Clementine Olive Oil Cake

It’s citrus season, and while my family usually just eats clementines as snacks (my daughter goes through three a day on a regular basis!), I decided this time to try something a little different for a lunch gathering– a cake! I wanted to keep things simple, with a minimum of equipment and effort, which ruled out a butter-based cake (since that requires creaming and my stand mixer), and also many other recipes that involved 2 hours of boiling the clementines to make them palatable. Instead I went for a recipe that called for just buzzing the clementines in a food processor and working from there.

The cake itself turned out nice and moist, with a sweet tang from the clementines up front, a roundness from the olive oil in the background, and a slightly bitter finish from the rind. A clementine syrup helped give it some extra sweetness, which cemented its suitability as a dessert– without the syrup it was almost breakfast-like.

In other words, this is a grown-up cake.

I gilded the lily a bit by having mine with some whipped cream flavored with clementine zest, but if you wanted to go in a more breakfast-y direction you could use vanilla yogurt instead. Or maybe flavor your whipped cream with fresh thyme– that would be excellent here.

Olive Oil Clementine Cake (adapted slightly from The Baker Chick)

  • 4-5 whole clementines equalling 320g
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup clementine juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9″ springform pan with foil or parchment.

2. Cut clementines into quarters and buzz in a food processor to make a puree.

3. Add eggs, oil, and sugar, and process to combine.

4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

5. Pour in wet ingredients and stir to combine.

6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

7. In the meantime, combine juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, cooking for 2-3 minutes to reduce slightly.

8. When cake is baked, use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top and slowly pour warm syrup over it to soak it completely. Allow to cool to room temperature.

9. If desired, serve with sweetened whipped cream flavored with extra clementine zest.

Note: you can also whip your cream in the food processor if you prefer to avoid dirtying yet another bowl– it makes for a slightly less fluffy cream, but it’s stable and keeps well. To avoid having to wash out your processor bowl, you can either whip the cream first and set it aside in your refrigerator while you make the rest of the cake, OR you could opt to process your clementines alone and do all the rest of your mixing in a regular bowl to avoid eggs and oil contaminating the processor. Then just use the juice-covered processor to whip your cream when you’re ready!

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