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Clementine Cake- St. Catherine of Siena- April 29

Updated: May 12

St. Catherine of Siena is the patroness of Italy, saint, mystic, and doctor of the Church. She entered the Dominican order at just 16 years old and her great faith led her to become a spiritual guide for many prominent people, including the pope during the Avignon Papacy. When I initially read that I was incredibly intrigued, I didn't grow up around many priests other than our parish priest, and I had never actually known a sister until college. So when I heard her story, I couldn't get enough of her strong character and deep faith.

As a mystic she had the "gift of tears" and a "mystical marriage to Christ". She is also known as an incorruptible saint meaning that parts of her body have never decayed. When I visited Siena, Italy I saw her head and thumb, I really didn't expect this reaction out of myself but I couldn't help but cry. A holy woman that I chose to be my spiritual role model and intercessor was right in front of me.

The first image was taken by the Traveling Catholic, the second and admittedly very low quality photo of St. Catherine of Siena's head in Siena, Italy was taken by yours truly. 😂

Same photo credit to follow for images of her incorruptible thumb.

Every year we gather in the kitchen to celebrate her by making Clementine Cake. When I shared this on social media many people were surprised to read this connection but it actually makes for the perfect opportunity to talk about her spiritual strength over a slice of cake. In a letter to Pope Urban VI, she writes about her experience in boiling oranges as an analogy for the spiritual sweetness of Christ. A key, and rather long, process to making Clementine Cake is boiling oranges! If you have never had it, I'm telling you right now that it is amazing.

Damp! Dense! Aromatic!

Prep Time: 2 hours

Bake Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yields: 8-10 Slices

The Ingredients

  • 4 Clementines

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 cup coconut sugar

  • 2¼ cups almond flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp nutmet

Begin by washing your clementines and throwing them whole into a small pot of water. Bring the water to a boil with the lid partially on for 2 hours.

After 2 hours you can drain the water and allow the clementines time to cool. Once you can handle them, cut off the pedicel, or the ends.

Making the cake mix goes pretty quickly, so you can preheat your oven now to 375 degrees.

Slice them in half and remove the pip, or the central core.