Clementine cake

Clementine cake

A slice of clementine cake
Type Cake
Course Dessert
Creator Possibly originated from an orange cake developed by the Sephardi Jews
Serving temperature Cold or warmed
Main ingredients Clementine fruit and typical cake ingredients
Similar dishes Fruitcake
Cookbook:   Media: Clementine cake

Clementine cake is a cake prepared with clementine fruit as a primary ingredient and other typical cake ingredients. Additional ingredients may be used, and some preparation variations exist. It may be prepared using whole or peeled clementines that have been manually-seeded, or seedless fruit may be used. It may provide significant amounts of Vitamin D.[1] It may be topped with a sweet glaze or sauce, powdered sugar, honey and clementines or candied clementines. Its origin may be roughly based upon an orange cake developed by the Sephardi Jews. In popular culture, the cake played a minor part in the plot of the 2013 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Preparation and variations

Clementine cake is prepared with the primary ingredients of clementine fruit, ground almonds or almond meal, flour, sugar, butter and eggs.[2][3] Additional ingredients may be used, such as orange juice, orange muscat, milk, white dessert wine, or Riesling wine,[1][4] orange oil or tangerine oil (or both),[1] almond extract and vanilla extract.[1] Some variations exist, such as being prepared without the use of flour.[3][5] It may also be prepared as an upside-down cake.[6][7]

The cake may be prepared with clementines and/or clementine zest mixed in the batter,[2][8][9] with them atop the cake, such as in slices, and in both ways.[3] The seeds and membrane of the clementine may be removed as part of the preparation process,[3][4][10] or seedless clementines may be used.[11] Whole, sliced clementines including the peel,[2][12] or peeled clementines may be used,[10] and the clementines may be cooked before being used in the cake batter.[13] The fruit may be chopped or blended using a food processor.[13] Candied clementine may be used atop the cake or as a garnish.[1][3] The almonds used may be toasted or blanched.[1][11]

Clementine cake may be finished with a sweet topping such as a sugar or chocolate glaze,[3][14] a fudge or chocolate sauce,[8][15] powdered sugar or honey.[2][3][16] Clementine cake may be dense and moist,[10] and its flavor may improve a day or more after preparation,[3][5][13] because the ingredients intermingle and coalesce to enhance its flavor as it ages. After being cooked, the cake may be delicate and can fall if it is wiggled too much.[12] After preparation, it may be frozen to preserve it.[17]


Whole, peeled, halved and sectioned clementines
Whole, peeled, halved and sectioned clementines

Clementine cake is related to a type of orange cake developed by the Sephardic Jews.[9] The Sephardic Jewish community was essential to the origins of citrus cultivation in the Mediterranean[18] in the 15th century and popularized the use of orange in baked goods. In addition to its Iberian flavors, the cake also has North African and Spanish roots.[19]

Clementine cake played a minor part in the plot of the 2013 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and was pictured in the opening scene of the film and in a couple of additional scenes.[3][12]

British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has devised a recipe for clementine cake.[3][5]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Goldman, M. (2014). The Baker's Four Seasons: Baking by the Season, Harvest, and Occasion. Montreal, Canada: River Heart Press. pp. 270–272. ISBN 978-0-9865724-1-8.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Clementine Cake". San Francisco Chronicle. January 8, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Linn, Virginia (February 26, 2014). "The secret cake in 'Walter Mitty'". The Daily Herald. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  4. 1 2 Watson, Molly (January 13, 2015). "Recipe: Clementine Cake". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 Lawson, Nigella. "Clementine cake". Nigella Lawson. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  6. "Adorable Clementine Upside Down Cakes". The Huffington Post. March 18, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  7. McDonnell, Justin (February 18, 2015). "Kung Hei Fat Choy! Alternative ways to celebrate Chinese New Year". Time Out. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  8. 1 2 Killian, D. (2011). Death in a Difficult Position. A Mantra for Murder Mystery. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-101-55111-0.
  9. 1 2 Willoughby, John (March 28, 2014). "Clementine Cake Recipe". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  10. 1 2 3 Cook, Crystal & Pollock, Sandy (2011). The Casserole Queens Cookbook: Put Some Lovin' in Your Oven With 100 Easy One-Dish Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter. pp. 176–177. ISBN 978-0-307-71785-6.
  11. 1 2 "Clementine Cake With Cheesecake Cream: Lifestyles". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Associated Press. January 1, 1970. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  12. 1 2 3 Lindahl, Nancy (January 8, 2014). "Sweet Basil the Bee: Sweet, little Clementines go into an intriguing, flour-less cake". Chico Enterprise-Record. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  13. 1 2 3 O'Sullivan, Lucinda (December 4, 2015). "What to eat when wheat is off the daily menu". Irish Independent. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  14. Willoughby, John (April 15, 2014). "John Willoughby's Chocolate Glaze Recipe". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  15. Page, Candace (February 12, 2015). "Taste test: What's the secret to great fudge sauce?". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  16. Browne, Miranda G. (2014). Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can: Over 100 super easy, fast and delicious recipes. London: Ebury Publishing. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-4464-8917-8.
  17. Breyer, Melissa (January 5, 2015). "23 surprising foods you can freeze and how to do it". Mother Nature Network. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  18. Marks, Gil (2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Wiley.
  19. Colquhoun, Anna. "Sephardi Orange and Almond Cake". Culinary Anthropologist. Retrieved 28 September 2016.

Further reading

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