Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake
I picked up baking because I needed an activity that’d distract me from my business (Material World). I wanted something that’d get my hands dirty so I wouldn’t touch my phone. You see, the one thing worse than getting hit by a wave of work-related emails is not getting any. No email = No enquiry = No business.
That was in 2013. I started out with scones, then I moved to loaf cakes. Then I got braver and tried my hands at pies. It took me a while to attempt cupcakes because the idea of frosting scared the daylights out of me. Six years later, my repertoire includes tarts, cheesecakes, Peranakan sweets, and macarons. Anyway, if you are interested, my old baking blog can be found here.
Full cakes (you know, big round things properly frosted and decorated) are my Achilles heel. I just can’t get them to look pretty and polished. Maybe it’s a reflection of my outer appearance: I’m not pretty in a traditionally feminine way, not polished like one of those sophisticated corporate chicks. Always a little rough around the edges even when I’m wearing a black dress and heels.
This olive oil cake is one of my more “successful” full cakes. It worked out because (1) there are no layers and (2) you just need to pour the glaze over the top and let its natural viscosity do its job.
If you’ve not tried olive oil cake and are imagining it to be replete in the strong fragrance of the oil, rest assured it’s not.
This cake is moist and tender with the bright, zesty notes of citrus fruit. Orange is also one of the flavors of the holiday season so if you are thinking of baking something for a potluck, try it!
Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake
Tools: 9-inch springform round cake tin lined with baking paper.
Oven Temperature: Set it at 180C while you’re prepping the cake. When you pop the cake in, turn it down to 160C.
1. 3 tbsp orange juice
2. 1 tbsp lemon juice
3. 3 tbsp amaretto, Cointreau, or any liqueur of your choice
4. 2 tsp vanilla bean extract
1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
2. 1/3 cup ground almond
3. 2 tsp baking powder
4. 1/2 tsp baking soda
5. 1 tsp salt
1. 3 eggs
2. 3/4 cup sugar (plus more)
3. 1 tbsp orange zest
4. 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
5. 1 and 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1. 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2. Glaze made with 50g melted butter, 1 cup icing sugar, and Cointreau (you’ll need to keep adjusting to get the consistency and amount you need)
3. Orange slices and rosemary leaves (optional)
- Lined your cake tin and coat the baking paper with some olive oil.
- Coat the bottom of the tin with a thin layer of sugar.
- Whisk the dry mix until lump-free.
- Mix the wet mix into a bowl and set aside.
- In your Kitchenaid, whisk the eggs, sugar, and zest until pale yellow and the texture is thick and ribbony. Approximately on high for 3–5 minutes.
- With the Kitchenaid still on high speed, introduce the olive oil in a thin stream.
- Once the oil is incorporated, turn the mixer to Low.
- Add the dry mix in 3 batches, alternating with the wet mix. Remove the bowl and use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom, folding the mixture several times to ensure everything is well incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the tin. And sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top.
- Pop into the oven (remember to turn the temperature down!) and bake for approximately 40–50 minutes or until tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and use a skewer to poke holes all over. Using a brush, gently brush the 4 tbsp of olive oil on top. Allow the cake to cool.
- When the cake is cool, WRAP the cake with a piece of clingfilm and set it aside for a day. This is to allow the flavors to develop. You can even keep the cake wrapped up for up to 4 days.
- Once you’re ready to serve the cake, pour the glaze over. If your cake has a peaked top, use a bread knife to level it but you don’t need it to be super flat. Use a spatula to even out the surface. There’s no need to be too careful about this. Decorate with some orange slices and rosemary leaves.
38 down, 25 to go