Clementine Olive Oil Cake

Clementine Olive Oil Cake is a quick and easy recipe and eating it is a great way to brighten up a gloomy winter day. Seasonal clementines are blended with olive oil to create a moist and flavorful cake!

Clementine Recipes for Citrus Season- Clementine Olive Oil Cake

Ever come across a recipe that is so wonderful you make this 3x in one week? This Clementine Cake is the best way to brighten a gloomy day. It’s citrus season and this is a super moist cake, full of bright citrus flavor and is easy to boot!

I had been searching for clementine recipes with a huge bag on my counter and discovering this recipe was just the thing to get me out of the winter doldrums.

Whole clementines are pureed (skin and all!) and mixed into the simple cake batter along with olive oil, and topped with crunchy sesame seeds. Using the entire fruit gives this cake the best texture and flavor. This really is the perfect cake! 

Clementine Recipes for Citrus Season- Clementine Olive Oil Cake

Using the whole fruit utilizes the clementine juice and clementine zest, giving the cake mixture so much bright citrus flavor without being over-powering. The olive oil keeps the cake super moist with a really subtle and delicate flavor.

A simple orange syrup is brushed over the cake as it cools, and then mixed into some fresh whipped cream which is dolloped on top. 

Now I should note that the recipe I adapted this from didn’t include the syrup or whipped cream but for me they are both a must. The cake is still not too sweet and just has the best texture of any cake I made. It melts in your mouth and left everyone raving.

Clementine Recipes for Citrus Season- Clementine Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients in Clementine Olive Oil Cake:

  • Whole Clementines
  • Eggs (room temperature ideally)
  • Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • All purpose Flour
  • Sesame Seeds (optional)
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt

clementine olive oil cake

Equipment used:

  • Springform Pan or 9 inch cake pan
  • Large Bowl
  • Small Bowl
  • Blender
  • Wire Rack
  • Small pan for glaze

The process:

First step: Add the clementines to your blender or the bowl of your food processor. Give them a quick blitz and then puree until smooth. 

Add the clementine puree into the rest of the wet ingredients and then fold in the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto the top of the cake and cake until a cake tester comes out clean. Brush the orange syrup onto the cooled cake and top with whipped cream (or ice cream!)

clementine olive oil cake


1- I don’t have any olive oil- can I sub something else?

Yes! I made this once with 1/2 olive oil 1/2 avocado oil and it was great. I think any other vegetable oil would work just fine.

2- I don’t have a kitchen scale- how do I figure out how many clementines to use?

I included the weight because it’s the only way to ensure consistency since all clementines or mandarins will be slightly different in size. BUT when in doubt- I’d use 5 assuming they are normal-sized. 

3- I don’t have fresh clementines but have mandarin oranges/ naval orange/ tangelo/ etc. Can I use that?

Yep! Just use the equal weight of oranges or other citrus. You ideally want a weight of around 320grams so the recipe isn’t thrown off. In my experience mandarin oranges are a perfect substitute. You ideally want a thin-skinned fruit like clementines since the whole fruit is blended. 

4- Are the sesame seeds necessary?

I think they add a nice crunch and flavor, but I have made it both ways and I’d say ultimately it’s great either way.

5- I only have brown sugar- will that work for this recipe?

Yes! I have made it with brown sugar before and it works well.

6- Do I need a blender or food processor for this Clementine Cake Recipe?

Yes you do, the oranges are completely pulverized whole!

7- Is the the cake from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?

I LOVE that movie. Have you seen it? In the movie Ben Stiller brings a Clementine Cake with a white glaze and clementine slices or maybe candied clementines on top. If you’re also a fan of that flick make the cake, glaze it, but instead of the whipped cream add powdered sugar (icing sugar,) with some orange juice until it’s a nice thick glaze. Drizzle it on top and top with the sliced clementines.

8- How should I store this cake if I want to make it in advance?

I’d wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and then store in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve. When it is room temperature add the syrup and whipped cream.

So, to recap- trust me, make this easy and delicious cake, go get some juicy clementines that are plentiful at grocery stores right now and thank me later!

Other favorite citrus recipes:

Clementime Olive Oil Cake

Clementime Olive Oil Cake

Yield: 1 8/9 inch cake


  • 5 whole clementines equalling 320g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar (200 g)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (130 g)
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (290g)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (115 g)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (50g )
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (238 g)


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or spray an 8 or 9 inch cake or springform pan

In the bowl of a blender or food processor, add the clementines and process until they are a smooth pulp.

Pour into a large bowl and whisk in the eggs, sugar, and oil.

Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and salt on top of the wet ingredients. Whisk them together gently and then combine with the rest of the batter. Don't overmix, just combining until no streaks or flour bits.

Pour batter into the cake pan- sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (Bake time will be longer if using 8 inch pan vs. 9 inch.)

!While cake is baking make the syrup:

In a small saucepan combine the orange juice and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved it has reduced down a bit.

!To finish:

While cake is cooling, prick the top with a fork. Generously brush it with about half of the syrup.

Beat the whipped cream to medium peaks, add the rest of the syrup (no more than 1 tablespoon,) then continue to whip until a bit more firm.

Turn cooled cake out of pan and top with whipped cream. Enjoy room temperature or even cold! Lasts in the fridge for up to a week. (But trust me it won't!)


Recipe adapted from Zingerman's Bakehouse

*If you don't have clementines, other types of oranges will work- but keep the weight at 320g.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


  1. 3 of these in the past week? How do you stay so thin? This looks delicious.

  2. I’ve made the James Beard recipe of this, which uses almond meal/flour. Gluten free and yummy. His recipe is for oranges, but clementines sound delish.

  3. All I can say is WOW! This cake is phenomenal. Followed the recipe to a tee and it exceeded all my expectations. The sesame seeds on the top are a must in my book. This cake came together so fast with little mess. I used the Clementines as suggested and weighed everything. This is a cake that would lovely to serve to company. I agree, you have to try it.

  4. These are some GORGEOUS photos. We always have clementines around to send Remy to school with (at least, at this time of year), and a few that are about to go bad at any time. Perfect use for them!

  5. Made this for a dinner party with close friends. Everyone raved about it and asked me to share the recipe. Such a simple easy cake to bake but so much flavor and really pretty to serve! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love that you suggest subs! The color is amazing! And 3 in 1 week – it must be special – can’t wait!

  7. On my second one this week… delicious and a hit with the kids and the adults. Thank you!

  8. This cake was so moist. I was hesitant when I heard olive oil cake but it tasted wonderful. I’ll be making this when the in laws come over!

  9. I made this for Easter dessert. So sunshiny and springy! Not too sweet, either. This will go in my regular rotation!

  10. My husband and I aren’t eating our fruit like we would be if we were not working from home. During this pandemic we just keep looking for more comfort foods. So, here I was today thinking what can I do with this huge bag of clementines? I then found this FANTASTIC recipe. I looked at many before this one. Many called for boiling the whole clementines for hours, this did not. I was skeptical but went with as I have many, many more clementines to be used. Well it turned out to be wonderful. It is light, refreshing and just so flavorful. I am going to make two more tomorrow to give to some neighbors. Thanks you so much for the FANTASTIC recipe. I followed it exactly. I honestly felt that I was at a lovely restaurant having a really different and lovely dessert. Thanks again and I hope that everyone is safe and healthy during these difficult times!

  11. I’d love to make this cake but I can’t eat eggs. Is there any other ingredient that I could replace it with? I’ve seen vegan people using apple sauce instead of eggs. Would that work?

  12. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My whole family love it !! God bless you .Greetings from Peru,Miraflores.

  13. The baking aroma was phenomenal, but it has a bitter aftertaste. Is there a reason for this? May I have not puréed the clementines enough?

    1. Maybe it could be blended seeds that are giving the bitter taste? I’ve seen other recipes where you remove the seeds before blending.

      1. Sorry to hear that! The clementines you use definitely play a big part in the flavor. May be good to make sure they aren’t bitter before making it.

    2. I was worried about the peel leaving a bitter aftertaste, so I used 2 whole ones, and peeled the rest. Are there any seeds?

      1. Clementines that I use typically don’t have seeds but you could remove if yours have. I also think if blended down it would be fine.

  14. Hi!!!

    I always buy clementines and can never eat all of them by myself, so this looks FABULOUS and I can’t wait to try it! Do you think it would work in a Bundt pan????

        1. I just measured my Bundt pan is 8 1/2 across – would that work?

          1. Yes that should work! Just spray and flour the pan well so it releases easily. And make sure to never fill it more than 3/4 full

  15. I was skeptical about using whole clementines, but the cake turned out wonderful! I had a bag of cuties that were not great to eat by itself – I tried and I hate wasting food – so this recipe was a great way to use up nearly the whole bag between the cake and the juicing of the cuties for the syrup. Will be making again if I end up with lots of clementines!

  16. LOVELY CAKE – Our kind of snack! I made the 1st cake – my husband and I ate it all in 4 consecutive nights. The next day I ate the 2nd cake, when that was gone – I made the 3rd consecutive cake. Last night was our first without cake. We’re getting the shakes, without another one in the house. :) We love it right out of the refrigerator with whipped cream. I will say that the last batch I cut the sugar to 1/2 cup (as I often do w/ recipes), it was still wonderful. Also, I don’t make the syrup, because that would be just too sweet for me, and I want to taste the clementine. I do have clementines and husband support to make a FOURTH cake, – however, I have a question. Do you ever make this with limes – or lemons. I just love limes and have invented a few lime cakes. Wonder how they would work in this recipe? Too much pith? Let me know your thoughts if you see this. Thanks!

    1. I’m also trying to watch my sugar; can I make it with only 1/4 cup? Thanks!

    1. I used my 8” and the cake was more moist than when I used my 9”; but after adding the orange/sugar combo doesn’t really matter as you can just use less for the 8”. Maybe for presentation? My cake stand hold an 8” so I went with that!

  17. Delicious! Very quick and straight forward. Thanks for adding the weight measurements.

  18. Can this be made ahead of time and frozen then defrosted? I’m thinking about holiday prep.
    Thank you.

    1. Yes it sure can. Bake, cool, wrap in plastic wrap, freeze and then when it comes to room temp add the glaze ands syrup

  19. This cake is simply AMAZING! My husband was looking up how to use up Clementines and this popped up. SO glad it did!
    I am curious about the topping portion of the recipe. It tells us to reserve half of the syrup and then add to the whipped cream, I assumed 1 Tblsp AT A TIME, but the recipe just says 1 Tblsp and stops there. I did add it 1 Tblp at a time and it turned out delightful, but for someone who might follow to a tee, it should be corrected.

  20. If I just want the olive oil cake and not the syrup, for more of a snacking cake, can I increase the olive oil to 1 cup? I’ve seen ratios of 2 cups flour:1 cup olive oil. Thank you!

  21. This cake is phenomenal. Who would have thought WHOLE clementines, but its just great.I tweeked a bit and made in a sunflower silicone cake pan. Used finely chopped walnuts for center of sunflower. I would send a picture if I knew how.

  22. Hey Audra adore your recipes so much, I always use oat flour, I’m gluten free, and I hate gluten free lal purpose think almond flour or oat flour will taste better with this?

  23. Hi there! Excited to try this recipe! Could I add an orange liquor, like Grand Marinier? And if I did, how much into the batter?

    1. I would add it into the glaze I think. Otherwise the flavor may get lost and it would be a great soak for this cake! Start with a tablespoon and add more if desired.

  24. Hi! I’ve made this cake so many times and it’s delicious! We always devour it immediately. But I was wondering if I can make it in advance?
    You mention it’s good in the fridge for a week but would it still be fantastic to serve at a party if made 3 days in advance?
    Thank you!

    1. So sorry for the delay in my response. Yes- make it and cool it and then wrap in plastic wrap. Then freeze! Bring to room temperature and add the syrup and glaze!

    1. Yes. I would wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze. Then bring to room temperature before adding the syrup and glaze

  25. I know this is an absurd question….but are the clementines truly whole? or peeled? Couldn’t find it in your directions.

  26. Wethersfield it’s clementine, tangelos or oranges the skin should be left on??
    I would think that would make it bitter

  27. Hi! What if I use only the fruit, without the zest (which I used to another recipe)? Could I add some almond meal for example so I reach the right texture?
    Thank you

  28. This clementine oil cake is delicious! The dough has a mild flavor and is even tastier because of the olive oil. The clementine adds a touch of acidity that helps balance the flavor of the oil.

  29. This may sound like a dumb question, but when you say blend whole clementines, does that mean peeled or with skin on? Thanks.

  30. Just made this cake. It’s beautiful yet simple, with amazing texture & great flavor. The whipped cream topping is essential IMHO My one critique is that I found it a little more bitter than I would’ve liked, but perhaps that’s just a result of the particular mandarins I used, since none of the other reviews mention this. Next time I make this, I may add a little more sugar to balance the bitter flavor — but either way, I plan to make it again! Great recipe.

  31. Well this cake is currently in my oven, and I just now realized I should have left the skins on the clementines. Have I wasted my precious time?!? Fingers crossed it turns out okay.

  32. Made this cake for Christmas and it was a huge hit! I used a 7” pan and it looked absolutely gorgeous. I decorated a white cake plate with greens, clementines, red carnations and a bit of silver. It was a beautiful centerpiece until it magically disappeared lol

  33. How do I convert this recipe to a 6 inch cake? I am thinking of making smaller versions to give out as Spring Festive gift. Thank you! Irene

  34. This recipe is my new favorite cake! I made the cake as the recipe stated, but added Cointreau and orange peel to the syrup while cooking and topped it with the candied orange peels and seeds from a whole pomegranate. I brought it to a party and wish I had more. Thank you.

  35. This cake is delicious! Slightly bitter but not overpowering. I’ve had many people ask for the recipe. I even made kid friendly muffin version with low sugar and add spinach. A totally hit. Thanks so much!

  36. Just made this cake and it was delicious . I would like to make it vegan any suggestions? Should I sub the egg for flaxseed?

    1. Hi! I don’t use egg replacement in my baking, but I know people really like the Bob’s Red Mill Egg replacement. I may try that!

    2. I just saw this after leaving my vegan review below! I used ener-G egg replacer brand today and it was OUTRAGEOUS. Every vegan in the room was floored.

      I wouldn’t use flax egg because it would probably make it too dense or heavy. I’d try Ener-G or Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer.

  37. I made this today and enjoyed it. I especially appreciated how easy it was and I loved the idea of using whole clementines, peel and all. I didn’t have sesame seeds so I used white poppy seeds and they worked well.

  38. Holy hell. I’ve been binging Bake Off the past few months and baking up a storm for the first time in my life. Had a bunch of clementines I wanted to use and thank god I found this recipe. I was making it for a vegan audience and so I replaced the eggs with energ-G egg replacer (equivalent for 2 eggs) and holy smokes. I don’t think I’ve ever had a vegan cake that good. Seriously. Everyone was actually a little bit in shock because we’re so used to saying “oh this desert is so good considering it’s *vegan*” . This recipe was phenomenal on it’s own, vegan or not – and I can’t say enough how incredibly rare it is for that to happen.

    That said, I only used the sponge recipe. I didn’t put the syrup or sesame seeds on. Instead I made and covered it with a chocolate ganache with coconut cream and vegan chocolate chips. No regrets. I’m obsessed with trying only new recipes right now but this might be the first recipe that I’ll have to literally pin to my fridge to make on repeat.

    P.S. – If you add in your post that egg replacer works well (and, for me, I used the ener-G brand but I’m sure the more popular Bob’s Red Mill works great too) and hashtag this blog post for vegans I’d hope a few would come across it and have the same revelation as me.

  39. This cake got rave reviews at our family dinner. Everyone was asking me for the recipe. I didn’t have sesame seeds but that was the only change I made. Definitely a keeper.

  40. Any experience/problems with using this recipe to make cupcakes?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *