I recently came across a video of Nigella Lawson making a clementine cake. The first step involved boiling the fruit for two hours and then blending it to make a purée; skin and all. It just made sense. I’ve made an orange cake before using just the zest, and so good though as it is, if you’re looking for a real hit and punch of citrus, you want to try this.

Having seen them made with oranges, I had a bit of an epiphany and wanted to try using blood oranges next time around. Maybe lemons too! Hello, summer! (and acidity?)

This cake is completely gluten-free (if you’re fussed about that kind of thing), has no butter or oil present (whaaat), and without exaggeration, possibly the most moist cake that I’ve ever eaten. I seriously don’t know how this crazy chemistry works, but it does, and makes it react into something so damn delicious! Try it, please.

Recipe type: Cakes
  • 2-4 oranges (about 400 grams)
  • 250 grams ground almonds
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 eggs
  • Icing sugar (for dusting over the top)
  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and immerse the oranges into it. Boil for 40-50 minutes until a knife inserted yields without any resistance. Remove and cool. Cut into half and get all the pips out; retain the outer skin and pulp. Add the orange to a blender and purée with the sugar until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 C / 360 F and line a 8” spring-form pan with baking parchment.
  3. In another bowl, add the rest of the ingredients - eggs, salt, baking powder and ground almonds and mix well with a spatula. Tip the orange purée into this and mix again until well incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes. If the top of the cake starts to brown too quickly, cover with foil after 35 - 40 minutes and continue cooking. * Insert a skewer into the center of the cake once you think it’s done, to ensure that it’s fully cooked through - it should come out clean.
  5. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely before unmoulding. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
* Adapted from Nigella Lawson


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