Flourless Clementine Cake

“Let them eat cake.” Marie Antoinette

This Nigella Lawson cake was popular about 15 years ago and I had forgotten all about it.  Unfortunate since, as far as cakes go, this one is a simple 5-ingredient recipe,  full of healthy ingredients with no added fat and  little sugar. And soooo good!  The batter is made up of ground almonds and whole clementines.  Nigella says to cook the clementines for 2 hours. I made the cake twice this month, once by cooking the oranges as directed and a second time by just bringing them to a boil and cooking them 10 minutes in roiling water.  The result was the same as far as taste, texture, moisture of the cake with a huge time saving. I also made it in a bundt pan the first time and it was impossible to separate.  The springform is a must with this recipe.  This is a totally delicious unfussy snacking cake that is super fast to make.  I served mine with a dollop of yogurt.  Variations on the theme: substitute lemons or Meyer lemons for the clementines.  Everyone loved it!

Flourless Clementine Cake

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

  • 5 unpeeled clementines, stems removed(about 1 pound)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups ground almonds
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  1. Cover the clementines in a pot with cold water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, checking that the water does not evaporate.
  2. Drain, cool, then cut the clementines in half and remove any seeds.
  3. Chop the whole clementines in a food processor until ground fine.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F.  Butter aa 8-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.
  5. Beat the eggs.  Add the sugar, almonds and baking powder.  Mix well then add the chopped clementines. Mix gently until incorporated.
  6. Pour into the pan.  Bake in the middle of the oven for an hour.  I found the top of mine was browning fast so I covered it loosely with a piece of parchment for the final 20 minutes or so.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 – 1890), Still Life of Oranges and Lemons with Blue Gloves, 1889, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon 2014.18.13