It's still citrus season and it seems like blood oranges are only on the shelves for about a month before they disappear. I'm always so eager to incorporate their beautifully coloured red juice and fruit into almost anything and to develop new recipes. For some reason I've found Grain Free Loaves one of the most challenging to get right. The flavours may taste wonderful but the texture of the loaf ends up gummy on the inside, no matter how long I bake it for or how much or how little liquid I add. Finally after about 6 attempts, my husband who is not celiac, who is my greatest, and most brutally honest taste tester, exclaimed "this is the best version yet!" I knew I'd done it!!! Do not be dismayed as this will not rise like a typical loaf and it may cave in a tiny bit in the middle after baking but trust me this cake does not disappoint. So moist and flavorful and unlike most glazed loaves it won't send you into a sugar coma after eating a piece. In our area I could not find organic blood oranges so I used the zest of an organic navel orange in the cake. Conventional oranges are usually treated with fungicides and pesticides so in light of this I opted to not use the blood orange peel. I have included the baking times for both bundt and loaf pan versions of this cake. The bundt pan version takes about 15 minutes less to bake. If you use sunflower meal in this instead of pumpkin seed meal you will notice a slight green tingle to the inside of your loaf after baking, don't worry. It's just the natural chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds reacting with the rest of the ingredients. This will happen whenever you use raw seeds such as hemp seeds and certain nuts in your baking.
Line a Loaf Pan with Parchment Paper and preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt the coconut oil in a little pan over low heat. Add oil to a mixing bowl along with the maple syrup, coconut sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat several minutes until glossy. Add the orange juice, milk and orange zest. Beat for one minute or so.
Add Sunflower Meal to a medium bowl. Over that same bowl sift the rest of the dry ingredients. Add these to your wet ingredients and mix for about 2 minutes or until batter is smooth and glossy.
Place the 1 tbsp of tapioca starch in a small bowl. Add the cranberries and stir to coat the cranberries with the starch. Gently fold them into the batter, distributing them evenly throughout. Pour into a greased bundt cake pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a bamboo skewer.
If you are using a loaf pan bake in the middle of your oven for 60 to 70 minutes until golden brown and a knife( I use a thin bladed steak knife) or bamboo skewer comes out clean. I don't use a toothpick in loaves as it doesn't go down far enough in the cake to test for done-ness. Allow to cool before glazing. Carefully remove from the bundt or loaf pan and place on parchment paper.
If your coconut butter is very solid, use a butter knife to loosen/break it up in the jar. Measure it out and add it to a small shallow saucepan along with the rest of the ingredients. Over low heat, stir the ingredients with a whisk and stir until they have melted. You will have a smooth silky and glossy glaze. Pour the glaze over your loaf. Enjoy!
Serving Size 1 slice