Orange and Ginger Cake

Chars Orange and almond cake

by Charmaine Dennis, FGHG Director and Naturopath

Simple to make, this delicious orange and ginger cake is rich with protein from eggs and almond meal. To help your body out of the slumber of winter, this cake is sure to warm the cockles of your heart and make the blood flow to your fingers and toes with a generous addition of fresh ginger. You could use mandarins if you have them in abundance, or even try it with a combination of citrus fruits. Love to hear about it if you do! You could just as easily make muffins for lunch boxes from this recipe if you prefer. Conveniently, it is also gluten free.


3 whole sweet oranges – medium size navels are perfect
5 organic eggs
1 heaped TBS fresh, finely grated ginger
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey – manuka or jarrah is best for additional immune boost in a cake!)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
3 ½ cups almond meal

  • Boil whole oranges in their skins in water until soft (about one hour). Drain and cool
  • Preheat oven to 170 C or fan forced at 160 C
  • Lineand grease 20cm cake tin with baking paper on the base and sides
  • Roughly chopboiled oranges into a food processor and process until smooth
  • Addeggs, ginger, maple (or honey) and vanilla then process again until creamy
  • Addalmond meal and baking powder then process again for about 15 seconds, scrape down the sides and process again until a batter is formed
  • Spoon into the tin and smooth over the top
  • Bakefor 45 minutes or until cooked through. It will turn golden on top and feel spongy to press
  • Removefrom the oven and allow to cool in the tin before removing
  • Enjoy plain or top with Orange and Ginger Syrup (below) with coconut or regular full fat yoghurt or cream
Orange and Ginger Cake Syrup Topping

One whole orange, sliced
One orange, juiced
½ cup brown sugar
1 TBS fresh, finely grated ginger

  • Dissolve the sugar in the orange juice over heat, bring to the boil
  • Add ginger and orange slices, covering with liquid.
  • Simmer gently, carefully turning the orange slices, keeping them covered until a thick consistency is reached and the peel starts to turn translucent
  • Lift out orange slices and arrange on the top of the cake
  • Spoon remaining orange syrup over the top


Charmaine Dennis NaturopathCharmaine Dennis is the founder and director of Fertile Ground Health Group and a fertility Naturopath with nearly 20 years experience. Having gone through the medical treatment of a life-threatening cancer diagnosis, she now also enjoys supporting others to navigate their way through their experience of cancer treatment. Charmaine is a mentor to other naturopaths and students, and regularly runs retreats and workshops to help practitioners connect with their passions and thrive in their practice.

Char’s Mouth-watering Chocolate Health Cake

by Charmaine Dennis, FGHG Director and Naturopath

Impress your friends and loved ones with health cake.

Super easy, quick to make AND pretty. It’s nutrient dense, high in fibre, good fats, antioxidants, protein and energy as well as gluten, dairy and soy free and fine for vegans too.  Small pieces are satisfying so it is a good idea for afternoon treat compared with a chocolate bar – but if you need something like to get though your afternoon or crave something sweet after dinner, you should probably come have an appointment with one of us to help you sort out your blood sugar balance!

My favourite part is how the thick layer of chocolate on the top cracks when you cut it. Such a satisfying sound.

·       2 cups walnut halves (soaked for 4 hours or overnight, rinsed and dried)
·       ½ cup shredded coconut
·       1/3 cup rolled oats
·       ¼ cup chia seeds (white or black)
·       2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·       1 tablespoon raw cocao powder
·       pinch chilli
·       pinch sea salt flakes
·       18 medjool dates, fresh, pits removed
·       100g good quality dark chocolate, at least 75% and fair trade or organic
·       Raw cacao powder, sifted over to serve
(Organic ingredients where possible make it taste even better of course)
1.     Process the walnuts, coconut, oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, cocoa, chilli and salt in a food processor until all the ingredients are chopped (not too finely) and mixed.
2.     With the blades spinning, add the dates a few pieces at a time, until all the dates are added and mixture is starting to come together. Stop the processer and spoon down the sides a couple of times to mix well.
3.     Press the mixture evenly into a 20cm cake tin, lined with baking paper (no need to grease) pressing and smoothing the surface down firmly with the back of a metal spoon.
4.     Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and poor gently onto the top of the cake to cover completely to the sides
5.     Cover and refrigerate until required.
6.     To serve, dust with more cacao and cut into thin wedges

This recipe can also be turned into a slice or balls and rolled in cacao or coconut or dipped in the chocolate. If you are gifting the cake, it is nice to make a few balls to keep for yourself too.
Throw in what ever interesting ingredients you have – try other nuts like cashews or macadamias or seeds like sunflower or pipitas, nut butter, tahini, dry goji berries or other dry fruit, puffed quinoa or amaranth, matcha, bee pollen, maple syrup. You can experiment with different interesting tastes every time. Bit of this, bit of that, taste, taste, yum, yum.
It will keep in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Let us know if you make one – we would love to hear about your variations.


CharmaineDENNISC1Charmaine Dennis is a naturopath, fertility and health expert, mentor, writer, mother, and businesswoman. She is the founding director of Fertile Ground Health Group, co-creator of the Be Fertile relaxation CD series and co-author of The Breakfast Project, among other health inspired projects. Her greatest gift and inspiration is making health, wellbeing, and passionate living accessible, inspiring and achievable for everyone. Charmaine’s naturopathic career has followed a special interest in working with couples with infertility requiring IVF support since 1999.  She has assisted many in realising their dreams to conceive healthy, beautiful babies in collaboration with GPs and fertility specialists, acupuncturists and other health modalities.