I have had Clementine Cake on the brain lately. On a recent air flight, I watched the in-flight movie of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and Clementine Cake was worked into the plot. Of course, during the scenes when the cake popped up, I paid attention! It seemed like his family was obsessed with this special cake
The Clasic Flavor of Clementines
I must have mentioned my curiosity about Clementine Cake in my Instagram feed, because a close friend sent me their favorite Nigella Lawson recipe which was exactly the flavors I was looking for! Alas, the cake didn’t quite look like Walter Mitty’s cake, so I took the liberty to change around Nigella’s recipe to fit my clementine dream.
Here are some of the changes I made – Nigella uses freshly ground almonds for her cake instead of almond flour. I do think freshly ground almonds are tastier, so if you have time to make your own almond flour, you should. Simply place approximately 10oz. (284g) blanched (peeled) almonds* in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse chop until it turns into almond flour. Use as directed in the recipe.
Delicious Citrus Scent
I also wanted to add a decorative top layer of clementine slices. If the slices are very thin, the baking process cooks the clementines until they are tender to the bite. I added a honey-butter syrup as well to give it a bit of a sweet glaze. Adding a pinch of cinnamon during the winter months for a clementine spice cake would be delicious during the holidays.
I am going to make this recipe again and again, just like Walter Mitty’s mother and Nigella Lawson. It’s a great cake – very easy and simply bursting with clementine flavor. This dessert is absolutely elegant with whipped cream and deserves a splash of Grand Marnier for special occasions.Print
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 3 hours+
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
6–8 clementines (tangerines)
1 ½ cups sugar (300g)
2 ½ cups almond flour* (245g)
1 ½ tsp baking powder (6g)
Honey syrup topping:
¼ cup honey (60ml)
2 tbsp. melted butter (28g)
2 tbsp. clementine juice (30ml)
1 clementine for top
Place the clementines in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook for 90 minutes. Drain the water and allow to cool completely. Cut in half, remove seeds, but leave the skin on. Place the clementine halves in a food processor and pulse chop roughly. (You can also chop them by hand with a knife.)
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds and baking powder. Mix well and stir in the chopped clementines.
Whisk together the honey, butter and clementine juice. Warm slightly in the microwave or on the stovetop so the mixture is liquid with no lumps of butter.
Using a very sharp knife, slice the remaining clementine as thinly as possible. Line the bottom of your prepared springform pan with the clementine slices. Pour over the honey butter syrup over the slices. Pour in the cake batter and place the pan in your preheated oven.**
Bake the cake for 60-75 minutes. After 30 minutes of baking, loosely lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the cake to prevent over-browning. Test the cake with a toothpick at 60 minutes of baking time. Once the toothpick comes out of the cake clean, remove the cake and allow to cool completely in the springform pan. (You can even leave overnight.)
Invert the cake onto a serving plate and release from the springform pan. Remove the parchment paper. Serve with whipped cream.
** If you are worried about the honey syrup leaking out of the pan, simply place the springform pan on a baking sheet pan with sides to catch the drips.