Walter Mitty Clementine Cake

Ok so I work for the studio that made The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  So right upfront you’d think I’d be biased towards the film.   Well working for Fox has nothing to do with it.  I really love every second and every frame of this movie.  To quote Sophia Grace, it is SOOOO good.    The cast, the acting, set design, cinematography, dialogue, etc etc etc are great.   The story is wonderful and inspiring.

One of the through-lines in the film is this cake.    At the beginning of the story, Walter’s sister Odessa delivers him one on his birthday.  His favorite.  Made by his mother (the wonderful Shirley McLane).   Later in the story the cake comes up again relating to Sean Penn’s character (who is perfectly cast), Sean O’Connell who is the impetus for Walter to go on an adventure.   Walter takes this cake with him.

This really is a unique cake.   It’s flourless and has whole Clementines in it.  Skin and all.   It’s super easy to make and is delicious.  Based on the Nigella Lawson recipe.

Clementine Cake

CLEMENTINE CAKE

  • 375 grams clementines (approximately 5 small)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup (225 grams) white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups (250 grams) ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Butter and line an 8 or 9 inch springform pan with parchment.
  2. Poke each clementine 3 or 4 times with a knife.   Put the clementines in a bowl with a microwave safe cover or plastic wrap.  Cook on high for 3-4 minutes. Cool slightly then dump the clementines (whole) in a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. In large bowl beat eggs and sugar until light colored and doubled in volume (about 5 minutes)
  4. Add in chopped clementines and mix well.  Then add ground almonds and baking power and mix until combined.
  5. Pour mixture into pan and bake for about 45 minutes (when a skewer will come out clean).
  6. Cool in the pan on a rack.   Once cake is cold, remove from pan and pull off any parchment.
  7. Glaze and add candied clementines to decorate.

GLAZE

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 cup clementine juice
  1. Mix everything in a bowl adjusting clementine juice and sugar to make a loose but thick glaze

CANDIED CLEMENTINES

  • 3 clementines
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
    1. Slice clementines very thinly.
    2. Put sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat.   Stir until sugar is dissolved.
    3. Add clementine slices and simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes.
    4. Pull clementines from sugar mixture and place on parchment or silpat until cool.

Clementine Cake

43 Responses to “Walter Mitty Clementine Cake”

  1. I can’t wait to see the movie. Love the clementine on this cake.

  2. Diana says:

    Great pictures! I have an italian blog that matches movies and recipes.. I’m working on a post about the secret life of walter Mitty and I’ll link you. See you soon!!

    • cathymerenda says:

      Great blog Diana! Looking forward to your post on Walter Mitty!

        • Catherine says:

          Oh my gosh I wish your blog were in English! I love the idea of creating recipes to match movies. I could see myself doing it. I was also trying to decide how I might make the cake and here was my idea: I imagine the vanilla cake has cardamom in it, the clementines have been boiled in syrup to candy them, and the frosting is vanilla with vanilla bean flecks. I like that all the recipe versions I have been finding involve the use of candied clementines.

          • Renee Rogers says:

            I went to the Italian website and Google offered to translate it for me, so I clicked “translate” and it is now in English….try it!

  3. Laura says:

    Thanks for posting this. I agree with your points about The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It is an absolute brilliant gem of a movie and the cast could not be better. The cake stole a few scenes and piqued my interest. I will make it for New Years!

  4. Carol H says:

    Hi Cathy, Do you peel the clementines (that go into the cake) or do you process the peel and all? Thanks.

    • cathymerenda says:

      This cake uses the entire clementine – peel and all. So, no you do not peel the clementines process the entire thing. In the end it’s sort of like using marmalade in a cake.

  5. Scott H says:

    I had to google ‘clementine cake’ after watching Walter Mitty last night and craving it ever since I saw it on screen! I will be using this recipe in the very near future and give it a try. The pictures looks amazing! Thanks.

  6. […] Also, it introduced me to a delectable dessert called a Clementine Cake.  I found a recipe on this site.  Very sweet and citrusy (I think that word is made up, it also looks misspelled which is odd […]

  7. maria says:

    i just saw the movie and came right home to look for this recipe just to find out that i have eaten it before. this is very popular in Spain. it is made slightly different without the frosting but with candied oranges and cherries, and the taste of sugar is not overwhelming.

    loved the movie, love the cake. will try this version. thanks

  8. Steven says:

    My wife and I saw eh movie on New Year’s Eve, and the Cake caught my attention I think it’s perfect. My wife is leaving town for the day tomorrow and this is just the right project for my 4 year old and me to make for her. She is a gluten free eater, can’t wait!! Thanks again!

  9. Lauren says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! My daughter and I saw the movie last night and loved every minute of it. My daughter is 15 and she said the movie inspired her to seek out an adventure. It inspired me to want to encourage her towards adventure and to bake this cake. We eat clementines by the pound this time of year and are so grateful for another way to enjoy them! Cheers!

  10. Stephani says:

    I just watched the movie for the second time! It really is THAT good. And that cameis such a constant theme, I have to try it. From Iceland to Afghanistan, Clementine cake looks like a winner!

  11. Sara Marie says:

    any suggestions on what to do with the clementines if you don’t have a microwave? I live overseas and don’t know anybody who has a microwave ;-) thanks!! so excited to make this cake!!!

    • cathymerenda says:

      The original recipe calls for the clementines to be boiled in water for 2 hours, then cool and dry them. I don’t normally cook with a microwave oven but in this case the cake is less “wet” but the boiling technique works!

  12. […] will see. Currently feeling it out. But, I won’t make any decisions, until after I make the Walter Mitty Clementine Cake I have been dreaming […]

  13. Anne says:

    Can you be more specific about now you made the glaze? I tried mixing it together but gotta e with clumps of butter floating in it. The cake is delicious, though – and thank you for the microwave tip. I’d never have made it if I had to boil them for two hours!

    • Anne says:

      Oops – meant “got a glaze” not “gotta e”!

    • cathymerenda says:

      The butter has to be real soft, not melted. You can mix with a spoon or if you want you can use a mixer. This is just basic butter cream but with less butter and more liquid!

  14. Rachel says:

    Do you know if I can substitute the ground almonds for cake flour?

    • cathymerenda says:

      I haven’t tried it but I would use 3 eggs, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and add 1/2 cup of butter.

      • margaret says:

        I tried this method too, but added more water as the batter was too thick. I liked this one the best as it tasted more like tangerine bread.

  15. Viki says:

    I just saw the film last night and LOVED it – I was also curious about trying out the cake, which I have never heard of before seeing the movie. Since I have a tree in the backyard, it seems like a great way to utilize the fruit. The candied slices on top are a delight! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  16. Tess says:

    I saw the movie today. I was hesitant to go because I adore the Danny Kaye version, but my sister recommended it, so I went. I love it. It is charming, fun, and uplifting. Not to mention adventurous, brave and creative. Bravo to everyone involved in making it.

  17. Lexlex says:

    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty captured my heart almost immediately. My husband and I saw it on New Years Day and could not have imagined a better movie to set the tone for a great new year. It’s a fantastic film on its own but the amazing soundtrack just sets it over the top. Walter Mitty has quickly made its way into my top 10 favorite movies of all time.

    Also, my hubby’s been asking me to bake him clementine cake ever since so we’ll see; it’s in the oven right now.

  18. Hatchi says:

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I saw the movie, loved it, and needed to try the cake. I was mainly worried that the movie had hyped it up too much, but it was so perfect! It was made even better since I was able to share it with my gluten-free parents!

  19. margaret says:

    I made this with flour and 2 tsp almond extract and it came out too heavy. I made it a 2nd time just as directed and much better. Tastes like marmalade. thanks for sharing this recipe i loved the movie.

  20. ZeBlackRider says:

    Thanks for the recipe.
    Unfortunately, I had not enough sugar for the glaze :-(
    But I will do the cake another time, because it’s so good ^_^

  21. Ralph says:

    Saw a newspaper (Stamford (CT) Advocate) on this cake and thought I’d give it a try since we had plenty of Clementines. Very simple to make. Smelled and tasted delicious, especially with the glaze. Thanks for sharing.

    Question: The original recipe calls for simmering the clementines in hot water for 2 hours (you microwave it). What’s the purpose of doing that?

  22. john doe says:

    I absolutely loved the movie and the minute I finished watching I started digging the web searching for a recipe for this cake I never heard of before. I just made it and I must say I’m astounded how quick, simple and full of flavor it is. Thank you!

  23. Christy says:

    I completely adored the movie (saw it 7 times in the theater, a record for me) and was really curious about this cake and excited to find a recipe that didn’t seem too complicated… I actually have made it twice now; the first time it was good, but not fantastic, and I realized that it was because I was using somewhat bitter clementines. I made it a second time a week later with sweeter ones and it came out beautifully. I actually couldn’t believe how good it was. The fact that it’s gluten free is a huge bonus, too! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  24. ZeBlackRider says:

    Hello,

    Thanks again for your very good recipe, I’ve made it 5 times (exactly the same number of times I’ve watched the movie for now) ^_^
    My colleagues have appreciate the cake.

    I’ve proposed your recipe on this french site :
    http://www.marmiton.org

    I will tell you when it will be published.

    Personally, I made the cake without the glaze, because it’s too sweet.

  25. Cafe Beach says:

    Love love love the movie! Its adorable with the sweetest ending ever! And the cake, of course we have to make the cake! And its flourless…for those of us on GF diets! Thank you so much for the movie, for the cake. Cafe Beach

  26. […] J’ai découvert ce gâteau dans le film “Le vie rêvée de Walter Mitty” (qui, cela dit en passant m’a bien plu, en particulier pour les paysages Islandais qui donnent vraiment envie de faire ses bagages et de partir à l’aventure) et j’ai donc décidé de me mettre aux fourneaux pour tenter de reproduire le fameux gâteau de la maman de Walter. J’ai donc cherché une recette sur internet et je l’ai trouvée ici : http://cathymerenda.com/2013/12/22/walter-mitty-clementine-cake/ […]

  27. Finn says:

    This looks lovely, but I have a couple of questions about the almonds. I apologize in advance for being dense. First, the recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups ground almonds, so the almonds should measure that amount after being ground…any idea how many almonds that is (3 cups, 4 cups?)? Second, are these raw, skinned almonds?
    Thanks

    • cathymerenda says:

      Hi – I actually purchased almond meal (at Trader Joes) so I don’t know how many cups of almonds it takes. I do know that they are raw, UN-skinned almonds. – Cathy

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