Fruit-filled clementine cake

Fruit-filled clementine cake

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 10 mins Plus chilling


Serves 8 - 10
A beautiful, moist gluten-free cake packed with zingy citrus flavours, wonderful for Christmas

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal695
  • fat34g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs93g
  • sugars83g
  • fibre3g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.36g
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  • 4 small clementines



    The smallest and sweetest variety of tangerine is sweet and tangy, contains no seeds and is…

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 140g raisin
  • 140g sultana
  • 140g currant
  • 100g glacé cherry, quartered
  • 2 tbsp brandy



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 140g polenta



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 1 tsp baking powder (we used Fiddes Payne, which is gluten-free)
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • icing sugar, to decorate (most are gluten-free, but check the packaging)
  • 100g ground almond

For the topping

  • 4 clementines



    The smallest and sweetest variety of tangerine is sweet and tangy, contains no seeds and is…

  • 140g caster sugar


  1. To make the cake, place the clementines in a small pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hr or until tender. Drain and cool.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base with a disc of buttered baking parchment. Cut the cooked clementines in half and remove any pips. Place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not puréed.

  3. Combine the raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries and brandy in a bowl. Add the clementine pulp and mix well. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition. In another bowl, combine the spices, ground almonds, polenta and baking powder. Fold into the creamed mixture along with the dried fruit and clementine pulp.

  4. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 mins. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 and continue to cook for a further 40 mins. You may need to loosely cover the top of the cake with a sheet of baking parchment for the final 20 mins to prevent it browning too quickly. Cool in the tin for 30 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack.

  5. To make the topping, slice the clementines to a 5mm thickness. Tip the sugar into a saucepan with 140ml water and cook over a low heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Put the clementine slices in the pan and stir through. To keep the clementines submerged in the syrup, cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to fit into the pan and place over the fruit. Cook over a low heat for 1 hr until glossy and translucent. Remove and spread out over greaseproof paper to cool.

  6. To serve, dust the whole cake with icing sugar, then arrange the clementine slices, overlapping, over the top of the cake.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Sunshine NM
21st Dec, 2016
Are you at altitude? I am at altitude (7,300 ft or 2225 m), so I often have troubles such as you described. The reduced air pressure at my altitude reduces the boiling point of water considerably, which causes a lot of trouble when one bakes. As a work around the altitude problem, I bake this cake in a two-part ring pan, such as is used to bake an angel food cake. I do not use a one-piece bundt-style ring pan in fear that I might not be able to get the cake out of such a pan. I also "strengthened" the batter by adding an extra "fistful" of maize flour. I do not know how many grams that would be. Also, I did not have access to polenta (hard to come by in my deeply rural part of New Mexico), but I grow "painted mountain" flour corn for myself, which I grind when I want to make this cake. It grinds to a very nice pinkish flour, although one must sift it to get out the chaff. The sifting is very important if you have ground the grain yourself. Also, the cake is not pink, the colors of the other ingredients overwhelm the pink of my flour. I also baked the cake considerably longer than mentioned in the recipe above... an extra hour, one time, and a bit more than that another time. I did not even bother to do a toothpick test until I saw browning on the top, which happened an hour after the cake would have been finished if I had been at sea level. I have made this cake three times now, not counting the one in the oven right now. It is a very nice cake, a bit of normal food, finally... satisfying a nostalgia for my mother's cake, which I have not been able to eat for some years now, since the coeliac diagnosis. I should mention/warn that maize can be a bit difficult to grind at home. It will break many home electric mills, some of which grind too fine for this sort of cake. I have a very substantial hand mill to produce coarsely ground meal for when I want that (and an electric mill to grind the sifted coarse meal when I want a fine flour). In another month, if there will still be clementines, I will try this cake again but use Hopi blue corn to make the flour. I expect it will just make a darker colored cake (not a blue cake). I am the only one here who eats this cake. For some reason, most Americans do not like fruitcake, as they would call this, and I come in for a lot of teasing when I make this. Still, it is a very nice cake. It makes me happy. I am most grateful to the author of this recipe.
5th Jan, 2009
Fantastic wheat free alternative to a traditional Christmas cake.
29th Jan, 2008
Hi Kathryn, the dry polenta you can find in Sainbury's - they have a fantastic one it is a 500g , very pretty black bag. ASDA's used to have it as well ,coarse and fine but I do not know lately as I haven't been to ASDA's for at least couple of years, or any Turkish, Polish or Romanian grocery shop. Good luck in finding it- well if you did not find it as yet.
31st Dec, 2007
I tried this recipe and i added to the list of dried fruit a little Crystallized ginger it tasted great a very nice recipe indeed A*******
23rd Dec, 2007
My 7 year old Joanna baked this as a christmas treat. We left out the cherries and clementines on the top. We also used clover instead of butter as we use this in all our baking. The consensus was a unanimous delicious.
23rd Dec, 2007
Jane My 7 year old daughter Joanna did this recipe for a christmas treat! We missed out the cherries and used clover instead of butter (use this for all of our baking). Didn't put the clementines on the top either as we forgot the extra fruit. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it!!!
10th Dec, 2007
The recipe looks great - I am making it tomorrow but you have omitted th 100gr/4oz of ground almonds from the ingredients in the online recipe (they are included in the magazine) Also a pity that it is not listed in the magazine under "Gluten Free Fruit filled cake" - I knew I had seen the "gluten free" recipe in many of my magazines although I was sure it was in Good Food, but could find no clue in the index so I spent ages searching and then resorted to searching online. Please correct the ingredients I am sure the omission will make a big difference!
9th Dec, 2007
what is the amount of ground almonds that are required? Thay are mentione at point 3 but not in the ingredients list
8th Dec, 2007
The recipe says 4 clemetines all are boiled ? how many are chopped for the cake and how many are reserved for the topping. The instructions do not seen clear to me ?
21st Mar, 2015
Actually it says 4 for cake and 4 for the topping none of the first are reserved for topping at least that is how I read the instructions. 8 clementines in total.


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