All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Saturday, May 2, 2009

orange-scented olive oil cake

Ever since I got his book I've been wanting to make this cake - part curiosity, part disbelief that an olive oil cake would taste good. Well, Nick Malgieri scores again with a tender-crumbed, orange scented cake that will now be my second favorite cake, next to the lemon cake I love to make. It's a real pleasure to have consistently delicious results from his recipes.
Because his recipe made two cakes, and I needed only one for Mr. B's birthday, I cut the recipe in half. This made a perfect 8" cake, and I served it plain, with fruit, and/or sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. Frosting would be too rich on this cake, so I'm glad I didn't give in to the urge. The one thing to remember is to NOT use extra-virgin olive oil, but light, or plain olive oil. This has a delicate flavor of oranges, and the only possible change I would make would be to add almond extract; just a tiny bit.
From The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri
To make:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease an 8" cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment disc. ( I didn't do this, but it was a little hard to get out of the pan)
1-2 large navel oranges
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup olive oil, or light olive oil
3/4 c. milk or soymilk
1 1/2 cups King Arthur flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
Microplane or grate the zest from the oranges right into the mixer bowl.
Add the eggs to the zest and mix.
Add half the sugar to the eggs and mix well.
Add the olive oil and mix, then add the milk, mixing til creamy.
Place the rest of the sugar, the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and mix with fork. Slowly add the flour mixture to the olive oil mixture in three parts. I added a bit more flour because the mixture looked too soupy to me - maybe 2 T., but wait and see before you add more.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and place in oven. Bake for 50 minutes.
While the cake is baking, cut the peel and pith ( the white bitter part) off the oranges. Slice the oranges into sections, and remove any membrane you see. Place in a bowl and set aside.
When cake is fairly firm to touch, remove to cooling rack. let cool about 15-20 minutes.
Run a knife around the pan edge and carefully unmold it, removing the parchment bottom.
Serve with sectioned oranges and/or a dusting of confectioner's sugar.
I hope you'll enjoy this cake as much as I have!


Maria said...

I need a dessert for tomorrow, maybe I will try this! Looks so good!

katrina said...

Wow - you're quick, Maria! I heartily endorse this - it's so tender it's almost like a spongecake - but not. Let me know if you do make it!

Nicole said...

So glad to know this cake is good! I tried an orange olive oil cake from another baking book and the recipe was a nightmare. But, I also have this book at home (bought it mainly for the gorgeous photography!!), so I guess it's time I try one of the recipes! :-)

katrina said...

Nicole - Nick's book is fantastic - try his focaccia dough, which is tender and easy to roll out. And this recipe is, obviously, another winner. I think you'll enjoy this cake! Thanks!

lisaiscooking said...

Your cake looks delicious! I'm a fan of that book too, and now I have to make that cake!

katrina said...

I think you'll be a convert, lisa! Truly a great cake, and Nick is obviously not only a great baker, but a trusted teacher. Thanks for taking a look!


Peggy OKelly said...

You should try this with orange extra virgin olive oil....a lesser grade of oil is inferior quality....this way you use the best quality ingredients and they don't conflict with the orange.

katrina said...

Peggy - I like your company site! But I completely trust Nick on this . I buy a good olive oil or light olive oil for baking and it's just fine. Thanks for taking a look!


kellypea said... the combo of these flavors. Citrus in general is a fave, so you immediately got my attention. I'll bet the texture of this was perfect and moist. Lovely.

katrina said...

Kelly - the texture WAS amazing! Not oily at all, not greasy - just pure fluffy yummy forkfuls of delicate orange cake. I was just thrilled with this recipe - thanks!

Nate said...

This is the second time I've seen a recipe for an olive oil cake recently. It sounds AMAZING. I baked my first cake recently (lame, I know) and I've totally gotten the urge to bake more.

Thanks for the add over on foodbuzz!

katrina said...

Hi Nate! I was very impressed with your Tres Leches cake! This olive oil cake was fairly easy to make and the taste was incredible. Lovely little cake and delighted you enjoyed. Thanks!

alice said...

How funny I was just thinking about making an orange cake. I tried one recipe a couple weeks ago and it was.. hmm.. how shall I say it?

katrina said...

Alice, I'm thinking it wasn't a successful recipe! This one is terrific, I can vouch for that. Hope you might give it a whirl?

Anonymous said...

This cake sounds like a must have. I think olive oil is seriously underrated in the dessert department. I just had the most yummy olive oil ice cream the other day.

katrina said...

Oysterculture - olive oil ice cream!? Hummmmm, that actually could be good, I bet: creamy, smooth, and flavored with what I don't know. That's a new one for me!
Glad you enjoyed this - it's a fantastic cake!