Clementine Cardamom Cake

By Greg & Lucy Malouf

Clementine Cardamom Cake

Clementine Cardamom Cake. Sephardic in origin and justifiably made famous by Claudia Roden, the boiled citrus-almond cake is a signature dish of the Middle Eastern sweet table. It keeps well for a couple of days – in fact it’s better the day after baking. This is our riff on the more familiar orange version.

Serves 8–10

4–5 medium clementines

butter, for greasing

390 g (14 oz) eggs (around 6)

200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

250 g (9 oz) ground almonds

seeds from 30 cardamom pods, ground (or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)

1 teaspoon baking powder

Candied citrus zest, to decorate (optional)

Scented Orange Cream

125 ml (4 fl oz) thick (double/heavy) cream

80 g (2¾ oz) mascarpone

finely grated zest of 1 orange

1 tablespoon orange marmalade

1 teaspoon orange blossom water


23 cm (9 in) springform or loose-based cake tin

Clementine Cardamom Cake Method

Put the clementines in a saucepan with enough cold water to barely cover them. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 1½–2 hours, or until completely tender. Drain the clementines and leave them to cool. When they are cold, cut them in half and remove any pips. Put them into a food processor and blitz to a very smooth purée. Weigh out 375 g (13 oz) of purée and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF) fan-forced/180ºC (350ºF). Grease the springform or loose-based cake tin and line the base of the tin with baking paper.

Put the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat them well. Add the clementine purée together with the remaining ingredients and mix everything together well.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 1 hour. You can test for doneness with a skewer if you like, although this is a wet cake and some of the batter will inevitably stick. Really, though, it’s hard to go wrong. What we would suggest, though, is checking on it after 40 minutes or so and cover with foil if the top looks as if it’s browning too fast.

While the cake is baking, prepare the orange cream. Combine the cream and mascarpone in a mixing bowl and whisk very gently to soft peaks. Fold in the orange zest, marmalade and orange blossom water with a large metal spoon and chill until required.

Once the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave it in the tin on a wire rack to cool. Turn out when cold.

Serve the cake with the scented orange cream on the side, or dollop it on top to make a sort of impromptu icing. Garnish with candied citrus zest, if using.

This is an edited extract from SUQAR by Greg & Lucy Malouf published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $65 and is available in stores nationally.

Photographer: ©Alan Benson


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