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Gluten-free Clementine Cake

Gluten-free Clementine Cake

This flourless cake is made with whole clementines, that includes the rind, the pith and the pulp, basically everything except for the seeds get pureed then mixed with eggs, sugar and ground almonds. I love adding citrus zest to desserts, they add such a nice flavour but anyone who has ever watched food network or read a few recipes knows to avoid the pith, simply because it’s bitter, well, the cake is not bitter at all, each bite is full of clementine flavour and has the delicate texture of the ground almonds which also makes it gluten-free.

Not only is the cake gluten-free, it’s also dairy free, so, there is no butter to cream, no sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk to add, with just a few simple, basic ingredients you get a delicious cake. It’s also super moist, to the point that the crumb looks like the crumb of a cake drenched in syrup. The ingredients are simple and so is the preparation, once the clementines are cooked, everything gets blended in a food processor, a few sliced almonds or a light dusting of icing sugar right before serving is more than enough. Nigella recommends baking it the day before and I couldn’t agree more, I think the cake improves with time, besides being able to make a dessert ahead of time makes it perfect for entertaining.

I think it’s worth mentioning that since the cake is both flour and dairy free, it’s also a good dessert to make for Passover, well, I know, I know, there is that small detail, the baking powder, but that can simply be omitted without sacrificing taste or texture and the cake will still rise like the one with the leavener. To make this cake kosher for Passover, I separate the eggs, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks, combine the yolks with the rest of the ingredients and mix the egg whites into the cake batter.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

  • 4-5 clementines
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
  • 2 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 375F; prepare a 9 inch springform pan by layering a piece of parchment paper on the bottom and on the sides, set aside.

Wash the clementines very well and place in a saucepan and cover with cold water, bring it to a boil, lower the heat and cook until the clementines are very soft, drain and let them cool.

Halve the clementines to remove any pits and place in a food processor, pulse until pureed, add the eggs and the sugar, pulse to combine, add the ground almond and baking powder, and pulse again briefly until the mixture looks smooth.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for about 40 minutes, a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean. To prevent the top of the cake get too dark, tent it with a piece of aluminum foil about 20-25 minutes after placing it in the oven.

Gluten-free Clementine Cake


12 comments to Gluten-free Clementine Cake

  • This looks perfect! I have 5 lbs of clementines in my fruit bowl right now…this is calling my name! Your pictures are gorgeous.

  • Beautiful, Megi! I love the design you made with the almonds on top! It sounds wonderful & we have a tangerine tree, so I’ll have to try it.

  • Megi, beautiful cake! I wish I had some clementines from my parent’s backyard. They would have been perfect to make this cake! I love citrus in cakes…and anything else really:)

    Stunning photography!

    Oh, by the way, I tried your maple glazed almonds…loved them as they weren’t overly sweet at all. I added some orange peel too… they were delicious! Thank you.

  • Megi, the cake looks so moist and crumbly, and the presentation is beautiful, like always :)

  • Daha önce senden telefonla aldığım bu nefis tarifi Perşembe günü eşimin doğum günü için yaptım. Sonuç mükemmel oldu. O kadar hafif ve lezzetliydi ki herkes ikişer dilim birden yedi:)) Daha önce denediğim diğer tariflerin gibi bu güzel tarif için de tekrar teşekkür ederim Megi. Tabii güzel fotoğraflar için de Fuat’a. İyi haftasonları…

  • LindenTea

    Thank you Meg for your comment and visit.

    Susan, thank you, how I wish we had a tangerine tree, let me know how it turns out if you try it.

    Ellie, citrus cakes are just lovely, the orange version of this cake is equally good. :) I am so glad you took the time to let me know about the maple almonds, great idea about the orange zest, I’ll definitely use it next time. Thank you.

    Mihaela, thank you. :)

    Asli, cok sevindim begenmenize, tekrar mutlu saglikli bir yil dilerim, size de iyi haftasonlari.

  • Looks heavenly! I’m not sure if I know this fruit though. Is it similar to tangerine? Ilove the flower design on your cake.

  • A friend of mine made a lemon version of this that was incredible! We have a friend who has started eating gluten free and I have been trying recipes for her as she doesn’t cook much.

    Love your blog!

  • LindenTea

    Tami, thank you for the visit and the comment, I love your blog too.

    A lemon version of this cake sounds wonderful, I would love to try it with Meyer lemons, what a great idea.

  • This looks so moist and delicious! I would make it for Gabby but I think it would be tough to sub for the eggs too.

  • LindenTea

    Dawn, could you make a cake, using cooked clementines, gluten free all purpose flour and egg substitute? The flavour would be very similar and you could probably work on the texture.

  • LindenTea

    Thank you Zerrin, clementines are also called seedless tangerines, they taste exactly like tangerines too!

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