Clementine cake – with whole clementines

Clementine cake


As you saw from last week’s post, England is under water these days. And what is the best thing to do while watching the rain from the window? Have a piece of cake and a nice cup of tea of course!

I bought a few bags of clementines this winter, and we ate them all pretty fast but the last one just seemed to stay there untouched. I think it is because by February we were both quite bored of clementines. So last week I decided I just had to do something about it and began looking for a few recipes using clementines.

This recipe from Nigella Lawson immediately piqued my curiosity. It uses a whole boiled citrus fruit, rind and all, and seemed to receive pretty good feedback. I felt like I had to try it right away..and I was not dissapointed!I was worried it could be too bitter or just really weird but it is a wonderfully moist, dense and very flavourful cake. It is also gluten free and butter/oil free, which does not hurt.

I bring little addition to the recipe as I decided to follow it almost by the book (except I omitted the baking powder). But my version will definitely make you gain some precious time. See, in Nigella’s version, you have to start by boiling the clementines in water for 2 hours. I decided I could not be bothered so I cooked them in the microwave instead, twice 4 minutes. It came out just fine, and I had just saved myself 112 minutes. I even think it helps preserving the flavours as you don’t lose them in the boiling water. One extra brownie point for me!

Clementine cake steps


Ingredients: 350 g clementines (about 4 small ones) – 6 medium eggs – 200 g white sugar – 200 g ground almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter and line a 25 cm Springform tin ( in Nigella’s recipe it is 21 cm, but that’s all I had so my cake was slightly thinner.

1. Put your clementines in a plastic bowl in the microwave for 4 minutes, leave to cool for 30 seconds, and then microwave 4 more minutes. I do this in 2 steps to avoid my clementines exploding in the microwave.

2. When cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines – skins, pith, fruit and all – in a food processor and give a quick blitz until you obtain a sort of clementine puree.

3. Then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix.

4. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake until a skewer will come out clean. In her recipe Nigella mentions that you have to cook the cake for 1 hour at 190ºC, but I cooked it at 180ºC and after 30-40 minutes it was done.

Variations: Nigella says she’s also made this with an equal weight of oranges and lemons, in which case the sugar is increased to 250 g. I wonder how this would taste with blood oranges or grapefruit.


5 thoughts on “Clementine cake – with whole clementines

    • Yes pomelos would be a great idea! It should not be too bitter either as there is more flesh than peel due to the fruit being Nigella’s recipe it says you should try to use bigger rather than smaller clementines for that reason. I also thought limes could be interesting


  1. Pingback: Clementine marmalade with Vanilla (no added pectin) | Kick-Ass Cooking

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