Traditionally, I am not a cake person. Honestly. Even as a kiddo, I begged my mom for ice cream birthday cakes. I loved the second role that cake played into those bad boys…even the cake part was made somehow more delectable and dense in it’s frozen state. It really is no struggle for me to pass up the cake even at weddings. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE sugar…too much, but there traditionally is no love-loss between me and cake. I guess it is a good thing considering that I am moderately allergic to wheat and that I am not a huge baker (yep, not a huge fan of following any recipe to a “T,” so baking often times frustrates me with how often I have to walk back over to the dang recipe to double check quantities of ingredients before I assemble…it can make me feel creatively prisoned).
I must announce that this cake is a game-changer! I am not kidding, it turned out so gorgeous and unbelievably delicious. It is so satisfying when a baking experiment turns out so good. The fruit juice and olive oil worked together to create the most moist cake I have ever had the pleasure to eat. It is ridiculous! It should probably make it’s way to your Easter dinner tomorrow, if you have a spare minute to do some baking. It is super easy and it kind of made me feel like a bit of Tuscany in my kitchen. If you have ever read Under the Tuscan Sun, this is that type of cake. Pure, straight forward and knock-your-socks-off!
For the cake:
1 3/4 cups cake flour,or all-purpose if that is whatcha’ got
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 6 clementines (cuties)
1/4 cup Clementine juice
Scant 1 cup Greek yougurt yogurt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the top:
3 clementines sliced thin
1/4 cup sugar
Start your mixer with just the sugar and the zest. As the whisk whirls around, it will crush the oil out of the zest and make your sugar a lovely fragrant and orange hued confection.
Adding the eggs, continue to let it whisk at high speed until the color has lightened and the volume has increased (about 3-5 minutes for a single recipe).
Once the 3-5 minutes of whisking time is up, add in your Greek yogurt.
Go ahead and measure out your flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Add it slowly to you mixture…you do not want a dust cloud!
Time for the juice. You can use a juice press, but honestly, these little clementines are so juicy that I just quickly hand pressed them.
You only need 1/4 cup of juice…it is going to add so much moisture while the zest offers you the bulk of the Clementine flavor. Yum!
Once the batter is ready, go ahead and prepare your cake pan. Coat it with a nice layer of olive oil on the bottom and up the sides. Then add a handful of flour and toss it around in the pan til it has stuck to all the olive oil. Last step to guarantee success for all your hard work: cut a circle of parchment to cover just the bottom.
Bake at 375* for 40-50 minutes.
As soon as the cake goes into the oven, cut a Clementine into 1/4 inch rings (leaving the skin on).
Toss it with 1/4 cup of sugar and then place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat.
Throw it into the oven and let it bake til candied.
You are looking for a toothpick, when inserted in the center, to come out almost clean. It needs to have just a few moist crumbs on it when pulled out.
If the Clementines have not candied as quickly as your cake has finished, go ahead and throw them under the broiler to speed things up.
Let your cake cool a bit before attempting to remove it. You want it only warm so that it comes out of the pan in one piece.
This cake is so delicious that it only needs the candied Clementines and a dusting of powdered sugar to decorate.
We could not even wait for this pretty baby to cool all the way. It may have made it even better eating it warm…it was kind of like the most delicious steamed pudding. I hope you give this little gem a try. It will definitely reward you!
Photos Credit to: Jessica Helton