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Recipe: Orange Olive Oil Cake

In a season when gluttony prevails, there is nothing like a light and citrusy dessert to cut through all the richness. This dessert is actually inspired by a similar one I had at L’Artusi a year ago and it was surprisingly delicious end to a large meal. And while the idea of an olive oil based dessert may seem strange, in reality it gives a delicate flavor perfectly suited to a citrus or herb pairing (think sage or basil).

Orange Olive Oil Cake

Recipe: Orange Olive Oil Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Light and citrusy orange olive oil cake. An Italian classic!
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1¼ cup of all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
  1. Butter a medium cake pan and preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the sugar and eggs together until frothy. Pour in the olive oil and vanilla slowly and keep mixing until smooth.
  3. Add the zest and orange juice to the batter and combine.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients then slowly mix them into the batter (don’t over mix).
  5. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake until brown and a stick in the center of the cake comes out clean (about 30 minutes).
  6. Let the cake cool then dust with powdered sugar and any additional orange zest. Serve alone or with a drizzle of orange liqueur or even some warmed berry jam. Enjoy!


{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Anonymous December 2, 2013, 11:05 am

    Yes, I can personally attest to the light, yet citrusy, flavor of this amazing cake. It is worth its weight in orange zest. And the olive oil adds a certain weight that balances the whole thing out.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    A big fan.

  • Sahand Shahrabani December 3, 2013, 11:48 pm

    It was good! Very light with a zest of orange.

  • Andrea_TheKitchenLioness December 5, 2013, 5:10 am

    Ahu, personnally I love baking with olive oil – I usually get mine (a very mild one that is especially suited for baking) at a local oil mill. I baked olive oil cookies and cakes many times, so I was delighted to see this absoultely fabulous recipe on your blog – a bit of orange goes so well with olive oil in baking. Thanks for sharing this wonderful cake recipe!

    • ahu December 5, 2013, 8:49 pm

      The cookies sound amazing! Do you have a favorite recipe?

  • Tima December 5, 2013, 11:54 am

    I have always been worried about cooking/baking with olive oil. Heard it is better for your health if it is not heated in anyway. But after seeing the cake you made, I would try it… the photo looks great!

    • ahu December 5, 2013, 8:50 pm

      I think the issue is with heating it beyond its smoke point (ie using it to fry!). πŸ™‚

  • Lawyer Loves Lunch December 6, 2013, 12:18 am

    Love the combination of orange and olive oil, it just feels so festive and light!

    PS: I got the cardamom package today. Thanks so much, I can’t wait to use them πŸ™‚

    • ahu December 6, 2013, 7:59 pm

      Yay! Glad it made to you πŸ™‚

  • Julia | JuliasAlbum.com December 6, 2013, 2:17 am

    I love baking with olive oil! And orange flavored desserts are always welcome in my house! πŸ™‚

    • ahu December 6, 2013, 8:00 pm

      Well this is perfect then! πŸ™‚

  • Angie Schneider December 6, 2013, 10:19 am

    The cake sounds and looks super!

  • Cocoa and Lavender December 8, 2013, 11:53 am

    I keep hearing of these olive oil cakes and now that you are recommending it I know it must be good. I might try it with our tangelos – they are just coming ripe n the tree! ~ David

    • ahu December 9, 2013, 9:12 am

      David – you especially would like it. It’s very delicate. πŸ™‚

  • azita December 8, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Well, it looks great and the recipe sounds so no-nonsense and sensible. I’m bookmarking to make. Love your idea of an herb pairing as well.

  • Anonymous December 9, 2013, 2:45 am

    I love all this — orange, olive oil, everything!!

    Can’t wait for your next post!!


  • lisa is cooking December 12, 2013, 11:53 am

    It must be so fragrant and lovely as it bakes with the orange! The tender crumb looks delicious.

    • ahu February 17, 2014, 1:43 pm

      It totally is! Thanks Lisa.

  • Sofia Clara January 4, 2014, 1:50 pm

    I’ve never made cake with olive oil but I made waffles once and they were surprisingly pretty awesome! Looks yummy Ahu πŸ™‚

    • ahu February 17, 2014, 1:44 pm

      Waffles sound delicious too!! Thanks Sofia πŸ™‚

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