I’ve found our Christmas morning cake! Clementine-Date Cake from the late, great Cooking Light magazine (R.I.P). I really miss that magazine – every month they had fantastic ‘lightened’ recipes that you could eat and enjoy without feeling guilty. This Clementine-Date Cake is one of those recipes.
This cake is lightly sweet, but not too sweet, with a lovely tangerine glaze over the top. It has walnuts, tangerines, and dates all ground up and added to the batter and I think that’s where most of the moistness comes from instead of tons of butter. It’s really good and what I think is a simple, delicious citrusy holiday cake.
I altered the original recipe just slightly. The original calls for toasted walnut oil (anyone ever seen that?) and used canola oil instead. Instead of fat-free buttermilk I used low-fat because that’s what I had in the fridge. Oh, I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon – entirely optional, but it gave it a warmer flavor.
This cake is quite the tribute to tangerines. Well, actually I used Halo’s which are clementine oranges (seedless vs. tangerines having seeds). They taste just like tangerines to me and they’re so popular and healthy for kids’ snacks these days.
Bret said it tasted like an old-fashioned cake (in a good way). Slightly dense and only one layer, without the thick frosting usually found on American cakes. Don’t get me wrong – I like frosting – but occasionally these simple, flavorful cakes are what I’m jonesing for. The baked cake will also freeze well (pre-glaze) and will keep until you need it.
Take advantage of citrus season this year and make this cake for your family. It really will be a nice cake to wake up to on Christmas morning.
- 2 tsp flour
- 1/2 C walnut halves, plus 5 walnut halves for decoration
- 6 pitted dates
- 2 unpeeled clementines, quartered
- 1/2 C packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 9 oz (2 C) flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 C low-fat buttermilk
- 1/3 C chopped, pitted dates
- 1 C powdered sugar
- 6 tsp fresh tangerine juice (juice from about 1 juicy tangerine)
- dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9" round cake pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then also spray the paper. Dust the bottom and sides with 2 teaspoons of flour.
- Set 5 pretty walnut halves aside for later decoration. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts, 6 whole pitted dates, and the quartered clementines in a food processor; process until ground, about 15 seconds on high.
- Combine the brown sugar, butter, and oil in a stand mixer bowl. Beat on medium until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and egg.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture about 1 cup at a time to the batter, alternating with the buttermilk, and finishing with the flour, mixing between each addition. Add the ground nut/date/clementine mixture to the batter, along with the 1/3 cup of chopped dates, and beat at medium speed for 2 1/2 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to a wire rack with waxed paper under it to catch the glaze.
- Combine the powdered sugar and juice, stirring briskly with a whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze over the warm cake and smooth it out with a spoon to cover the top and drip over the edges. Top with the remaining walnut halves. Cool about 30 minutes before serving.
Tips and Stuff:
Yes, you put the quartered tangerines in the food processor - skin and all! It blends up well, but make sure and use seedless tangerines (clementines).
I added about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon - entirely optional.
Next time I would add about a third of a cup more chopped dates to the batter. I like them and would have liked more in the cake!
Also next time I will roast the walnuts for a few minutes. That will bring out the flavor of them more.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 2g
Nutrition Values are Approximate