This beautiful Clementine Almond Flour Cake is so simple to make and tastes lovely. It’s completely dairy free and vegan friendly. I used massive clementines which weren’t very juicy, so it wasn’t too sweet. If you like things a little sweeter add more honey or your choice of sweetener. This cake would make a great afternoon snack or pudding plus it’s gluten free and made with no refined sugar!
GLUTEN FREE CLEMENTINE CAKE RECIPE
This clementine cake is gluten free, made in the food processor and comes out of the pan like a dream. It couldn’t be easier and it is deliciously moist. The smell of clementines cooking fills the house with a bright, citrusy aroma, which is wonderful this time of the year.
When the mercury drops and you are puttering around the house, this is the perfect baking endeavor.
I love a simple cake like this. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never turn down a triple layer coconut cake or a double decker chocolate cake with mocha frosting, but cakes like this are for everyone. They are “homey” and anyone can make them.
The simplicity of this clementine cake makes it accessible to everyone, no matter your level of kitchen expertise.
This is the kind of cake that you can make for family gatherings, backyard bbq’s or weekend snacking while you’re snuggled in the house during a cold winter weekend.
Because it is an incredibly moist cake, it can last for days without drying out.
Cake doesn’t usually last very long in our house, but if it does in yours, rest assured it’ll still be delicious days after you’ve made it.
CAN YOU FREEZE CLEMENTINE CAKE
Yes. This cake freezes very well, actually. To thaw, place it on the counter loosely covered, or in the refrigerator overnight. Wrap it tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap before freezing to ensure it is well covered. A layer of aluminum foil wouldn’t hurt, either.
WHAT IS CLEMENTINE CAKE?
In this particular case, it is a cake made from whole clementines. A version of a clementine cake made an appearance in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and apparently, it became all the rage. I’ve been making this cake since 2001, who knew that versions of this cake would pop up everywhere?
HOW TO MAKE CLEMENTINE CAKE
The first step in making this clementine cake is to boil the whole clementines. They will cook for a couple of hours. Check on them once in a while to add water to the pot, if necessary.
Then, you’ll preheat the oven, butter and (almond) flour a springform pan and remove any seeds from the clementines (they may not have any seeds).
Break up the fruit in the food processor, then add the remaining ingredients to make the batter. Turn the food processor on and let it run until batter is uniform.
Then pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan and bake. Let the cake cool slightly in pan, then remove to cool completely on wire rack before glazing.
It’s really that easy. Because the cake is made in the food processor, you don’t have multiple bowls to wash and it comes together super fast with almost zero effort.
CLEMENTINE CAKE WITH ALMOND FLOUR
This cake is perfect for those with a gluten allergy. Cakes can be tricky for people who are gluten intolerant and when you do find a recipe that fits the bill, they aren’t always great.
This one, I can say with complete and total certainty, is amazing. It is light and citrusy and it’s not overly sweet. If sunshine had a taste, this would be it.
CLEMENTINE CAKE WITH GLAZE
A quick glaze made with a little fresh clementine juice and a bit of powdered sugar is all you really need. Sometimes, I just dust the top with powdered sugar and make a pretty pattern on top with a paper doily.
See that crack in the glaze on top? Take it from me, don’t try to move your cake once the glaze has started to set. I let the cake sit on the rack while the glaze was dripping off and I forgot about it.
The glaze hardened and when I moved it from the rack to the cake stand, the glaze cracked. Be smarter than I was, move your cake when the glaze is still wet.
BOILED CLEMENTINE CAKE
Normally, we don’t use the whole fruit in a recipe. Because clementines have a thin skin and very little pith, we can use the entire fruit. The clementines get boiled and then blitzed in the food processor.
This cake really isn’t much work at all; the processor does all the chopping for you and all you are left with is a little whisking and let’s be honest, that isn’t very taxing at all. I’ve made this recipe without a food processor, but it is so much easier and faster to make it this way.
CLEMENTINE CAKE FOR CHRISTMAS
This recipe is a variation of Nigella Lawson’s with a few slight changes, who got her inspiration for this cake from Claudia Roden. I discovered this cake almost two decades ago and I’ve made it every Christmas since.
It is perfect with coffee or tea, great as a light dessert or pretty much anytime you want a little sweet. I find it gets even better the next day, if you can stand walking past it for 24 hours without cutting yourself a nice, fat slice.
GLUTEN FREE CLEMENTINE CAKE
When citrus is in season, make this gluten free clementine cake! A moist tender cake bursting with citrus flavor and drizzled in a dark chocolate ganache.
As it continues to snow outside, and I mean SNOW a lot making a cake like this will transport you to warmer weather.
I don’t know about you but I this time of year always have a large bowl of citrus laying around. And I can never resist a bag of those adorable clementines at the store. And let’s face it they will only be around and super awesome for a short time. So why not enjoy them every way possible.
Like in cake. Of course you knew I couldn’t resist.
Ingredients needed to make this clementine cake
Ok believe it or not this cake is made with only 6 ingredients. I mean, say what?! Yup. Six.
- clementines (I used 5 for this recipe)
- granulated white sugar – I’ve switched and begun using organic cane sugar! More nutrients and less processing
- table salt
- almond flour – store your almond flour in the freezer so it doesn’t go rancid. Then allow to come to room temperature before using, so it doesn’t soak up all the moisture in your cake.
- baking powder
Ok well actually eight ingredients if you are like me and can’t resist pouring a chocolate ganache over the cake before serving. Why? Um, because why not. It’s chocolate. And orange. Match made. You will agree with me, trust me.
How to make this clementine cake
Boil those clementines…
Ok step one. Find some patience. Because you will need to boil your clementines (skin and all) – yes you read that correctly for 2 hours.
Yes 2 hours. You still with me? Please say you are. Because this cake is so worth it. Boiling the clementines allows you to use the WHOLE fruit by softening the peel and waste nothing. How awesome is that?
Once the clementines have boiled for 2 hours, you want to then remove them from the water and process them in your food processor.
Pro Tip: Do this step 2 days ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.
Mix up the rest of the batter…
Once you have your clementine puree, then it’s time to make the rest of the cake. And it couldn’t be easier.
In a mixing bowl you want to whisk your eggs, sugar, salt, and clementine puree together.
I love that this cake uses almond flour. It gives it another dimension of flavor, and also keeps it gluten free too if that’s your thing. Even if it’s not, totally use the almond flour. A tad more expensive, but worth every penny I think.
Pro Tip: Store your almond flour in the freezer so it lasts longer!
Add in your almond flour and baking and stir to combine.
That’s it! Simply pour your cake batter into a prepared 9-inch pan and bake. And that’s it! Throw it in the oven and bake it for about an hour. I baked mine in a 9-inch springform pan so it’s easy to remove the cake. But you can use a basic 9-inch cake pan, just be sure to grease and flour the sides well.
Then be sure to turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool.
Tips on making this gluten free clementine cake:
- Puree in advance. If you can, I highly recommend making the clementine cake puree up to 2 days ahead of time. This makes the rest of the recipe quite simple and quick.
- Add more water. During the boiling process you may need to add more water if the level gets too low. Just keep an eye on the pot and add more if it does.
- Remove any seeds. From the clementines that is, after boiling. And any other hard bits that may be present before throwing it all in the food processor.
- Use room temperature eggs. This helps with the mixture coming together easily and helps with cake lifting as well. I place mine in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before using.
Now if you want to step it up even one more notch, whip up some chocolate ganache and pour it over the whole cake.
Chocolate and orange? Yes please.
Can you freeze clementine cake?
Yes you can! I love freezing desserts, especially cakes so I have them on hand when I need them (or just want a slice!). Be sure to allow the cake to cool completely. Then wrap in two layers of plastic wrap. I recommend using press-n-seal for the best protection. And then one layer of tin-f0il.
Clementine, Almond and Olive Oil Cake
Rick Stein’s Clementine, Almond and Olive Oil Cake, as seen on his BBC series, The Road to Mexico, is a perfectly moist cake and an ode to Californian citrus fruit.
This cake is a celebration of Californian citrus fruit. After the gold rush, the prosperity of this state, the largest economy in the Union, came from the massive cultivation of oranges. Californians treat citrus in the same way as the British view apples. They know all the many varieties and shop for them by taste and name. To honour this, we filmed at a family citrus farm just outside Ojai in Ventura County, east of Santa Barbara. The owners, Jim Churchill and his wife Lisa Brenneis, were picking Pixie tangerines and Kishu mandarins and I ate them straight off the tree. Not being used to picking tangerines off the tree, it was a bit of an emotional moment for me. You can use any kind of small citrus fruit for this cake.
|2||large clementines (about 200g), scrubbed|
|zest of 1 large lemon|
|2 tsp||baking powder|
|icing or caster sugar, for dusting|
|For the syrup:|
|juice of 1 large lemon|
|To serve (optional):|
You will need: a food processor, a 20cm springform cake tin and an electric whisk.
Put the whole clementines in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20–30 minutes until the clementines are tender. Remove them and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut the fruit in half and, with the tip of a knife, remove and discard the pips. Put the skin and pulp in a food processor and blend to a paste.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment. Whisk the eggs, lemon zest and caster sugar in a bowl. Add the olive oil and beat until light and well combined. Add the clementine paste and stir, then fold in the ground almonds and baking powder.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for about 50 minutes or until well risen and golden. The cake should have slightly shrunken from the sides and be springy to the touch. Leave it to cool in the tin on a wire rack while you make the syrup.
Warm the sugar and lemon juice in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved. Make lots of small holes all over the cake with a piece of uncooked spaghetti and drizzle over the lemon syrup. Let the cake cool completely in the tin, then turn it out on to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream and orange segements if you like.
Last year, when I made that dud of a clementine clafoutis a whole bunch of you brought Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake to my attention. But, by that point in the winter I was tired of clementines and filed it away to try the following year.
It was a long wait. When you know you want to make something but the item is out of season, it seems like its time will never arrive. Last week, I came upon an artichoke recipe that is clearly designed to blow my artichoke-loving mind but are artichokes (that you’d want to buy, not that one with a fuzzy pelt I saw last week) anywhere? Nope. And tomatoes… flavorful, non-mealy tomatoes. I can’t even think about how far off they are. It makes me weep.
Nevertheless, I suspect that each and every one of our households has adopted one or ten of these crates this winter. I think we’re on box four or five, which is kind of frightening when you realize there are just two of us. So I don’t think about it.
Part of the reason making this cake seemed like the longest wait ever is that it endlessly fascinated me — I cannot read a recipe that uses a whole citrus fruit, rind and all, and not be curious to try it. It’s led me to some wonderful things, like this unfathomably good Strawberry Sorbet, a Whole Lemon Tart, Shaker Lemon Pie and more candied peels than I can count.
In this case, you take whole clementines and boil them for two hours before grinding them up, adding some sugar, a lot of eggs, a ton of ground almonds and baking powder and that’s it: you have a cake. And because it has no butter and no flour, I figure that the Resolutions-oriented among us will appreciate it — as well as the people still waiting for an update on last year’s clementine fiasco.
… Oh right, I forgot to mention that this cake was darn good. I am not going to tell you that it is my favorite cake ever. It wasn’t. But all of the things I was worried would go wrong — it would be too bitter, it would be too tough, nobody would eat it — I couldn’t have been further off about. It is ridiculously moist, not bitter and surprisingly popular at a dinner party. You know, until you tell people they’re eating a cake comprised of boiled rinds.
4 to 5 clementines (about 375grams/slightly less than 1 pound total weight)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) sugar
2 1/3 cups (250 grams) ground almonds
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
Optional: Powdered sugar for dusting, or for making a glaze
Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds. Then finely chop the skins, pith, and fruit in the processor (or by hand, of course).
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Butter and line an 8-inch (21 centimeter) springform pan with parchment paper. (I used a 9-inch, it worked fine.)
Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the chopped clementines.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 50 minutes*, when a skewer will come out clean; you might have to cover the cake with foil after about 20 to 30 minutes to stop the top from over-browning.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool, in the pan on a rack. When the cake is cold, you can take it out of the pan and dust it with powdered sugar. I made a glaze of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of clementine juice because I was convinced the cake would be too bitter. It was not necessary. Nigella says the cake is best on the second day, but ours never made it that long.
Variations: Nigella says she’s also made this with an equal weight of oranges and lemons, in which case the sugar is increased to 1 1/4 cups.
* I am very unclear on the correct baking time, as you can see. Nigella’s recipe says it will 60 minutes. When I checked on it at 40 minutes (because I think you should start checking on any baked good at the 2/3 mark) it was done. Very done. Dark-brown edge-level done. And my oven runs cool. But I had made the cake in a one-inch larger pan, which made it slightly thinner. Which is all to say: Start checking at 30 minutes. Better to check too often than char your cake.