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.
Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake
- 400 g clementines (approximately 3 medium-sized ones)
- 6 large eggs
- 225 g white sugar
- 250 g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
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.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!59 Comments to "Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake"
This was very popular when I made it 🙂 and ridiculously easy, even for a baking novice like me!
Love 💕 the ground almonds and no flour… so healthy! Could you replace the white sugar with brown or maybe honey?
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!
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
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!
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.
It is rich and eggy, I liked that though.
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.
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!!
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
Nazima, the ridiculous thing is that this recipe has been on my mental To Make list for so many many years!
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.
Definitely one to try, not at all difficult and a lovely flavour indeed.
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.
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!
This looks fab and I love the additional use of ground almonds too.
Yes, ground almonds always make for such a moist cake.
Nigella’s recipes are just awesome! Love that she uses almonds in her bakes too – instantly gluten free but awesome too x
Yes, I’m always a fan of ground almond cakes as they’re so moist and rich.
This recipe looks simple to make and what a perfect treat for the middle of winter. The tangy flavors of clementines in cake form. Perfect!
Exactly! You nailed it!
It looks like a citrus dream! I love your suggestion of adding Yuzu icecream as well – sounds like a perfect match.
It was a really good match, I definitely recommend it.
Wow, this is an interesting recipe. Amazing to think the entire clementine is in there! Looks like it really works though, looks so fluffy 🙂
Yeah, I think the skin and pith balance the sweetness with some bitterness, giving it a rich and complex flavour.
Oh my gosh! This has to be good! I love Clementines and this looks so fluffy!
It’s quite dense, but a lovely texture. Very good.
That looks delicious…and so easy to make. I too would add one egg less, if I made it.
Most of Nigella’s recipes are pretty adaptable. We reduced eggs quite a bit when making her marzipan cake.
This looks great – think I will pop out and get some clementines!!
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!
It’s a wonderful classic, hope you enjoyed!
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.
It’s such a classic!
So I am going to shock you with the I have never ever hear of this cake, now that I have I must, must, must make it.
Heh, Bintu, then it’s my pleasure to introduce you to it! 😉 Enjoy!
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!
Totally agree! Her cakes are always delicious! I thought it’d surely be bitter but it’s just so good.
Wow!! How easy is this recipe?! I love the sound of this cake 🙂 A must try!
Yes do try, it’s really good and not too hard at all!
OH WOW!!! I cannot wait to make this! What a beautiful dessert!
Thank you Angela.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks Sammie, hope you enjoyed it!
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.
That sounds wonderful! 👍
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.
Oh that’s great to know, I shall try that! Thanks Paul!
I have yet to try a mix of orange and lemon, as a St Clements version could also be very nice.
That sounds like an ace variation too!
Well i just keep coming back to this .I have used Blood oranges limes lemons as well as clementines . Today i am trying pears I microwave rather than boil fruit at 10 mins for oranges and 5 for pears today , means the cake is in mouths quicker. Decorate with flowers nuts coconut chocolate whatever goes best with fruit
Oooh pears sounds amazing! Please let me know how that one works! 😁
I love this cake. Its a great way of using up those fruit that have gone a little hard!! I tend to mix it up by using lemons and oranges/ clementines… whatever I have to hand.. love the moistness.
Fabulous idea, I imagine it works with most citrus!