Recipe: Kumquat Compote & Kumquat Pound Cake

I was walking down nostalgia lane last night and reading old blogs, which led to me reading this elegant post and wanting to create something with the meiwa kumquat bounty from my garden, which then led me to baking at midnight. 

I will be taking a trip to Tokyo and Hokkaido this Summer. It struck me  as I was excitedly planning all the things I wanted to do in Tokyo that the city stirs the soul of not only the Nipponphile but also the Francophile. Hidemi Sugino’s famous patisserie in Kyobashi, as well as the Mariage Frères salon de thé in Ginza, are definitely on the list. Consider this an amateur pre-trip homage to Hidemi Sugino. 

Kumquat Compote

Adapted from Hidemi Sugino (‘The Dessert Book’)

200g / 7 oz kumquats

200g / 7 oz sugar

200g / 7 oz water


Wash the kumquats and pat dry. Slice off thinly the stem. Cut the fruit horizontally and remove the seeds. 

Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Add the kumquats and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Leave to cool and rest overnight.

The next day, remove the cooked kumquats to a preserve jar and set aside. Return the kumquat-flavored syrup to the stove and bring it just to a boil. Remove from the heat and spoon the hot syrup into the preserve jar over the kumquats until all the fruit is covered. Cover the jar and rest in the refrigerator overnight. 

Keep refrigerated if not planning on canning. The kumquat compote is good on its own, on toast, over ice-cream, paired with a nutty cheese, even in a cake…. 

Kumquat Pound Cake


50g / 1.8 oz all-purpose flour

0.7g / 0.5 tsp baking powder

50g / 1.8 oz almond flour


50g / 1.8 oz unsalted European butter, at room temperature

75g / 2.7 oz confectioner’s sugar

2 large eggs (about 90g / 3.1 oz)


50g / 1.8 oz Kumquat Compote, chopped coarsely


Grand Marnier for brushing 


Preheat the oven at 350F. 

A. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. 

B. Whisk the softened butter and sugar together for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking for 2 minutes after each addition. 

C. Fold in the sifted dry ingredients (A) until thoroughly incorporated. Fold in the chopped Kumquat Compote. 

Transfer the batter into a generously buttered individual loaf tin. Rap the tin gently on the counter to even out the batter. Bake until the cake tester comes out clean (approximately 25-30 minutes). 

When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then remove the cake from the tin and leave it to cool on a cooling rack. 

D. Brush the cake top with a little Grand Marnier. 

Serve with remaining Kumquat Compote and some fragrant Earl Grey tea. 

Served here with a scoop of green tea ice-cream. 


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