Several years ago I was watching a Nigella’s TV series and, as usually happen, I was completely kidnapped by her words, her relaxed and confidential approach to food and cooking skill.

I saw her making a clementine cake. With her personal way to look straight into the camera, like to tell you “ Yes, it’s strange, but believe me, it works” she started the recipe putting 5 or 6 clementines in a food processor, zest, skin, seed, … everything!

The rest of the preparation was pretty simple: dried ingredients in one bowl, liquid ingredients in another one… then the liquid ingredients into the dried ones … and that’s it, the cake was ready for the oven.

I was really surprised by the use of the whole clementines, I wanted to bake that cake soon and I taken a mental note of it.

But, as often happens, I lost my post trough the tons of recipes I would like to test.

Some years later, I was attending to one of that kids party where everybody cooks something to share and I saw a cake on the table, nothing special, no decorations, just a simple sponge cake that you can find in an italian home for “merenda”.

I cut a little slice to taste it, an ordinary orange sponge cake made sublime by her consistency: MOIST !

I asked for the recipe and I discovery that it was a sicilian cake (!!!) made using a whole pureed orange in the batter… zest, skin, seeds, everything…. this was something I ever heard before.

So I finally did some research about this cake.

It name is “pandarancio” literally orange bread, and, it’s true, is a sicilian cake which strangely I never heard before.

Like for any traditional preparation there are many versions of it , some with all purpose flour and vegetable oil, like mine, others with almond flour and butter. In any case the whole pureed citrus in the batter is the key: the cake keep the soft and moist consistency for serveral days, the zest’s essential oils gives a delicate but persistent scent.

I use an infallible judge to test recipes : my family.
When the cake comes out from the oven everybody eat one slice, usually a really warm slice, we are not patient people.

I don’t need to ask in this moment, I know the answer : mostly of the freshbaked cakes are good.

I need to wait for the day after;if the cake is losted in the kitchen corner… no way; if I find the cake on the morning breakfast table… is a good sign; if the cake finish in two days… I can post the recipe on the blog!


1 big organic orange (approx 300 g.) – 300 g. all purpose flour – 250 g. sugar – 15 g. baking powder – 1 pinch salt – 100 ml vegetable oil (sunflower – peanut or light olive oil) – 120 ml full fat milk – 3 eggs

Preheat the oven at 180°

Grease with butter a 24 diameter cake tin.

Wash the orange, roughly chop and puree it using a food processor.

Sift the flour and the baking powder in a bowl and add the salt, in another bowl wisk all the liquid ingredients (oil, milk, eggs, orange puree).

Add them into the dried ones and stir just the time to combine well.

Then put the batter into the mould and bake for 40 minutes: when cooked, the sides will be coming away at the edges and a cake tester will come out clean.

Remove it from the oven and let the cake sit in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out.

Once cooled dust with icing sugar. Enjoy!

Recipes from Paletta Anice & Cannella FB grp

Try another easy “family breakfast must” click here