Kumquat Cake On StandKumquats are usually hard to find and expensive, but I found some on sale at a local Asian market at a very good price. I like to use them in recipes that call for citrus zest because it is so much easier—you just pull out the pulp and use the whole, sweet skin as you would orange or lemon zest. (Most citrus fruits have a thin, outer layer of rind called the zest, a thick, inner layer of bitter, white pith, and sweet, juicy flesh. It is reversed in kumquats; the peel is the sweet part and the flesh is seedy and sour.) I used the Yellow Cake in Nourished as a starting point for this rich, dense, citrus-flavored cake with cream cheese frosting. (If you can’t find kumquats, use lemon or orange zest.)

I subbed soft goat cheese for the cream cheese in the original recipe and used duck eggs rather than chicken eggs for the cake in the picture: 12 ounces of duck eggs equal 6 large chicken eggs. The cake didn’t rise quite as much, but it was still good and not a problem for those who are allergic to the A1 beta casein found in most cow’s milk cheese and to chicken eggs.

2 ounces kumquats (8 to 10) or 2 tablespoons orange or lemon zest
¾ cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) almond flour
¾ cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) coconut flour
¼ cup (2 ounces or 56 grams) granular erythritol,* another sweetener with bulk, or a blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
½ cup (4 ounces or 1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese or soft goat cheese, at room temperature
High-intensity sugar substitute equal to ¾ cup sugar, such as stevia, or a zero-carb sweetener, such as monk fruit, or sucralose (omit if using Swerve or if bulk sweetener already includes stevia, monk fruit, or sucralose.)
6 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange or lemon, extract
2 teaspoons Cointreau, optional
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum, for better texture

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan, line with a circle of parchment paper, and grease the paper also. Dust with coconut flour and tap out the excess.

Cut kumquats in half and pull out and discard the pulpy center. Chop the peel and set aside. Alternately, use 2 tablespoon orange or lemon zest.

Put almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol and/or any other dry sweetener, kumquat peel or citrus zest, baking powder, and salt in food processor. Process for about 2 minutes until well mixed and erythritol, if using, is very finely ground. Alternately, grind erythritol in a spice or coffee grinder and whisk with flours, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.

Beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add one egg and beat until incorporated. Blend in extracts and any liquid sweetener. Sprinkle xanthan gum over butter mixture, a little at a time, and beat in. Add remaining eggs, one at a time, alternating with reserved flour mixture, and beating until smooth after each addition. Beat for an additional minute. Scrape batter into prepared cake pan and level the top. Bake at 350º F for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted near the center tests clean.

Set cake on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen. Turn cake out of pan and place, right-side-up, onto a cake rack. Leave until completely cool. Top with Kumquat Frosting.

For the two layer cake in the photo, double the recipe and stack layers with frosting between. (Double the nutrition counts per slice if making 2 layers.)

Nutritional Data per each of 10 servings, cake only
Calories: 186.5; Total Fat: 16.9g; Total Carbs: 8.6g; Dietary Fiber: 6.3g; Protein: 6.3g; Net Carbs: 2.3g
Sweeteners and optional items are not included in counts.

1 ounce kumquats or 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest
2 tablespoons butter
1 and 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese or soft goat cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar substitute with bulk*
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cream or coconut cream (thick coconut milk), more as needed
1/2 teaspoon sugar-free vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange or lemon extract
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Cointreau, optional

Cut kumquats in half and pull out and discard the pulpy center. Chop the peel and set aside. Alternately, use 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest.

Beat butter and cheese until smooth and fluffy. Slowly blend in sweetener and salt with a spatula at first (so it doesn’t fly all over) then beat until smooth. Add cream and extracts and beat until it reaches spreading consistency. Use more liquid if you want a pourable glaze. Spread over cake. Sprinkle chopped kumquat peel over frosting.

Double the recipe for a 2 layer cake and use half as filling.

Nutrition Data per each of 10 servings, frosting only.
Calories: 41; Total Fat: 4.3g; Total Carbs: 0.4g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Protein: 0.3g; Net Carbs: 0.4g
Sweeteners and optional items are not included in counts.

*Erythritol comes in granular or powdered form. If using the granular in baked goods, you need to grind it to a powder first because it does not dissolve easily. If you use a powdered sweetener, like Swerve or Sweet Perfection, you do not need to grind it.

A combination of sugar substitutes has advantages over any one alone. Erythritol has no
calories or carbs, unlike most of the other sugar alcohols, however, it has two significant disadvantages. First, it has an odd, cool taste if used in quantity. Second it has a tendency to recrystallize, producing a grainy texture. Using a second sweetener, such as stevia, to reduce the amount of erythritol, helps.

© 2016, Judy Barnes Baker 

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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Tom Masters
Tom Masters
7 years ago

Hi Judy –
Thanks for sharing this great recipe. Tried it and it was delicious!
– Tom