To prepare cake, place almonds in a mini food processor; pulse until finely ground (do not go so far as to make nut butter). Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, almonds, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, stirring with a whisk.
Place brown sugar and next 6 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low and then medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add flour mixture; beat at low speed 1 minute or until well combined. Pour batter into a 9-inch springform pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 375°F for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of pan; remove sides and bottom of pan. Cool cake on rack.
Meanwhile, to prepare orange slices, cut orange in half lengthwise; cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. (You will only need 12 for the final cake, but it’s good to have extras.) Bring 1 1/4 cups water and granulated sugar to a boil in a medium skillet. Add orange slices. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes or until slices are translucent and liquid is syrupy and reduced to about 2 or 3 tablespoons. Turn slices occasionally as they cook. Carefully remove slices from syrup; cool on a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Reserve syrup.
Brush warm cake with syrup. Arrange 12 orange slices on top of cake.
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