Moist, zesty grain-free Paleo Clementine Cake made with 5 simple ingredients: whole clementines, almond flour, coconut sugar, eggs, and baking powder. This perfectly sweet cake is a healthier option yet still tastes magically decadent! 

close up slice of paleo clementine cake on a fancy plate

Friends. This cake is almost too good to be true.

Grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, FIVE ingredients, no oil, zesty, moist, fluffy, addicting… I can’t sing enough praises!

This crazy unique Paleo Clementine Cake recipe requires practically zero ingredients, very little brain power to prepare, with an incredibly succulent outcome that happens to be incredibly moist, zesty, with a texture so lovely, it’s almost indistinguishable from cake made with regular all-purpose flour.

And if that doesn’t sell you, the fact that you get to blend entire clementines into the cake will. I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Have you preheated your oven yet??

You do realize this is a cake-for-breakfast situation, right?

I just heard the sound of thousands of ovens being turned on.

top down photo of clementine cake with two slices on two plates

Ingredients for Paleo Clementine Cake:

Clementines: As I mentioned before, whole clementines are boiled then blended into the cake. The boiling process softened up the peel and brings out the natural sweetness and zest of the clementines so that they are easy to blend and provide all sorts of amazing flavor.

You can replace them with a similar citrus fruit (cara cara oranges are great) – just make sure you use just under one pound of fruit.

Almond Flour: The base of the cake! Almond flour provides a nice moist, spongy texture to the cake. I haven’t tested the recipe using any other flour, so the only one I can say for sure that will work as a replacement is hazelnut flour. I’d be willing to bet cassava flour would work well too.

Eggs: In order to make the cake nice and fluffy, we use a ton of eggs! The eggs provide additional fat (crucial for the baking process) and ensures the cake holds together.

Coconut Sugar: I use coconut sugar to sweeten this cake, which yields a perfectly zesty and sweet cake. Because coconut sugar is less refined and lower on the glycemic index than regular cane sugar, it tends to be my preference in cake recipes. You can absolutely swap it for regular cane sugar in a 1:1 exchange!

If you prefer pure maple syrup over coconut sugar, don’t fret: I have an option for you (see the notes in the recipe card). Fair warning: If you go the pure maple syrup route, note that the cake will turn out with a very custardy texture, which I LOVE; but if you’re looking for a cake-like texture, I would stick with the coconut sugar. Just food for thought.

Baking Powder & Sea Salt: Baking powder leavens the cake and makes it hold together nicely and the sea salt just enhances all the flavors in one magical moment.

5-ingredient Paleo Clementine Cake - grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free - a healthy enough cake for breakfast

So here’s how this cake prep goes down (spoiler alert: it’s a time investment, but also super easy to make).

How to Make Paleo Clementine Cake:

Boil the clementines for 2 hours (that’s right, TWO HOURS). Allow them to cool, remove the seeds, then pulse them in a food processor until they are completely smooth.

Note: if you have a pressure cooker, you can pressure cook the clementines on high with 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.

Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release completely, then remove the clementines from the pressure cooker, drain the water, and allow the fruit to cool completely before moving on.

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until well-beaten. Transfer all of the ingredients for the cake, including the clementine puree, to the mixing bowl and mix just until combined. Pour the batter into an 8-inch (or 9-inch) spring form pan, bake, and you’re all set!

I enjoy slices of this cake for breakfast or snack, but you can absolutely reserve it for that after-dinner treat.

You can also top the cake however you’d like, using chopped nuts, seeds, fresh berries or fruit, etc. You can frost the cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting  or drizzle it with homemade Paleo Salted Caramel. I went with clementine slices and hemp seeds just for decoration, as the cake is plenty flavorful on its own.

Paleo Grain-Free Clementine Cake made with only 5 ingredients! A moist, decadent dessert recipe

Do I Really Use the WHOLE Clementine??:

Yes! You don’t peel the clementines at any point. Boil them whole with the peel on, blend them whole with the peel on 😉

Recipe Tips:

If you don’t have an entire three hours to devote to this cake all at once, never fear. You can cook the clementines ahead of time to prepare the recipe in parts, or you can multi-task while the clementines are cooking…once they’re simmering, they really need zero attention.

You can use oranges (I recommend cara cara oranges) in place of clementines if you’d like. You’re aiming for just under 1 pound total.

I love this cake so much, that I daresay it gives my Paleo Carrot Cake a run for its money for Easter Brunch.

If you’re looking for a powerfully flavorful and cozy cake, either one is a fabulous option! This clementine cake requires far fewer ingredients, though the prep time is longer. With so much deliciousness, you can’t go wrong!

Have a marvelous Easter weekend. Much love to you and yours! xo

5-Ingredient Paleo Clementine Cake made grain-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free. An amazing dessert for sharing for brunch!

More Delicious Cake Recipes:

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this Paleo Clementine Cake, please feel free to share a photo and tag @The.Roasted.Root on Instagram!

close up slice of paleo clementine cake on a fancy plate

Paleo Clementine Cake

4.72 from 7 votes
Moist, fluffy, zesty amazing grain-free cake made with only 5 ingredients? What could be better? 😉
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
inactive time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings: 1 (8-inch) cake

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place whole clementines (rind included!!) in a pot and fill with water. Bring to a full boil on the stove top. Reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain clementines and allow them to cool to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line an 8-inch or 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper. 
  • Cut the cooled clementines in half and remove the seeds. Transfer the clementines to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  • Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until well-beaten. Transfer the remaining ingredients for the cake, including the clementine puree, to the mixing bowl and mix just until combined. Note: if you prefer, you can blend all of the ingredients in the same blender/food processor you used to blend the clementines.
  • Transfer cake batter to prepared spring form pan. 
  • Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until cake is golden brown around the edges, and feels firm when gently poked in the center. Turn off oven and allow cake to sit an additional 5 minutes in the still hot oven (note: I bake my cake for 40 minutes).
  • Allow cake to cool at least 1 hour before slicing and serving

Notes

To Make the Pure Maple Syrup Version:
Ingredients:
  • 5 clementines or 3 navel oranges (1 pound)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions:
Follow instructions in recipe card above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12 · Calories: 246kcal · Carbohydrates: 31g · Protein: 9g · Fat: 11g · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 24g
Author: Julia
Course: Cakes & Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: almond flour, brunch recipe, clementine cake, coconut sugar, grain free, healthy cake recipe, orange cake, paleo cake, paleo dessert recipe
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

Paleo Clementine Cake made with only 5 ingredients! Grain-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and perfect for serving at brunch.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. OK, this looks amazing and I am an orange cake lover! I am intrigued by the custardy texture if made with maple syrup but I don’t see the note in the recipe card.

  2. Would an instant pot be effective in cutting the 2 hour boil? Just curious. SO excited to make this recipe!

    1. Hi Falynn,

      This is a great question! My guess is an instant pot would be a godsend for this recipe. Unfortunately, I have zero experience with Instant Pots, as I don’t own one, so I wouldn’t be able to provide proper instructions. Let me know if you try it! xo

    2. @Julia, Hello I am in the process of making this cake. I cannot wait to try it. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I cooked the Clementines in my Instant Pot for 12 minutes. I just put them in the pot and covered them with water. I let the pot sit after to release the pressure on its own. Then I drained the water and put the Clementines in my Vitamix and pureed them. I have not completed the recipe yet but I just wanted to let you know how long you could cook the Clementines in the Instant Pot. Thank you.

  3. I had to check out this recipe because I make a very similar one with a boiled orange! Love this one using clementines. Great idea:)

  4. Awesome, love these paleo cake recipe! Pinned and can’t wait to try this recipe a try soon.

  5. I am boiling the oranges but can’t make the cake until tomorrow. Do I put the oranges whole in the fridge until ready to puree?

    1. Hi Angela,

      I would refrigerate the oranges if you haven’t already. They would be fine sitting out, too, but if it were me, I would refrigerate them 🙂 Hope you love the cake! xo

    1. Hi Angela! Absolutely. I would just suggest picking out the seeds prior to blending the oranges – I find mandarins have more seeds than clementines 😀

  6. I might try this in the Vitamix with raw tangerines. I do a lemon curd this way, too, with raw whole lemons, eggs, and sugar, then stovetop cook like a custard. Will report back!

    1. Judith, how did it work? I have a Vitamix but I don’t have two hours til my wife comes home for lunch!

  7. I am madly in love with this cake. Instead of clementines I used sweet lines and jaggery for the coconut sugar. It turned out so delicious.

  8. Love this cake thank you for sharing. I made it tonight with raw honey. Delicious. Question: refrigerate or room temperature?

    1. I’m so happy you like it, Patricia! I refrigerate it (or even freeze it), but I imagine it would be fine at room temperature for 2-3 days.

    1. Hi Kelly!

      I’ve never tried it as cupcakes, but I believe it would work great! I would do 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. Hope you enjoy! xoxo

  9. I love fruity cakes. There is something refreshing and summery about them. I really love these photos too!

  10. Can’t wait to try these! Silly question…I know it says don’t peel the clementines before boiling, but what about before you put them in the food processor? Basically, do you ever peel the clementines? 😂 Thanks!

  11. I peeled 4 medium sized clementines removed the fruit and kept the rinds. Pressure cooked the clementines, rinds, and water to barely cover the fruit in an Instant Pot for 9 minutes. Did no quick release, allowing the steam to dissipate. Completely cooled it. Then following the directions above. The result was absolutely delicious. very moist I baked it for 50 mins.

    1. I’m so thrilled to hear it, Caroline! I love the pressure cooker idea – so much quicker than boiling the clementines! I appreciate the feedback! xoxoxo

  12. I really want to try this, huge fan of the clementine however I am wondering if switching the maple syrup for honey as well as using coconut flour instead of almond flour would work? Any idea?

    1. Hi Brandi!

      Coconut flour would have to be an entirely different recipe, unfortunately…it absorbs 4 times more liquid than almond flour and requires more eggs. You could swap the almond flour for cassava flour or hazelnut flour, though! Honey burns pretty easily, so it would work as a swap but you’ll need to keep an eye on the cake and cover it in foil if it begins to burn before it’s finished cooking through 🙂 Let me know what you end up trying! xoxoxo

    1. Hi Tracey! The batter should be runnier than regular cake batter, but not overly runny. If you think it’s too thin, I would add another 1/2 to 1 cup of almond flour. You could also use a small amount of tapioca flour if you’d like. Let me know how it turns out! xoxo

    1. Hi Roxanne! I would recommend making a lemon glaze using 1 cup of powdered sugar and two tablespoons of lemon juice (or orange juice or water if you prefer). A cream cheese frosting would be amazing as well!

  13. Hi! I made this cake for Christmas, and not only is it beautiful, smells wonderful, but tastes super amazing!! Its my new favorite cake! I followed the recipe exactly, using coconut sugar, but it did come out more custard-like texture, not cakey. Even though it still tastes amazing I was wondering why it was not a cakey texture? Any ideas? Thanks you so much for a fabulous cake recipe!!!

    1. Hi Mary! I sprinkled the cake with hemp seeds! Many people will dust the cake with powdered sugar for a beautiful presentation as well 🙂