


Cleaning mandarin peels is essential in this recipe because it ensures they are free from dirt, pesticides, wax, or other impurities. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean mandarin peels:

Select Fresh Mandarins:

Start with fresh mandarins that are firm and free from visible mold or damage.

Wash the Mandarins:

Rinse the mandarins thoroughly under cold running water to remove any surface dirt or debris.

Soak in Vinegar Solution:

For an extra cleaning step, soak the mandarins in a solution of water and vinegar. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water and let the mandarins soak for a few minutes. This can help remove pesticides and additional residues.

Use a Soft Brush:

If there is stubborn dirt or residues on the peel, you can use a soft brush, like a vegetable brush or toothbrush, to gently scrub the surface of the mandarins under running water.

Following these steps, you can clean mandarin peels effectively and ensure they are ready for use in your recipes, such as the Gluten-Free Mandarin Pudding Cake.


Allow the mandarin cake to cool completely before attempting to store it. This helps prevent condensation, which can lead to sogginess.

Once the cake has cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate for up to five days.

For longer storage, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn. The mandarin cake will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before serving.

close up of grain-free mandarin cake


Mandarin cake pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. Enjoy it with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a side of fresh berries for a delightful contrast. Or a simple dusting of powdered sugar or lemon glaze.


  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional for extra flavor)

In a bowl, whisk everything vigorously until the sugar and lemon juice are well combined. Continue whisking until you achieve a smooth and pourable consistency.

Why do we love Gluten-Free Mandarin Pudding Cake? It is a dairy-free and grain-free dessert bursting with fresh mandarin goodness and the perfect blend of flavors?

Our three favorite gluten free healthy-ish cakes

Gluten Free Berry Almond Snacking Cake

Raspberry Chia Coffee Cake

Ricotta Gluten-Free Breakfast Cake with Blueberries 

Gluten Free Strawberry Buttermilk Cake


Let’s connect

Meet Kristina. Passionate about creating delicious, innovative gluten free recipes, and author of two gluten free cookbooks, “Entertaining The Gluten Free Way” and “Small Bites The Gluten Free Way”.

Be sure to FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK or, check us out on PINTEREST. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter. We always have something new and exciting for you! 

Many thanks!

Kristina x



Leave a Comment


my pleasure Deb.


Great, thanks for answering. I know some substitutes do work better than others in some things, so that's what I'll try. In most recipes I just sub it out, but occasionally I see a recipe that might be more finicky. And I had meant to thank you for the washing instructions for the oranges. I always just gave them a wash, but often wondered if it was enough.


Hi Deb, you are most welcome. As far as sugar, I have not tried this recipe with a sugar substitute, so I don't know about the texture without real sugar. However, if I were to use a sugar substitute, I would use Erythritol/Monk sugar. I have used it in my keto recipes, and it worked well. This is the brand I used. Thank you for your kind words x


This looks fantastic! I do love food with orange peels in the dish. I need to be sugar-free, though, in addition to gluten-free. What is your opinion on using a sugar substitute for this? Will it kill the texture? Thanks so much for all your lovely recipes.


Paula, this pudding cake is made primarily with nut flour. You can replace the almond flour with walnut or pecan flour. To make nut flour, place nuts in a food processor and process until you reach desired texture. DO NOT over-process or the flour will become oily.

Paula Ward

What can I use instead of almond flour? I have an intolerance to almonds.


it happens when you bake it Dee.


This pudding cake looks to have a raised edge around the perimeter. Did you create that, or does it just happen when you bake it?


yes absolutely, just make sure to remove the seeds


You want to boil the entire in peeled orange? And put the peels in the food processor?

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