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Ayesha's Citrus Almond Cake With Candied Orange Peels

Each year at Mouth HQ we host a Thanksgiving potluck, where members of the team cook classic Thanksgiving dishes upgraded with small-batch, indie-gredients. And then we share the recipes with you! Today, we bring you a dish made by made by our CMO, Ayesha Ahmad. Welcome to Mouthsgiving 2016! 

I’m from Pakistan, so I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving of course, but I love the holiday. My husband is American, so ever since I’ve been here we’ve spent Thanksgiving with friends and family. We do something different every year – we don’t have any set ritual yet.

My kids love to help with the cooking – they’re very into it. They see me at it a lot, and what’s not fun about mixing things, breaking eggs and all of that? I try to not get overly concerned about the mess because I want to encourage them to cook and understand how important good, healthy food is. And then they abandon me at cleanup.

I bake quite a bit, so I am usually in charge of Thanksgiving dessert, but I’m not a big pie person so I always try to come up with good alternatives. I don’t like pumpkin (heresy!), and I’m not a big pecan person either. So that doesn’t leave a lot of options! Last year, I made an amazing orange almond cake, which is originally a Middle Eastern recipe. 

This year, I’m a bit busier (November is one of the busiest months of the year at Mouth), so I don’t have as much time as I’d like to spend preparing elaborate ingredients, like homemade candied orange peels. One night I was browsing the site looking for inspiration – as in, what can I make that will be delicious and as easy as possible? – and came across June Taylor Jams' Candied Seville Orange Peels. Lightbulb!

This revamped cake is prepared with stewed, caramelized citrus, which is at its peak this time of the year, and studded with the Candied Seville Orange Peels for extra texture. It’s also made with almond meal, so it’s gluten-free. Check!

Ayesha's Citrus Almond Cake With Candied Orange Peels

2 large oranges
6 eggs, room temperature
16 ounces (½ pound) almond meal
6 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tin Candied Seville Orange Peels, chopped


1. The night before, slow boil 2 oranges. Submerge them in a pot of water ‘til they’re just covered and simmer 2 hours on medium heat. (I like to do this the night before so when I wake up, they’re cool enough to handle.)
2. Once cool, cut oranges open and remove seeds. Purée oranges, including the peel, in a food processor.
3. Preheat oven to 400°.
4. Beat the eggs in a food processor or large bowl. Add puréed oranges, almond meal, sugar, baking powder and chopped Candied Seville Orange Peels. Mix thoroughly. Pour into a buttered and floured cake tin, preferably one with a removable base.
5. Bake for one hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the tin before turning out.

If you like, buy an extra tin of Candied Seville Orange Peels to decorate the cake with after baking. When still warm, scatter chopped peels on the surface of the cake. Let cool, then dust with powdered sugar.

Total time: 3 hours, plus time to cool
Serves: 8-10

The 2016 Mouthsgiving Menu

Kate's Porchetta Fennel Garlic Dry Rub Turkey + Apple Cider Vinegar Gravy
Josie's Kale Salad With Candied Pecans, Dried Berries And Blue Cheese
Marianne's Brussels Sprouts With Maple Bacon And Chili Granola
Sophie's Sautéed Green Beans With Grainy Mustard And Almonds
Jenny's Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Savory Rosemary Granola
Craig's Sausage And Popcorn Cornbread Stuffing
Nancy's Maple Sugar Cranberry Sauce
Kiernan's Bourbon Smoked Roasted Cauliflower
Ethan's Roasted Carrots And Onions With Shallot Oil
Ayesha's Citrus Almond Cake With Candied Orange Peels


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