Holiday Dish | Tangerine Olive Oil Cake

An easy, festive dessert to celebrate the return of California citrus season. Swap in your favorite fruit — mandarins, blood oranges or grapefruits would all work well — and whatever marmalade you fancy. Bonus points if you find some local olio nuovo, the first extra virgin olive oil from the Fall 2021 crop (…Market Hall Foods usually carries a few brands).


  • 3 tangerines, about 3 ounces each
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • ⅔ cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar
  • Whipped cream

Marmalade syrup

  • 5 ounces orange marmalade
  • ½ ounce superfine sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon 


  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Wash one of the tangerines well, place it whole in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20–30 minutes until tender.
  • Drain and allow to cool, then cut the tangerine in half and discard the seeds. Puree it whole in a blender or food processor until smooth. Peel the other two tangerines, and slice them thinly crosswise, removing all the seeds. Set these aside as garnish. 
  • Grease an 8-inch cake pan with olive oil.
  • Whisk together the eggs, lemon zest and superfine sugar in a bowl. Add the olive oil and beat until light and well combined, then stir in the tangerine paste.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold in gently. 
  • Spoon the cake batter into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove it from the pan and leave it to cool in the tin on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, to make the syrup, combine the marmalade, sugar and lemon juice in a small pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Place the cake on a serving plate, dust with powdered sugar, and serve with the marmalade syrup, whipped cream and reserved tangerine segments. 

This recipe will appear in my forthcoming What’s for Dinner: Plant-rich feasts for any occasion, available for pre-order now. The book is the first volume in an eco-cooking series, meeting the dinner challenge with a set of full-bodied, vegan and vegetarian entrées, plus plant-based starters, sides and desserts, meant to anchor celebratory meals.

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