Pine Kernel Torte

by Susan Smith in

Since I began writing this blog, I seem to have inadvertently established a new family tradition of celebrating every family members birthday with cake! At this time of year, it’s always tricky coordinating the execution of my recipes with Sarah’s photography skills because she only ever uses natural day light and in wintertime this starts to fail mid afternoon. No such problems photographing cake though, because it usually accompanies our second cup of morning coffee. 

My husband’s birthday happens to fall exactly one week before Christmas Eve and for me it always heralds the start of the festive season. This year I did him proud by creating this delicious Pine Kernel Torte to celebrate his special day. Served with sliced clementines, a little rosemary, honey and whipped cream, there is something very ‘Christingley’ about it. 

This easy to make aromatic cake has a lovely texture reminiscent of frangipane combined with a light nutty crunch. I think it’s the perfect teatime treat for birthdays and Christmas both and, as with all Primal Plate recipes, it does not subject the sweet-toothed to the ‘kiss of death’ from either sugar or grains. Happy, healthy Christmas everyone!

Pine Kernel Torte (Serves 8)


100g organic ground almonds

50g organic tiger nut flour

50g Sukrin reduced-fat organic almond flour

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

175g organic, unsalted, grass-fed butter + a little extra for greasing the cake tin - softened

150 Sukrin Gold

3 large organic eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

60ml fresh-squeezed clementine juice (2 organic clementines)

100g organic pine nuts

Finely grated zest of 1 organic lemon

1 tbsp malt whisky or extra clementine juice - if required 

Sukrin Icingfor dusting the cake


To Serve:

Sliced organic clementines

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only - finely chopped

Lightly whipped organic cream

Raw ‘runny’ honey


Pre-heat the oven to 190℃ / 375℉ / Gas mark 5

Grease the bottom and sides of a 23cm spring form cake tin with butter and line with baking parchment. 

Sift the almond flour, tiger nut flour and baking powder into a medium sized bowl. Stir in the ground almonds. 

Fix the double-bladed ’S’ shaped knife into the food processor and place the softened butter, Sukrin Gold, tiger nut/almond flour mix, eggs, clementine juice and vanilla extract into the processor bowl. 

Process for about 30-40 seconds until well mixed and a creamy (not runny) consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides of the of the bowl once or twice to make sure everything is incorporated.

Scrape the contents out of the processor into a large bowl and using a rubber spatula fold in 40g of the pine nuts and the lemon zest. 

If the mixture seems a little too thick, loosen it down with a tablespoon of whisky or extra clementine juice.

Tip the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin, levelling it out and smoothing the surface before scattering the remaining (60g) of pine nuts evenly over the top. 

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

When cold, place the cake in the centre of cake stand or flat plate and sift a layer of Sukrin Icing evenly over the top.

Serve with sliced clementines, a little fresh rosemary, a drizzle of honey and some whipped cream for a fabulously different ‘take’ on cake.  



If you don’t have a food processor: Use a hand-held electric whisk to beat the butter and Sukrin Gold together until light and fluffy before whisking in the eggs one at a time, alternating with a third of the flour mixture between each egg to prevent the mixture from curdling. When all the eggs and flour have been incorporated, briefly whisk in the clementine juice and vanilla extract then, using a rubber spatula, fold in the pine nuts and lemon zest before continuing with the recipe above.

The finished cake does not rise very much - it’s not meant to. Whilst the cake tin may seem a little too big for the amount of cake mix - it’s a bit tricky levelling the raw cake mixture out in the tin - I decided that using a cake tin with deeper sides would be the best way to protect the pine nut topping from scorching during baking, which it did.

Almost all raw, untreated honey will crystallise, especially in cold weather. Most can be brought back to ‘runny’ status by leaving in a warm place overnight e.g. wrapped in a thick towel and left over a radiator. However, don’t allow raw honey to warm-up above 35℃ because this will destroy its natural health-giving enzymes and potentially its subtle flavour too. The Raw Honey Shop has so many wonderful honeys to choose from but Mandarin or Pine honey would be a wonderful addition to this Pine Kernel Torte.

The cake is best eaten on the day it’s made but will keep very well in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Carbohydrate 8g Protein 10g - per slice of cake (without the clementines and honey accompaniments)