Coffee Cake Friday: Chocolate Clementine Cake, Gluten-Free

Happy Friday!  I think I’ve mentioned that I am a recipe hoarder collector.  I love finding new and interesting recipes.  And I will take them from anywhere–grocery flyers, the back of boxes and cans, newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and of course, cookbooks.  And I especially love to get them from friends.  And friends of friends.  That’s how this recipe came to me.

As I’ve mentioned, my friend Viv holds many fun events at her house.  She is the consummate hostess.  Some of the events are open to the public, some of them are just for friends.  We do all sorts of things over there: movie nights, cooking gatherings, potlucks, canning demonstrations, photography workshops, you name it.  One night I was rushing over for a movie night and I stopped at the house of our friend Kim to pick her up.  It turns out that Kim couldn’t go, but she sent me out the door with part of a gluten-free cake made by her friend Cathy.  I brought it to the movie night and everyone loved it!  After the movie, I brought the pan back to Kim’s house and told her how much we all loved it.  She told her friend Cathy, and Cathy sent her the recipe, and Kim sent it along to me.  Wow.  Thanks Cathy!

The unusual thing about this cake is that it is made by simmering the whole tangerines and then pureeing them, peel and all (this makes the house smell amazing!).  You then use this puree in the cake.  This puree, mixed with the cocoa powder, gives the cake a slightly sweet, sophisticated taste.  As you can imagine, the dominant taste is orange, with that lovely, somewhat bitter taste that is lent to it by the inclusion of the peels.  Someone at coffee hour today likened the taste to chocolate-covered orange peels.  If you want a more chocolate-tasting cake, you can add 1 C of chocolate chips to the final batter.  This cake is also quite moist and dense, thanks to the inclusion of the whole tangerines.

The original recipe for this cake contains finely ground almonds in place of the flour.  Since I try to make my cake for Coffee Cake Friday as allergy-friendly as I can, I usually avoid nuts–so I used my flour mix instead.  If you would like to, please feel free to use finely ground almonds instead of flour.  It will give the cake a more gritty texture, but it’s yummy either way!

Chocolate Clementine Cake, Gluten-Free
adapted from one from Kim’s friend Cathy

Special Equipment Needed
-a stand mixer is nice but a hand mixer will do
-food processor
-10 to 12 cup bundt cake pan

4 clementines or satsuma tangerine oranges (the little ones)
2 cups (10 oz) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (or you can use finely ground almonds in place of the flour)
1/2 cup (1.5 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 extra large eggs
1 cup (6.5 oz) granulated sugar
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
confectioner’s sugar for dusting the cake (optional)
whipped cream for serving (optional)
extra tapioca flour and melted butter for the pan

Note: the first step, simmering the oranges in water, takes a little over an hour:

Place the UNPEELED oranges into a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer gently until they are soft–about an hour.  Drain in a colander and cool completely.  I drain them and then put them in ice water to cool them quickly.  Once they are cooled, place them (peels and all) into a food processor and pulse until smooth.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour your pan with the melted butter and extra tapioca flour.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat together eggs and sugar until light–about 5 minutes.  Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.  Add the pureed oranges and beat until just combined.  Make sure you scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl–I’ve found that some unmixed flour often finds its way down there.  If you are using the chocolate chips, add them now and stir to combine.

Pour into your prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min to 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  Remove it carefully to wire rack to cool completely.  Serve plain, or dusted with confectioner’s sugar, and/or with whipped cream on the side.


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  1. Franci says

    Thanks for blog and recipes. I’ve made this one a few times recently, everyone has enjoyed it! My bundt pan has tree tops, and I decided to dress it up a bit, by making an icing of powdered sugar and Grand Marnier, dropping a spoonful of icing over each tree top! Very yummy! Got rave reviews at work!

    What a beautiful book. I picked up a copy at a signing in West Seattle and am enjoying the recipes I’ve tried and can’t wait to make more! The gingerbread with persimmons is another fave!

    • says

      Franci: Oo, yay! And I love your idea of making icing “snow” for each tree–that’s awesome (and sounds delicious!). And I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book!

  2. rwect says

    i have been making an orange almond cake similar to this for years, however i adjusted the method to beat the egg whites to soft peaks before folding in alternatly with the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, i found this lightens the whole cake while still remaining incredibly moist, well thats the feedback anyhow :)
    i haven’t made this cake in a while, i might just give this recipe a go next i need a cake, the choc aspect sounds delicious.

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