This Pan corn flour cake is flavored with almond and orange. It's gluten-free and dairy free, plus it's topped with a fragrant cardamom-infused coconut cream frosting.
Have you tried cooking with PAN corn flour yet? It's a naturally gluten-free maize (corn) flour that's very popular in South America.
I've made this PAN corn flour cake with zesty orange and almond flavors. It's full of great taste and is beautifully moist.
I've topped it with refreshing cardamom-infused coconut cream to compliment the cake's flavours, without overpowering it like traditional frostings can.
what is harina pan corn flour?
This recipe uses PAN corn flour (also known as Harina Pan), a gluten-free flour that's popular in South America.
It's often used in recipes such as arepas, empanadas, bollos and tamales.
In Venezuela and Colombia, it's PAN corn flour that's used for the maize dough, called masarepa.
Masarepa is used to make traditional arepas (griddled pan flour cakes) empanadas (filled dough parcels, similar to Cornish pasties), hallacas (a filled tamale popular at Christmas) and bollos (a breakfast roll).
Pan corn flour is a very versatile flour and can also be used to make brownies, pancakes, porridge and as a gluten-free breadcrumb coating. You can buy Harina PAN from Amazon.
types of corn flour
There seems to be a lot of confusion over the differences in flours made from corn, but PAN corn flour is made from corn that is cooked before it is dried and ground finely.
Whereas, cornmeal and polenta are made from corn that is raw before it is dried and ground into different levels of coarseness.
The resulting differences are in both taste and texture.
Cornflour/cornstarch is a very fine powder that we usually use as a thickener, made from the ground endosperm of corn.
how to use Harina PAN corn flour
Pan corn flour only needs to be mixed with water to form a quick gluten-free dough.
I've used it to make flatbreads and pizza bases with great success.
It isn't strongly flavoured, so it's perfect for mixing with herbs and spices.
A lot of gluten-free pizza bases are made from polenta or cauliflower, but these are often bound with eggs and cheese. PAN flour turns into a thick dough, so makes a vegan, lower-calorie gluten-free pizza base.
I've used it to make this gluten-free and dairy-free PAN flour cake.
It's combined with ground almonds and zesty oranges to make a light cake that's topped with a fragrant cardamom-infused coconut cream frosting.
gluten free baking
A lot of people are turning to gluten-free flours due to coeliac disease and intolerances. So, I've been trying out PAN corn flour, a naturally gluten-free maize flour, popular in South America.
I'm not intolerant myself, but a few years ago my brother-in-law found out he couldn't eat gluten. So, at Christmas, I experimented with gluten-free flours for breads and desserts to ensure he wouldn't miss out on the usual festive treats.
It was eye-opening what a challenge it can be, but I ended up with loads of lovely food.
If you love this pan flour cake, you'll also love these gluten-free bakes!
Blackberry, Banana and Oat Breakfast Popsicles
Disclosure: La Casa De Jack commissioned me to create a recipe using Harina Pan Corn Flour. All opinions are my own.
get the Harina Pan Flour Cake with Orange and Almond
Did you make this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you!
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Almond and Orange Pan Corn Flour Cake
For the cake
- ⅔ cup (150ml) vegetable oil
- ½ cup (100g) sugar
- 3 organic free-range eggs
- ½ cup (100g) Harina PAN corn flour
- 2 cups (200g) ground almonds
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder check that it’s gluten-free, if necessary
- Juice of 2 oranges
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the cardamom coconut cream icing
- 15 oz (400ml) can of coconut milk chilled overnight in the fridge
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Heat oven to 350F / 180C. Grease a 9” loose-bottomed or springform pan.
- In a stand mixer, or large bowl, beat the oil and sugar together for a few minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the remaining cake ingredients and combine well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
- Cook for 40-45 minutes until the surface is lightly brown and the cake comes away slightly from the sides of the tin.
- Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before carefully turning onto a wire rack to cool completely before topping as desired with the icing.
For the cardamom coconut cream icing:
- The chilled tin of coconut milk will have separated the cream from the liquid. Carefully open the chilled tin of coconut milk so as not to mix and spoon only the thick cream into a large bowl. Add the icing sugar and ground cardamom and whip until thick and fluffy. Store in the fridge and use to top the cooled cake just before eating.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
I tried this cake using lime juice not orange. I was puzzled that you don't include the icing sugar in the list of ingredients and in the instructions for making the icing you mention it but you don't specify the quantity. I improvised and it was OK but it seems odd no one else remarked on this omission. Also I felt the cake was very flat and would have been better cooked in a smaller pan, Otherwise, it was quite nice.
I made it and believe me it was amazing!
love this cake recipe. One of may favorites. Delcious.
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
This looks great. I've never tried using any sort of gluten-free flour, perhaps this should be my next experiment 🙂
Dominic Franks (@belleaukitchen)
Such a pretty looking cake and although i've never heard of cooked with PAN corn flour I have just made something very similar with polenta and almond so I can imagine how glorious it tastes! Thanks so much for linking to Simply Eggcellent x
I'm going to look out PAN flour as it's so handy to have gluten free cake recipes. It looks absolutely delicious!
I love it that you just need water and you are good to go.
Good morning All! Is this PAN harina treated with lime (is it a masa harina, as used to make tortillas)? Excited bakers in the US want to know!
Hi, no this one isn't treated with lime. I've asked the manufacturer and they confirmed that there is no lime.
Katie Bryson (@cookingkt)
I could tuck into that right now... looks perfect for my morning coffee!
OMG it looks amazing!!! I will definetely try to do this recipe this weekend and I will share my result ????
Please do! I hope you like it 🙂
Dear Kate, this morning I decided to prepare the cake but I didn't have the almond flour, so I went to the supermarket and the package cost me 16 USD, I was so disappointed, is sad to have to pay so much money only for 1 ingredient, and I thougth that the more common yellow cake box cost around 3 or 4 USD, the difference is more than 100% in any case I paid for the almond and I did the cake. In 30 min was ready but was very difficult to tear off the cake, a total disaster hahaha but the flavor was very rich. In the future I strongly recommend to use real corn insted of almond, I think that could be a delicious corn cake and less expensive. Regards ????
The recipe includes PAN corn flour and ground almonds, not almond flour. Ground almonds have a more mealy texture and are very easy to get (in the UK at least). I haven't seen almond flour but it will be very different to ground almonds. Sorry that you've had confusion over the ingredients.
I'm familiar with PAN as I am originally from Florida, a place heavily influenced by Latin America, and there are loads of cafes and shops with Latin and South American foods. I have made arepas and empanadas with PAN back in the day but I had forgotten about it until now. A wave of nostalgia for me! I have never seen it in such a recipe, and this looks and sounds amazing, Kate.You are so right about the topping too. One reason I don't like to eat cake other than homemade is the obsession with having several inches of frosting on top. I love this delicate ring of coconut and cardamom. *swoons*
This is beautiful! And the moisture looks out of this world! YUM!!
I love your photos - they are beautiful!
Ceri @Natural Kitchen Adventures
I've been using PAN harina for a few months now - mostly to make Arepas for a street foods class I teach. Had no idea it could be used in a cake too, great idea!
Melanie, MS, RD (@nutritiouseats)
Seriously this looks delicious! And I love that the cake doesn't call for a ton of ingredients.
Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
What a beautiful looking cake! It looks so delicious and moist. If I read the info right the cornflour you used is the same as corn starch I would have? Or is there enough of a difference it wouldn't work to sub one for the other?
Hi Annemarie, it's definitely not cornflour or cornstarch - those more for thickening and not baking. It would need to be PAN corn flour. Fine polenta may work, but I haven't tried it. There are subtle, but important, differences between all the various corn-based flours. All the best, K
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
This looks delicious. I have tried a few gluten free baking recipes and have been surprised at the great results they do produce.
Fuss Free Helen
That is really interesting about the different types of corn flour, The cake looks gorgeous, what a wonderful golden colour. Thanks for sharing with #ExtraVeg
This looks and sounds delicious as always Kate. I've been meaning to try coconut milk as icing for ages and you've just reminded me!
This cake is gorgeous and sounds lovely! I really like how you did the coconut cream on top too - so cute!
Just a note though about PAN - it is a naturally gluten free product, but they do say on the packaging that it's processed in a place that handles wheat products meaning it could be cross contaminated and isn't suitable for people with Coeliac Disease. Even that small amount can cause a lot of discomfort/pain.
It is a great flour for people who choose to eat gluten though!
This looks delicious! My family has a history of coeliac disease so I know it can be difficult to bake but this looks amazing x
What a delicious looking cake and coconut icing looks so yummy. Do you taste the cardamon much?
Hi Mellissa, the cardamom is subtle and you can add a little at a time to make it to taste. 🙂