Olive Oil Cake? I know right? That is exactly what I said the first time I saw Olive Oil Cake on a menu at a local Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant. When you grow up in the South, olive oil is not a typical ingredient you would have in your kitchen. Southerners love using loads of butter and eggs when baking all those lovely, layered cakes but olive oil is typically not an ingredient used for baking cakes. I can honestly say we never had olive oil in our house growing up and I am not sure we even knew what olive oil was. When you can’t afford even the basic groceries you sure couldn’t afford olive oil. I am sure there were lots of cooks in the South that used olive oil in the 1970s, but they were just not in my family.
So, while celebrating a co-worker’s birthday party at the Barcelona Wine Bar in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, I had a taste of my very first olive oil cake. And can I just say I was instantly in love. (Side Note – If you ever get the chance to try the Barcelona Wine Bar you will love it!!! It was amazing!!!) The simple lemon-scented olive oil cake was an elegant treat all by itself. The perfectly light, airy and barely sweet cake was a perfect finish to an absolutely amazing dinner. Honestly, I would have never ordered a piece of olive oil cake. No particular reason except for food snobbery and normally I would waste my calories on some super sweet dessert. But boy would I have missed out on a wonderful surprise. The olive oil adds a pleasant fruity flavor while keeping the cake moist and balances with the perfect amount of sweetness. Oh, my Southern grandmother is rolling over in her grave with me talking about using olive oil in a cake and not butter. But one thing for sure my grandmother would eat every bite of this cake and she would ask for seconds.
When I decided to make this cake myself, I had just purchased some orange infused olive oil off Amazon and was looking for a way to use it in a recipe. Instantly that wonderful olive oil cake came to mind. This cake is light and airy with delicate notes of citrus and olive, just like a warm breeze on the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast in Italy. If you have not tried olive oil cake I sure hope you do, because I think you will be pleasantly surprised on how much you will absolutely love it.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This orange infused olive oil cake requires just a few basic baking ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to bring it to life:
- Extra virgin olive oil: Good quality, fruity or more neutral-tasting olive oil. For baking I like to use a little nicer olive oil.
- All-purpose flour: To form the base of the batter.
- Kosher salt: A crucial flavor enhancer, bringing out the natural taste of the rest of the ingredients.
- Baking powder: Used in combination with baking soda to help the cake rise.
- Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is my go-to here to magnify the sweetness of the orange.
- Powdered Sugar: Or confectionery sugar as some call it.
- Eggs: Help provide structure to the cake.
- Orange: Both orange zest and orange juice are used for an utterly irresistible recipe.
- Milk: Use whole milk or a plant-based alternative to combine the ingredients and create a smooth batter.
- Confectioner’s sugar: Also called powdered sugar, this is technically optional but highly recommended for sprinkling on top to add a little extra sweetness and create a picture-worthy presentation.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: This is optional. I like to add a dollop of whipped cream with an orange slice on my cake.
This Orange Olive Oil Cake is flavored with fresh orange juice and zest and topped with almond slices which add the perfect bite of crunch to the savory and sweetness.
Orange Infused Olive Oil CakeCourse: DessertCuisine: SpanishDifficulty: Easy
This super delicious Orange Infused Olive Oil Cake is the sweetest way to showcase the perfect taste of citrus all year long.
1 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Sugar
Zest and Juice from 1 Orange
3 Large Eggs
3/4 cup Orange Infused Olive Oil
2/3 cup Almonds, Toasted
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream, Whipped
1/2 cup Whole Milk
Fresh Orange Segments, for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8-inch-diameter cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly oil the paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to blend. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the sugar, eggs, and zest on high until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the milk and gradually beat in the oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the almonds reserving a few to scatter on top. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining almonds.
- Place the cake pan on straight sided baking sheet to collect any possible spills. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and cool completely, top side up.
- To serve, dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar. Cut the cake into slices and serve with lightly whipped sweetened cream, fresh orange segments if using, and an extra drizzle of orange olive oil if desired.