Clementine and Olive Oil Cake

January 23rd, 2008  | Category: Cakes, Fruit


Sweeter than an orange, larger than a tangerine. This seedless, deep orange-colored beauty is called a clementine.

You can buy them for their looks alone. I had a different motive. You remember my “Monday morning syndrome” cake? I was in desperate need of one this week.

Inspired by the “Olive Oil and Sherry Pound Cake” recipe from Alice Medrich’s book “Pure Dessert”, this cake combines the floral and sweet taste of clementines with a rich extra-virgin olive oil – a very thoughtful gift from a friend of mine whose father has an olive grove located in Southwest Turkey.

After tasting this cake, I feel like I will never use butter in a citrus cake again. This cake is very rich but not heavy. It is moist and light. Perfect characteristics for a cake, if you ask me.

Clementine Olive Oil Cake

So if you are looking for a recipe to cheer you up on a Monday morning, give this recipe a try. I promise, you’re in for a treat.


(Inspired by“Olive Oil and Sherry Pound Cake” recipe from Alice Medrich’s “Pure Dessert”)


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1+1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp clementine zest*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup clementine juice*

* Depending on size, 2-3 clementines would be enough for the zest and juice.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease and flour one 12 x 4 inch loaf pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and clementine zest and rub together to extract the fragrant oil from the zest.
  4. Add olive oil and mix on high speed until completely combined (preferably with the whisk attachment).
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on slow speed.
  7. Add half of the clementine juice and continue mixing.
  8. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the clementine juice and the remaining flour mixture and beat until combined between each addition.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  10. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven, wait 10 minutes for it to cool down and then remove from the pan.
Never miss a recipe. Subscribe via email.


  1. 1 - Karolina on January 23rd, 2008

    I love cakes like this. I’ve tried a cake with olive oil and yoghurt recently, simple, but absolutely delicious!!!

  2. 2 - Amanda on January 23rd, 2008

    I am thinking the same thing too about not using butter anymore in these cakes! I just made a french yogurt cake that uses olive oil instead and I loved it. It was insanely light and moist, not too heavy.

  3. 3 - Dolly on January 23rd, 2008

    This looks very good. I am trying to cut down butter in my baking these days and was in need for more olive oil recipes.

    Ditto on citrus-olive oil pairing. I made some thyme-olive oil-lemon cookies from a Food Network recipe and they were gone by the next day.

    I think I might also replace at least half of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Health nut!

  4. 4 - Shaun on January 23rd, 2008

    Cenk ~ I also love olive oil pound cakes. You’re right about the perfect pairing with citrus. It seems that the floral and fruity notes of both complement each other here. I love the flecks of clementine zest.

  5. 5 - megan on January 24th, 2008

    I love clementines and this sounds like a refreshing splash to a pound cake. A must try indeed!

  6. 6 - Evelin on January 24th, 2008

    I need to start a Monday-morning-cake tradition now! The cake looks very moist and light – just like you said.

  7. 7 - Helene Peloquin on January 24th, 2008

    I like Medrich. I don’t think I would have stop at this recipe and made it. Now that I read your comments I’m interested in trying it.

  8. 8 - AppetiteforChina on January 24th, 2008

    Pound cakes always seemed too heavy to me because of the butter, so I can’t wait to try this olive oil rendition!

  9. 9 - kate on January 24th, 2008

    This cake looks so perfect. I think i will never use butter again after seeing this. BTW i’ve been eying your lemon n poppy seed cake as well. Thinking of making it on of these days.

  10. 10 - Warda on January 24th, 2008

    Ah Clementines! My grandmother used to have a clementine tree in her backyard back in Algeria. It was my favorite orange variety, along with Thomson. The cake sounds heavenly. Even the crumb doesn’t look as dense as a pound cake usually looks like. I will have this kind of cake anytime of the week;)

  11. 11 - Tammy on January 24th, 2008

    Mmmm… I love Clementines and they are at the tail end of the season here in the states. They are SO sweet. We’ve just transitioned over to blood oranges… I wonder how they would be in this recipe?

  12. 12 - RecipeGirl on January 24th, 2008

    Looks absolutely delicious. I’m anxious to try it!


  13. 13 - Suganya on January 24th, 2008

    I have some 20 clementines in my kitchen. I loved the sherry pound cake too. Thanks for the idea. Will definitely try this.

  14. 14 - brilynn on January 24th, 2008

    It’s not Monday morning, but I definitely have Monday Morning Cake Syndrome… I need some of this!

  15. 15 - kellypea on January 25th, 2008

    What a lovely recipe. I see clementines all over the place right now. I can’t wait to give it a go. But definitely not on a Monday morning. Ugh. Too sleepy!

  16. 16 - Sorina on January 25th, 2008

    You have a very nice blog, good post…keep up the good job

  17. 17 - Cynthia on January 25th, 2008

    I’ve been reading about the pound cake with oil and you’ve just given me the nudge I need to try this. My mom is a fan of pound cakes and when she visit next month I’ll definitely make it for her.

  18. 18 - Hillary on January 25th, 2008

    I’m not going to lie – the combination sounds gross but the pictures make it look pretty good!

  19. 19 - Maryann on January 26th, 2008

    I Love olive oil in baked goods!I rarely use butter anymore. Sounds like a wonderful recipe. I’ll have to mark it. Thanks 🙂

  20. 20 - Ellen on January 29th, 2008

    This does look good! I have a tree of regular oranges, not clementines, but may try this with those since I’ve got LOTS right now and we’ve eaten about all the candied orange peel we should!

  21. 21 - aforkfulofspaghetti on January 30th, 2008

    Fantastic! Just what we need over here in the UK winter – a bit of citrusy comfort food…

  22. 22 - Laily on January 31st, 2008


    Just saying hello. I’m on a diet, so of course my mouth is watering over your cake… Would love to have some with a cup of tea, or coffee. I don’t come as often because of the stupid diet I’m on (not as drastic as your apple diet, but, nonetheless a diet)! (Your great pictures make me want to lick the computer screen…) I wonder, how ever do you stay in shape with all those lovely things you bake…

  23. 23 - Cenk on January 31st, 2008

    Hi Laily – I am not in shape – at all! Hope all goes well with your diet!

  24. 24 - Sarah on February 4th, 2008

    mmm sounds great! I think I will experiment with a few citrus combinations!

  25. 25 - AKR on February 7th, 2008

    I’ve recently become enamoured of orange flavor in desserts. In England I’ve noticed more orange and chocolate combinations which inspired this orange chocolate mousse ( Your cake sounds delicous. It is also perfect for Hannukah when Jews use cook with oil (latkes, etc).

  26. 26 - Sherry on February 10th, 2008

    We’ve only recently discovered clementines. I’ve never had an olive oil pound cake though. Sounds interesting.

  27. 27 - Suganya on February 14th, 2008

    Cenk, I made this cake, and devoured every slice. I let it sit for a couple of days, and the taste just kept getting better. Thanks for the wonderful idea 🙂

  28. 28 - Andrea on February 16th, 2008

    It’s in the oven as I type!!

    One comment I have though is that it took me WAY more than 2 or 3 to get 1 cup of juice. I don’t know if you have bigger clementines where you are, or if it’s just because I’m doing it by hand, but I used 4 and only got 2/3 of a cup. (my friends ate the rest while I was preparing, otherwise I would have just used as many as it took to get a cup).

    The batter still tastes great though, so I expect the cake will too!

  29. 29 - Deeba on February 19th, 2008

    Hi…love your recipes & pictures. Have just made the coffee hazelnut cookie logs(used walnuts though) & left them to chill. Looks like I’m gonna be baking a load today, coz this has won me over! FAB!!

  30. 30 - Stef on May 12th, 2008

    Thanks for the great recipe! I subbed lemon for the clementines and made olive oil, lemon, thyme cupcakes.

    The texture was perfect!

  31. 31 - Susan on June 2nd, 2008

    This recipe makes lovely cupcakes x 15, which saves on baking time too! (20 mins in a fan oven!) I used 3 clementines which gave me half a cup of juice and that was sufficient for a light moist texture. I am surprised by the results using e/v olive oil – a favourite recipe now! Thanks.

  32. 32 - Michele & John on June 10th, 2008

    We’ve been making this cake with lemons instead of clementines … delicious! Today we made it with sliced fresh mango and a drizzle of maple syrup on the bottom of the pan. Cooked it for the same amount of time. Fantastic! This is now our ultimate cake recipe that we can add ANY flavors to! Next time pecan halves …
    Check out our cooking section on our website:

  33. 33 - lhuv on July 3rd, 2008

    You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it..

  34. 34 - Link dump: A bunch of recipes I want to try « Nikki’s Link Blog on September 24th, 2008

    […] Cashew Crunch Cookies Anzac Self-Saucing Pudding Crispy Toasted Coconut Cookies Butter Tart Squares Clementine and Olive Oil Cake Italian Country Rice Flan/Torta di Risso Lemon Olive Oil Cake Punishments (Punitions) Gâteau de […]

  35. 35 - Andrea on September 30th, 2008

    Clementines will be in season in a few months, and I will have to take advantage of it. This cake sounds and looks wonderful.

  36. 36 - Hana on October 3rd, 2008

    Hi Cenk!
    What is something more neutral-flavored that I can substitute in for the clementines?

  37. 37 - Cenk on October 3rd, 2008

    Hana – maybe oranges?

  38. 38 - Ayesha Sadiq on November 3rd, 2008

    hi. I tried the cake but it didn’t rise much at all. Infact it sunk in a little at the top, there was a like a big dent on one side:(……it tasted rally nice even though it looked like it hadn’t been cooked?….any idea what i could have done wrong?
    The only thing that i did different was baging the cake tin with the batter init once on the bench to get the air bubbles out……i do this with my sponge cake and that usually turns out really nice……please help because i’m gonna try it again in a few days.

    thanku in advance from a very novice baker….

  39. 39 - Cenk on November 3rd, 2008

    Ayesha – I really don’t know… Banging the pan on the counter before baking is no problem; I do it as well. I’ve baked this cake so many times and I never had any of the problems you mentioned. Maybe the baking powder wasn’t fresh?

  40. 40 - Let's Share Our Feelings - Part 2 - Page 5 - IndusLadies on November 29th, 2008

    […] say No to any recipe:) So please do share it. I am thinking of clementine-olive oil cake from here Clementine and Olive Oil Cake | Cafe Fernando – Food Blog. Have made it once with normal oranges and they were good. I don’t need to beat so much like […]

  41. 41 - Latha on December 19th, 2008

    Hi Cenk,

    I finally got around making this really good cake what with clementines everywhere around me:) I baked it on Tuesday and it tastes even better today. It gave me the perfect crack too. No beating of butter yet it has the same texture as a pound cake. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe with us.

  42. 42 - Cenk on December 19th, 2008

    Latha – I’m so glad you liked the recipe. Enjoy!

  43. 43 - H.B. on December 30th, 2008

    I made this gluten/egg free and it was phenomenal! Thanks – its become one of my faves…

  44. 44 - Cenk on December 31st, 2008

    H. B. – Glad you liked it!

  45. 45 - ozlem on June 17th, 2009

    Cenk, thank you so much for the recipe! It came out amazing. I’m not big into baking, but I love both olive oil and clementines, so I had to try it. Delicious! Do you think it would work well with pink grapefruit? Clementines are out of season but I’m tempted to try a variation on the theme soon…

  46. 46 - Cenk on June 17th, 2009

    Özlem – Afiyet olsun. I am sure it will be great with grapefruit as well. You might want to add more sugar as clementines are much sweeter than grapefruits.

  47. 47 - Miranda Hagan on June 18th, 2009

    This looks wonderful and very unique. Cenk, amazing.

  48. 48 - Cooking With Zest: Recipes That Make the Most of Fresh Lemon, Orange, and Lime Fruit Zest | Hugging the Coast on July 7th, 2009

    […] Clementine and Olive Oil Cake Recipe from Cafe Fernando […]

  49. 49 - manadhii on January 21st, 2010

    Thanks for the great recipe! I subbed lemon for the clementines and made olive oil, lemon, thyme cupcakes.

  50. 50 - Linda on February 28th, 2010

    My friend, I made this cake last night, and it was as exquisite as it sounds. Delicate, light, with that definite moist poundcake consistency.
    Thank you so much for this recipe! Next I must make the chocolate mango dessert…you are breaking me away from my “usual” favorites!

  51. 51 - Magpie on April 1st, 2010

    I wanted to love this cake. It sounded so wonderful- a citrus-y pound cake made with olive oil instead of butter! So I got me some Clementines, juiced them, craped the zest off and everything ( much more work than I am usually accustomed to -I’m a lazy cook) but then I forgot the cardinal rule of baking” follow the recipe EXACTLY) and I cheated on steps 6-8. I just dunked all of the flour in and beat the hell out of it. The result, my cake was kind of flat, ( also I used a round cake tin) plus on the first day, it tasted very strongly of olive oil, this mellowed a little by the second day. Well guess I’ll just try again.

  52. 52 - muggulu143 on May 27th, 2010

    Hi this is muggulu Thanks for the great recipe! I subbed lemon for the clementines and made olive oil, lemon, thyme cupcakes.

  53. 53 - Sher on September 7th, 2010

    This is the MOST perfect cake i have ever baked!! I mean JUST PERFECT!! It tasted better when cool and melted in my mouth! Thanks so much for this amazing recipe!

  54. 54 - sami on September 13th, 2010

    Hi, I have the cake baking in the oven right now and it looks delicious. I have tried other falvours for cakes with olive oil before but never celementines, although they are one of my favourite fruits. I have found the first clementines for the season in the market and decided to try this recipe. I added a tsp of what we call orange blossom water to the juice since the clementines did not seem to have enough flavour yet. Thanks for the recipe! will be coming back for more!

  55. 55 - Jessica on December 21st, 2010

    I found your site and this recipe when looking for something to do with the crate of clementines we have. Everything in the recipe is something I had on hand. I was skeptical as I’ve never used olive oil in baking. The only thing I did differently was make these as 15 cupcakes (cooking for 20 minutes). These are GREAT! My BF compared them to Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake (only orange). Thanks so much for the recipe and I’m bookmarking your blog!

  56. 56 - Cenk on December 22nd, 2010

    Jessica – Thank you! So glad to hear you liked the cake.

  57. 57 - jade on March 20th, 2011

    Hi Cenk, I just recently made this cake of yours again & I love it, my only question is that the top cracks & I noticed your slices are perfect – any tips? thanks! jade

  58. 58 - Cenk on March 24th, 2011

    jade – The top does crack, you just can’t see it in the photo I took.

  59. 59 - dn on April 8th, 2012

    Hi Cenk,

    I’ve made Alice Medrich’s olive oil and sherry cake and love it, but was thinking I should dial back the sherry for a party with children as the flavor is boozy (two family members are allergic to milk protein, so olive oil cakes are ideal). I noticed that you cut back the proportions by a third on almost everything for a single loaf of cake, instead of her recipe for two loaves, except for the orange juice, which is the full 1 cup instead of 1 cup of sherry, and I was wondering why you increased the juice in your recipe–was it for flavor or moisture.


  60. 60 - Cenk on April 9th, 2012

    dn – The original recipe has 2 cups sugar. Cutting it back by a third gives you 1+1/3 cups sugar. I’ve used only 1 cup (prefer my cakes less sweet). Since sugar is considered a liquid ingredient, I compensated by using the full one cup of juice (which should have been 2/3 cup according to the recipe). It turned out great. Hope you like it, too.

  61. 61 - dn on April 10th, 2012

    That’s very interesting. I never would have thought that sugar would be considered a liquid, though I guess it does turn liquid at high temperatures. I made the recipe with the original proportions, substituting orange juice for sherry, and it did seem especially sweet. I’ll try it with less sugar and more orange juice next time. Thank you for the explanation!

  62. 62 - Parvathy on April 28th, 2015


    I am really sorry to say that the clementine and olive oil cake recipe was disastrous,to say the least.i got hooked to your website after trying out the devil’s cake ,which turned out to be awesome.But the above recipe simply didnt work for me…the end product being a whitish round mass of sweet flour.


  63. 63 - Cenk on May 6th, 2015

    Parvathy – I am sorry to hear that. Actually, this is one of my favorite cakes. I bake it at least once a month. Did you make any substitutes? Is there anything I can help with?

Leave a Comment