Clementine Cake with Caramelized Pistachios (V)

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Soft and moist cake with a refreshing sweetness of clementines and sticky crunchy pistachio topping.

Simple, delicious and vegan.


I planned to test some Christmas cookies and do some initial baking in the first two weeks of Advent but everything got paused because little one had to take a surgery.

We are happy that everything went well and she is recovering now but with so many things happening at the moment, it absolutely doesn’t feel like Christmas is only 2 weeks away!



We are still enjoying citrus season so instead of baking chocolaty cookies and decorating Christmas tree, I am baking simple cakes and thinking about life.


Clementine Cake


In the midst of that, I figured out there is no reason not to include this cake to your holiday baking list. It is bursting with sweet and tangy flavor of clementines, it is soft and moist, and really simple to make. However, it is not boring at all, and with those crunchy caramelized pistachios on top and vanilla drizzle, you can proudly serve it on your talbe even after the Christmas lunch.

Clementine Cake with Caramelized Pistachios



* this recipe first appeared on culinary postcards, author: I.Savic *

Prep time: 15 min > Baking time: 30 min > Total time: 45 min

-serves 10 slices –


for the cake

3 medium clementines (around 8 oz), preferably organic*

1/4 cup rice syrup**

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup almond milk

1 cup spelt wholewheat flour

1 cup rolled oats, ground

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp homemade vanilla powdered sugar***


vanilla icing

1/3 cup raw cane sugar

4-5 tsp almond milk

pinch of pure vanilla powder (or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped)


caramelized pistachios

1/2 cup unsalted pistachios

2 Tbsp raw cane sugar

1 Tbsp vegan butter


Clementine Cake with Caramelized Pistachios


bake the cake

  1. Keep the zest of one clementine before peeling the skins, then peel all three (toss the skins away).
  2. Place clementines to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour in a bowl and add rice syrup to it. Set aside.
  3. In a small pot melt the coconut oil and let cool before adding it to clementine juice.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F (180C).
  5. Line a loaf pan with baking paper.****
  6. In a larger mixing bowl combine flour, ground oats, baking soda and vanilla.
  7. Add wet mixture to it and milk, then gently mix it all together.
  8. Pour the mixture in a pan, smooth the top and bake for 30 min. When it becomes golden on the top cracks, it’s done. Take it out of the oven and leave to cool.

make vanilla icing drizzle

  1. While the cake is baking/cooling, prepare the drizzle.
  2. In a blender, blend raw cane sugar with vanilla powder to a powdery texture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar with milk. Stir well until no lumps remain and set aside.
  4. After you take the cake out of the oven, let it cool first, then drizzle it on top.

caramelize pistachios

  1. Since we want to sprinkle those pistachios on top of the cake while still soft, you can prepare the needed ingredients while the cake is baking but do not start caramelizing them sooner than you get that cake done (with a drizzle) because they harden fast.
  2. Place a heavy bottom pan on a low heat, combine vegan butter and sugar until it starts to melt. Add pistachios and stir around.
  3. It will take around 5-6 minutes until caramel forms and browns. As soon as that happens, turn the heat off and place pistachios on top of the cake.

You can keep the cake in a sealed container up to 5 days in the fridge, but it will become a bit more dense with time.


* If you can not find organic clementines, use other citrus fruit in the recipe – oranges or tangerines, it should work well. Insist on organic since the recipe calls for a lot of zest.

** I used rice syrup in order not to change the color of the cake, but you could swipe for date syrup or coconut syrup if you prefer.

*** I make vanilla powdered sugar as explained here. You can replace it with plain powdered sugar, but in that case, add 1/4 tsp vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

**** Dimension of loaf pan used is 9×4 inches, but you could also use a round or square pan, if you prefer.

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