Whole juicy clementines are pureed (skin and all!) and mixed into the simple cake batter which along with the aromatic flavour of cardamom makes this cake so moist, fragrant and deliciously citrusy! Cardamom seeds come from the ginger plant family and provide a good source of potassium.

clementine and cardamom cake recipe

This clementine and cardamom cake is moist, soft and fruity without being overly sweet. It is the perfect treat to enjoy with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee.

You boil the clementines, then blitz them in the food processor, rind and all, with the remaining ingredients to make the batter.

It’s loaded with citrus flavour and it’s made without butter or oil, sugar has been replaced with xylitol making it completely sugar and dairy-free.

Tips For Making the Clementine and Cardamom Cake

To speed things up, boil the clementine’s the night before, drain them, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will be ready for making the recipe the next day.

Can I use oranges instead of clementines?

Yes, absolutely! You can substitute the clementines with an equal amount of oranges, mandarins, or tangerines.

Do I really need to boil the clementines?

Yes! Boiling the clementines removes the bitterness from the peel and white pith.

Can I substitute almond flour?

You could substitute blanched almond flour with ground almond flour (ground raw almonds) as I have done. Your cake will be a little darker because the almond meal has bits of almond skin in it.

If you’re looking for individual measurements, they can be found below in the printable recipe card.

Ingredients For Clementine and Cardamom Cake

Whole Clementines: Since you’re using the peel and all, go for organic clementines and wash them well before use.

Sweetener: I used xylitol but regular sugar will work just fine.

Eggs: Use large eggs.

Almond flour: It’s just ground almonds. You can use almond flour (made with blanched almonds) or almond meal (made with raw almonds) as I have done.

Polenta: A small amount of polenta has been used in place of flour, giving the cake a golden colour and crumbly consistency.

Flour: By adding a very tiny amount of self-raising flour is a leavening agent that will add airiness through small gas bubbles released in the dough.

Leavening Agent:  Just baking powder.  Make sure you’re using gluten-free baking powder if you have dietary restrictions.

Salt: A little salt is added to balance flavours.

Flaked Almonds: Roast the almond flakes separately before putting them onto the cake batter. This will ensure the flakes on your cake are perfectly crunchy after baking.

5 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: South African
  • 2 Large Clementines Scrubbed
  • 1 Cup Xylitol
  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 200 Gr Almond Flour (I used raw ground almonds)
  • 50 Gr Polenta
  • 25 Gr Self-Raising Flour
  • 2 Tsps Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Tbles Flaked Almonds
  1. Put the whole clementines in a pan, cover with water and boil, covered, for 1 hr until a knife easily pierces them. If the clementines won’t stay under the water, place a small saucepan lid directly on top to keep them submerged.
  2. Remove the clementines from the water and cool, then quarter and remove any seeds and obvious pith where the stalk was. Blitz the clementines to a rough purée with a hand blender or in a food processor and put them in a large bowl.
  3. Heat oven to 160C and line the base and sides of a 21cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper.
  4. Mix the ground cardamom, xylitol and eggs thoroughly and stir into the clementine purée.
  5. Mix the almond flour with the polenta, self-raising flour and baking powder.
  6. Fold the flours into the puree and stir until well blended.
  7. Scoop the mixture into the tin, level the top and bake for 40 mins.
  8. After 40 minutes remove the cake carefully from the oven and scatter it over the flaked almonds.
  9. Quickly return to the oven and bake for a further 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the tin and leave to cool.
  11. Serve plain with a dusting of icing sugar, or with freshly whipped cream.