Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Rangpur lime cake

Bolo de limão cravo / Rangpur lime cake

When I first started cooking from foreign books, magazines and food blogs, I was amazed to find out so many new ingredients – and until some point in time, I was not able to find some of them in Brazil.

Almond extract was one of them – I could only find the synthetic stuff here, so when I first went to New York, in 2012, I brought home a small bottle of Nielsen-Massey’s almond extract. To my surprise, when I tried it and baked it for the first time, I found it… weird. It was not what I expected – to me, it still felt artificial. So after that I went back to using Amaretto to replace almond extract in recipes, as I had been doing before my trip with great success.

When I saw Claire Saffitz making her almond poppy seed cake on YouTube I was immediately interested in the recipe – since I wanted to bake something but did not have much butter in the fridge – plus my good friend Ellen had told me the cake was truly wonderful.

First I thought of making the cake using Amaretto instead, but then I decided to tweak Claire’s recipe just a little to flavor the cake with the lovely Rangpur limes I had brought from the farmers’ market – the cake turned out tender and absolutely delicious, perfumed with the limes and the smell took over the apartment while the cake was in the oven - it smelled so good it was very hard to wait for the cake to cool to slice it. 😊

If Rangpur limes are not easy to find where you live, go ahead and use lemons or limes instead.  


Rangpur lime cake

slightly adapted from Claire Saffitz’s almond poppy seed cake



1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

finely grated zest of 2 large Rangpur limes (about 60g each lime)

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (180ml) whole milk, room temperature

2/3 cup (160ml) canola oil

1 large egg, room temperature

1 large egg yolk, room temperature

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoons Rangpur lime juice

1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)



1/3 cup (46g) icing sugar

½ tablespoon (7g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 teaspoons Rangpur lime juice


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Brush with oil a 6-cup capacity loaf pan (22x11cm/8.5x4.5in), line with baking paper leaving an overhang in the two longer sides and brush the paper as well.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, rub together sugar and zest with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and whisk. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk well the milk, oil, egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, lime juice and Cointreau (if using). Pour over dry ingredients and then mix in high speed for 1 minute or until batter is smooth.

Transfer to prepared pan and bake for about 80 minutes, or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully unmold using paper as guide.

In the meantime, make the glaze: sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and whisk well until you get a pourable consistency (add more juice if necessary).

After unmolding the cake, peel off the paper from the sides of the cake (only the sides at this point, since the cake will still be very fragile to be turned around) and pierce the cake all around with a toothpick. Brush with the glaze on top and sides, until all the glaze is absorbed. Cool completely before serving.

Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Serves 8-10 slices

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