Moist and so delicious, this orange and olive oil cake is bursting with fruity flavors from fresh orange juice! It can be made 2 days ahead – letting it sit brings out the best flavor of the cake!
About 2 years ago I found this lovely Orange Cake from Leite’s Culinaria and immediately set out to make it! Often mistaken as a Chiffon or Pound Cake – it is not – it’s denser but really moist and super-delicious. The Olive Oil used in this cake really made a lot of difference in the taste. When I can find it, I use the Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Fruity Version – not the regular EVOO – the label should state – Fruity. If you can’t find it, you may also use the lighter variety.
The verdict? It was as good as promised in the recipe. I just fell in love with this cake – my ultimate favorite!
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a big enough bundt pan to accomodate the entire recipe as stated in the website. It overflowed when I baked it (and yes I thought my bundt was already big enough for it!). Of course, the easiest solution would have been to just get a bigger (the largest) Bundt pan that I can find but no, I decided to take the hard way and adjust the recipe so it would just about fit my Bundt pan. Honestly, it took me nearly a year to get it right! Baking is always a precise business so when I was making this I reminded myself constantly – practice makes perfect! Eventually I got the right ratio for each ingredient – they seem to have magically worked together. I am so glad that all the effort in making it many times finally paid-off. In the end the result is well worth it. Not only did I manage to make the measurement fit my bundt I was also able to experiment on using two loaf pans and they both came out great! So don’t despair if you don’t have a bundt pan for this, two regular loaf pans are good to use for this cake as well.
Most of all, when Thanksgiving and Christmas season arrive – I just add a cup or so of chopped cranberries and then it’s my perfect Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday treat!
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- 4 large navel oranges (finely grate the orange rind and set aside the zest then squeeze all the oranges to get about 1
cup of juice)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (add 1/2 tsp more if using 2 loaf pans)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups sugar (white) *
- 1 cup olive oil (if you can find it get the fresh and fruity kind – see photo below or use the light olive oil)
- 1 to 1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cranberries (optional)
* The amount of sugar is correct. There’s a lot of oil used and it’s a big cake, too and that amount of sweetness is required to balance the flavors. But, if you wish you can adjust the sweetness to your liking and try 2 cups first and see if it works for you. Thank you!
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a bundt or tube pan (at least the 10-12-cup one) and set aside. You can also use two loaf pans (9×5). Do make sure that you use light colored bundt/tube or loaf pans as the dark
ones don’t work well for this. The cake gets too dark.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
A stand mixer would be quite handy for this though a handheld one will also do (use a large
mixing bowl). Beat the eggs in the mixing bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute or until combined. Get the sugar and slowly pour it in and continue to beat for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture thickens and becomes a pale yellow. Adjust the speed to low and then alternately mix in the flour mixture and the olive oil – begin and end with the flour. I divide the flour mix into three parts when I do this and then pour olive oil in between.
Pour in the orange juice and beat the batter quickly just until everything is combined. Stop the mixer. Fold in the zest. Use a spatula to scrape the batter on the sides of the bowl and incorporate it with the rest then beat again, just for a few seconds, to ensure an even mix.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55-60 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs on it. For the loaf pan, about 45-50 mins. Check after about 40-45 mins in either case to see if the top is browning too much. If that happens simply cover lightly with a foil and continue to bake until the cake is done.
Remove from the oven and place in a cooling rack. Cool for about 30-40 mins inthe pan before removing it to ensure that the cake does not break when you transfer it. Cool completely in a rack. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.
Note: Patience is a virtue — do not even think about touching it (I know it’s tempting but don’t!) or eating it until at least after a day. Second day, if you can wait, is even better. This cake is worth the wait. I just leave the cake in the kitchen for the waiting period (and pretend it’s not there so I am not tempted to eat it!) but in the Philippines where the weather is warmer, perhaps it’s better to place it in the fridge though you may want it to reach room temp before you eat it.
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