Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake

This cake is a very famous cake. I reckon nearly everyone who likes baking knows of the recipe, and a good many who simply like eating cake too. I have heard and read people singing its praises for many, many years and yet, we’d never got round to making it at home.

Given that clementines are one of my very favourite fruits, this is an outrageous oversight that needed to be put right. A gift of a box of organic clementines, when the fruit bowl was already overflowing with them, gave us the perfect excuse.

Nigellas Clementine Cake on Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle (title overlay)

5 from 4 votes

Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake

Ingredients

  • 400 g clementines (approximately 3 medium-sized ones)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 225 g white sugar
  • 250 g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  • Put the whole clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. We used a small pan so the water was reasonably deep.

  • Drain and allow to cool, then cut each clementine open and remove the pips.

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).

  • Butter the rim of a 21 cm diameter spring form tin and cover the base with greaseproof paper.

  • In a food processor or power blender, blitz the clementines (skins, pith and fruit). Then add eggs, sugar, ground almonds and baking powder and blend again until smooth.

  • Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean. In Nigella’s recipe she suggests covering the surface with foil or greaseproof paper after the first 40 minutes to stop the top browning; we didn’t put our foil on soon enough so the surface browned more than Nigella’s. I think it looks pretty though!

  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, on a wire rack.

  • When cold, remove from the tin.

Serve as it is or with some yuzu ice cream. My friend recommends lemon curd mixed into fresh cream.

This cake lasts very well in a sealed container for several days, indeed it’s even better a day or two after it’s made.

 Nigellas Clementine Cake on Kavey Eats © Kavita Favelle-7888

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52 Comments to "Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake"

  1. NickyB

    This was very popular when I made it 🙂 and ridiculously easy, even for a baking novice like me!

    Reply
    Katrina Forrest

    Love 💕 the ground almonds and no flour… so healthy! Could you replace the white sugar with brown or maybe honey?

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Hi Katrina, I’m afraid I’ve not tried either of those variations so I can’t comment on how well they would work. Sorry!

    Reply
  2. Dom

    isn’t it funny how there are some cakes that we never get round to baking… I both love this cake and sometimes hate it. It can be very eggy sometimes and reminds me of a sweet omelette! However, yours looks so good, almost like a cheese cake and yes, it does improve with age. It’s very christmassy too, the aroma of the boiling fruit is so lovely x

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Hey Dom, yes I understand about the eggy, I liked that but also appreciate Lisa’s suggestion to reduce an egg. Very Christmassy, I think because clementines themselves are!

    Reply
  3. Lisa

    I always use one egg less than recommended in these sorts of recipes, or it’s just too, er, eggy for me. Yours looks rather fabulous though! I like the denseness of it, and how well it keeps.

    Reply
  4. earthmaiden

    Did you like it? I made one once and wasn’t overly keen. It certainly needs something creamy or yogurt with it and I disliked the clagginess (actually, your looks drier than the one I made). All that messing about boiling clementines for hours just wasn’t worth the result for me. Good if you need a gluten free cake or pudding though.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I loved it! Didn’t find it claggy, but it wasn’t at all dry either. It wasn’t too faffy really, took time but no tricky stuff. Pete did the actual, though!!

    Reply
  5. nazima

    love the idea of the lemon curd topping – and the yuzu ice cream. Not tried this cake but must try out as I love clementines

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Nazima, the ridiculous thing is that this recipe has been on my mental To Make list for so many many years!

    Reply
  6. Lucy

    I have never tried this cake! Must amend that asap as it looks a great colour and I think we would really enjoy it. Clementines very popular in my house.

    Reply
  7. Kate | The Veg Space

    Wow, I haven’t come accross the Clementine Cake phenomenon, but what a fab idea – would never have thought of blitzing whole, boiled clementines, but can imagine the flavour is so much deeper than just using their juice.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    The original idea comes from a Claudia Roden recipe using oranges, but it’s the Nigella clementine version I first heard of and wanted to make!

    Reply
  8. Emily

    Nigella’s recipes are just awesome! Love that she uses almonds in her bakes too – instantly gluten free but awesome too x

    Reply
  9. kaveyeats

    Yeah, I think the skin and pith balance the sweetness with some bitterness, giving it a rich and complex flavour.

    Reply
  10. kaveyeats

    Most of Nigella’s recipes are pretty adaptable. We reduced eggs quite a bit when making her marzipan cake.

    Reply
  11. Simon

    I just recently started baking (actually my wife does most of the baking stuff) so this is new to us! Seems like a pretty delicious recipe we needed to find! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  12. Sally - My Custard Pie

    I love citrus in a cake. I have most of Nigella’s books but have never baked this… ever. Some of her recipes are superb (the easy chocolate cake is fantastic) – some are too sweet for my tastes…. this looks right up my street.

    Reply
  13. Laura@howtocookgoodfood

    This is defintely a classic cake and I was amazed when I first made it and realised you had to boil the fruits and blitz them but it is by far the best way to enjoy a clementine cake and Nigella really knows her cake recipes, they always turn out brilliantly just as this one has!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Totally agree! Her cakes are always delicious! I thought it’d surely be bitter but it’s just so good.

    Reply
  14. Julia Trevett-Smith

    Yummy, I agree with the eggy comments, but ok if you use small rather than large eggs. I’ve made this cake loads and I use less sugar too. It is especially nice with less sugar if you are serving with good quality vanilla ice-cream. I sometimes substitute 2 navel oranges instead of the clementines which works just as well. Apparently you can try this method with lemons too. I came across your blog doing some research for setting up my own food blog! I’m a Coeliac so it’s great to see so many gluten-free recipes being shared out there.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Great to know it’s so adaptable, I was thinking to make it with persian lemons on sale nearby, they are less sharp than usual kind.

    Reply
    Helen Kaye

    I make this cake with oranges. You can either cook the oranges and blitz them as described, or use the blitzed raw fruit and just mix with th other ingredients. Either works well. ( remove seeds from either).
    I serve it with a dust of icing sugar, and cream whipped with honey and a splash of whisky. It’s my most requested dessert.

    Reply
  15. Sammie

    I too have always wanted to try this cake, in fact I’ve got a chocolate version in my green & blacks cookbook. Being allergic to oranges is so unfair, however, I’m fine with clementines, satsumas and tangerines. Your cake looks so delicious you have inspired me to pull my finger out, order clementines with the shopping and give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration. Sammie.

    Reply
  16. Bec

    I sometimes grate dark chocolate over the top, while the cake is still hot in the tin – once cool it adds a creamy bitterness to the cake.

    Reply
  17. Paul Cullen

    I have a sister who is gluten and dairy intolerant, and it was always fun finding cakes to make that she can have. I found this recipe and made it, and she loves it. I have also made it with lemons instead of clementines and it is also very good.

    Reply
    Paul Cullen

    I have yet to try a mix of orange and lemon, as a St Clements version could also be very nice.

    Reply

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