With less than 10 ingredients and no flour or oil to speak of — this delicious and moist Flourless Clementine Cake is ridiculously easy to make and will leave your taste buds dancing with the sweet, bright flavor of citrus.
I’ve shared my love for baking on the blog before, but it truly is my version of therapy. I love setting out all of my ingredients, turning on good music and tossing my hair in a messy bun; ready to use my hands and loose myself in the creative process of making something sweet to share with loved ones.
Knowing that mother’s day was soon approaching, I wanted my next baked good to be something that my mom would enjoy and I also wanted to keep it light and refreshing for Spring. I dug out some old cookbooks for inspiration and stumbled upon Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake and it was just what I was looking for. Not only does my mom love clementines, but I could also keep this dessert light and somewhat healthy since the recipe was naturally gluten and grain free; using clementines, ground almonds, sugar and eggs as the main ingredients.
This cake is especially unique because it doesn’t just use clementine juice and zest, but the entire fruit— skin and all—is boiled for close to 2 hours and then cooled, cut in half, de-seeded and pureed. This may sound strange, but it makes for a perfectly moist and fragrant cake!
I try to keep my baked goods as healthy and low glycemic as possible and this recipe would be no different. I used a mix of coconut palm sugar and all natural, non-gmo birch xylitol in place of the granulated sugar. You could easily use coconut palm sugar on its own, but it may result in a darker cake. I also added in some almond extract to boost the flavor of the ground almonds and detract from any of the citrus fruits bitterness.
The intoxicating smell drifting through my house while this cake baked had me anxiously anticipating the first slice. The end result was better than I imagined and most importantly, my mom loved it!
The cake was delicious, moist and full of flavor with a lovely spongy texture. We enjoyed it lightly dusted with xylitol that I ground into powdered sugar in my blender, but you could also top it with a simple glaze, melted chocolate, whipped coconut cream or enjoy as is!
- 3-4 clementines (about 375 grams total weight)
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (see notes)
- 2¼ cup blanched almond flour or almond meal
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Place whole, unpeeled clementines in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 1½ to 2 hours until tender; checking periodically and adding a little more water if necessary.
- Drain, cool, then cut each clementine in half and remove any seeds. Add chopped clementines (peel and all) to a food processor or high speed blender and puree until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease the sides of an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs until light and frothy, about 4 minutes.
- Add the sugar, almonds, almond extract, baking powder and salt, and mix well. Then add in the clementine puree and mix another 1-2 minutes, until all ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes; checking on cake around the 35 minute mark. If beginning to brown around the edges, cover loosely with foil. Cake should be finished baking when a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool completely in its pan on a wire rack before unmolding.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar, glaze or serve as is and enjoy!
Gluten free, Grain free, Dairy free, Paleo, Low Carb
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
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