Sunday, April 28, 2019

Guest Carol Goodman Kaufman 's Clementine Cake

Mystery Lovers Kitchen welcomes new guest Carol Goodman Kaufman, who gives us a lovely recipe for Clementine Cake that takes only five ingredients (and which is gluten-free!)

            I know, I know. Gluten-free products aren't always the tastiest items on the dessert menu. In fact, they can be downright icky (What? A writer can't find a better word than "icky" when trying to impress other writers?) However, if you have friends or family who suffer from celiac disease, as I do, it is essential to have a repertoire of tasty things to serve.

            I have tried dozens of recipes for gluten-free desserts, most of which pale (i.e. fail) in comparison to the real thing. But I sing the praises of Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake. It is the moistest, most delicious, most decadent, most … my thesaurus runneth over. (Try saying that three times fast!)

            What is even more amazing about this recipe is that it has only five ingredients. Five, I say! It couldn't be easier and it always gets requests for seconds — and for a copy of the recipe.

            This may be a gluten-free cake, but it is definitely not glutton-free, and I have the hips to prove it.

Clementine Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
·       5 clementines (about 1 lb. total weight)
·       6 eggs
·       1 cup plus 2 T. sugar
·       2 1/3 cups almond flour (NOT almond meal)
·       1 heaping t. baking powder

·       Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 hours. Make sure to keep an eye on the pot so that the water doesn't burn off.

·       Drain, and when the clementines are cool, cut each one in half and remove the seeds and the little stem thingie on the end.

·       Puree the skins, pith, and fruit in a food processor. (Yes, the whole fruit goes in.)

·       Preheat the oven to 375° F.

·       Grease and line a 9-inch spring-form pan with parchment paper.

·       Beat the eggs.

·       Add the sugar, almond flour, and baking powder, mixing well.

·       Add the pureed clementines and mix well.

·       Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 60-75 minutes, depending on your oven, or when a skewer comes out clean.

·       Cover the pan with foil after about 30 minutes to prevent the top from over-browning.

·       Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan, on a rack.

·       When the cake has cooled complete, take it out of the pan and serve.

·       I lied. If you really want to gild the lily, the list of ingredients comes to seven. Just add two teaspoons of coconut oil to a cup of chocolate chips, zap in the microwave for about a minute, stir until smooth, and then spread over the top of the cake.

Carol Goodman Kaufman writes about food and food history, with regular columns in both Worcester Living magazine and New England area Jewish press. She is currently at work on a book that traces the paths some of our favorite foods have taken from their origins to appear on the nations' dinner plates, as well as in their cultures and traditions.


  1. This cake was featured in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Ben Stiller.

  2. I have friends who will LOVE this! Thank you.


  3. Welcome to the Kitchen, Carol! This cake sounds terrific -- citrus and chocolate pair so well. And your book sounds right up our alley -- good luck with it!

  4. Welcome to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, Carol. I have to say this recipe blew me away. I love Clementines. But I never would have used the peel. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing.

    1. My pleasure. Let me know what you think -- and if you use the chocolate.

  5. Sounds Fabulous! Gonna Veganize this ☺
    Kelly Braun

  6. Sounds delicious and unusual. Am really excited about this recipe and can't wait to try it! I had also remembered a clementine cake in the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I believe that the cake was gilded with candied clementine rounds in the film.

    1. I remember Walter Mitty, but not the reference to clementine cake. Will have to watch the movie again!

  7. Thanks so much for joining us, Carol--and for providing a recipe I'd never heard of!

    1. Now I have to find out if my market has clementines!

    2. They're still in the stores! I just bought a 5 lb. box.

  8. Orange (clementines) and chocolate is a fabulous mix.