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Clementine Cake

by . Featured in HOW TO EAT
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Introduction

This is a wonderfully damp, dense and aromatic flourless cake: it tastes like one of those sponges you drench, while cooling, with syrup, only you don't have to.

And it's such an accommodating kind of cake, too: it keeps well, indeed it gets better after a few days; and it is perfect either as a pudding with creme fraiche, or as a sustaining slice with a mug of tea at any time of the day.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is a wonderfully damp, dense and aromatic flourless cake: it tastes like one of those sponges you drench, while cooling, with syrup, only you don't have to.

And it's such an accommodating kind of cake, too: it keeps well, indeed it gets better after a few days; and it is perfect either as a pudding with creme fraiche, or as a sustaining slice with a mug of tea at any time of the day.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Clementine Cake
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Yields: 8-10 slices

Metric Cups
  • approx. 375 grams clementines (approx. 4)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 225 grams white sugar
  • 250 grams ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (see NOTE below)
  • approx. 13 ounces clementines (approx. 4)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2¼ cups almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (see NOTE below)

Method

  1. Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil, partially with the lid and cook for 2 hours. Drain, discarding the cooking water, and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines - skins, pith, fruit and all - and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/170°C Fan/375ºF. Butter and line a 20cm / 8 inch Springform tin.
  2. You can then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix. Or, you can beat the eggs by hand adding the sugar, almonds and baking powder, mixing well, then finally adding the pulped oranges.
  3. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake's cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it at any time.
  4. I've also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 250g / 2¼ cups and slightly anglicise it, too, by adding a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.
  1. Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil, partially with the lid and cook for 2 hours. Drain, discarding the cooking water, and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines - skins, pith, fruit and all - and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC/170°C Fan/375ºF. Butter and line a 20cm / 8 inch Springform tin.
  2. You can then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix. Or, you can beat the eggs by hand adding the sugar, almonds and baking powder, mixing well, then finally adding the pulped oranges.
  3. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake's cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it at any time.
  4. I've also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 250g / 2¼ cups and slightly anglicise it, too, by adding a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Additional Information

NOTE: to make this cake gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free baking powder, or omit the baking powder altogether.

NOTE: to make this cake gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free baking powder, or omit the baking powder altogether.

Tell us what you think

What 96 Others have said

  • I LOVED this cake! I made it with two big oranges and lessened the sugar and added a splash of cointreau. Yum!!

    Posted by Luna93T on 1st May 2021
  • I love this cake and make it regularly with oranges. I add a chocolate ganache to the top when cooled so it’s like a giant Jaffa orange cake

    Posted by Judelit on 15th April 2021
  • I dropped 10g of sugar and added a tablespoon of Disaronno for an almond boozy kick.

    Posted by adafrankgallagher on 7th February 2021
  • Nigella Bites now on the food network channel at 7pm week nights. After a hard day at work watching this cheers me up so much. Nigellas food is pure comfort and . I seem to be living on her fishcakes and this wonderful cake. Agree with addition of zest, clemantine syrup and thyme or bergamont.

    Posted by KJ222 on 26th January 2021
  • Following up on my previous comment re. kicking up the orange flavor. If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion... I zested the clementines, then pressure steamed them in an Instant Pot for 25 min. I then proceeded with the recipe as-is, adding the zest back in to the clementines when processing. It really amped up the orange flavor, and it shaved 1.5 hours off prep time.

    I love this cake.

    Posted by mercury613 on 24th January 2021
  • This is really delicious. The only change I might make next time is to add some orange zest, because I want the orange flavor to be stronger. But even as-is, it's fabulous.

    Posted by mercury613 on 19th January 2021
  • I have a similar recipe with thyme added to the cake mixture. Also there's clementine syrup in which you add thyme as well. Absolutely gorgeous cake!

    Posted by Mimi18 on 19th January 2021
  • I made it with orange and oats flour adding no sugar and it came incredibly delicious

    Posted by Hebaaa on 17th January 2021
  • This is probably the most moist oddly delicious cake I’ve ever had. Thank you so much!

    Posted by Bquinlan on 16th January 2021
  • First time I made this yesterday I used Canderel instead of sugar (I halved the quantity) so its perfect for me (a diabetic) and hubster who’s on a low carb diet. I’ve frozen some for my next door neighbour who’s Gluten intolerant for when lockdowns over and we can have coffee and cake again. Seems to freeze well in individual slices.

    Posted by DiRidgy on 4th January 2021
  • Anyone played around with making this vegan? Maybe using a flax egg? Or any suggestions, since I don’t do dairy or gluten? Thanks! :-)

    Posted by Indy2Chi on 3rd January 2021
  • I have been making this cake for years, since the first time Nigella did it on her cooking show. I cant make it as often now as my daughter-in-law has a nut allergy, but I have found that it also freezes beautifully. I just pre-slice it before I freeze and I can have a slice whenever I want. Just take it out and let it thaw at room temperature. Yummy!

    Posted by tessdavis on 3rd January 2021
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