How do the weekend’s go so quickly? It felt like it was Friday just a moment ago. I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while but between starting a new job, being ill and what feels like zero free time since August time to write and work on the blog has just passed me by. Anyway this recipe for an olive oil and orange cake is worth the wait, it is quite possible one of my favourite cakes I have made.

Making a cake along these lines has been on my to do list for a while. I have made an olive oil and chocolate cake before, which I loved. The texture that olive oil helps create is brilliantly soft and moist cake. With this one, however, I wanted the texture of an olive oil cake but I also wanted to use the flavour of olive oil too. Orange and olive oil is a bit of a classic combination I found from looking at this recipe from Poires au Chocolat and this one on Food 52. I used an extra virgin olive oil for this cake that is fruity and aromatic. The olive oil in the cake is not just there to be the fat it is there to be aromatic and get on with the orange. I added a splash of cointreau for good measure, which is a bitter orange liqueur and lends its qualities to this cake beautifully, making it so the orange flavour doesn’t become too sickly.

As you all know I am a big fan of cake in lunch boxes but not all cakes make good candidates, this one I am happy to report, does. Like this Orange & Cardamon Cream Cheese Cake and Brown Butter Pound Cake I made before it is happy to be wrapped up and thrown in a bag, there is no frosting that will be smushed, even if it does get a bit battered in your bag this cake will be delicious and live to tell the tale. This cake is lovely and moist and will last a good few days in an airtight container (bonus). Equally this cake would make a great addition to any tea party and I quite happily munched on it as an afternoon snack for about a week. If you are not a huge fan of sweet icing then this is the cake for you. The method of making this is very similar to the Brown Butter Pound Cake, and is relatively quick to pull together, the hardest bit is waiting for it to bake and cool!

Olive Oil + Orange Cake

[adapted from Poires au Chocolat & Maialino’s Olive Oil Cake]

  • 2 Oranges
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 165ml (or 155g) Olive oil [I used extra virgin]
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 50ml orange juice (from the above oranges)
  • 20ml Cointreau
  • 100ml Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Powder [you can use vanilla extract if you don’t have powder]

Line a 23x10cm loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180 fan.

Put the caster sugar and zest of both oranges into the bowl from a stand mixer and rub together until your sugar goes orange and there is a brilliant smell coming from it, this way you are helping the oils to be released.

Pour the olive oil and salt into the bowl and beat together with the paddle attachment until all combined and paler in colour

Slowly add in the eggs, little by little beating on a low speed and waiting for the mixture to combine before adding anymore. Once all the egg has been added mix on a high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture is creamier in colour and thicker.

Mix the flour and baking powder together in a bowl and in a separate bowl measure our the orange juice, cointreau, milk and vanilla powder.

Sieve a third of the flour mix into the main mixture and beat slowly until just combined before adding half of the orange liquid and mix, continue until all the four and liquid is added. Give it one last mix to make sure it is all well combined (don’t overheat it as you are at risk of developing the gluten too much).

Pour into your prepared tin and bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

Let it cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes before removing it and letting it cool completely.