Olive Oil and Orange Cake

I’m unapologetically a cookbook collector, but I also spend plenty of time reading foodie magazines, and surfing the net for recipes too. The one consistent part of my on-line recipe use, is that I read the comments that accompany a recipe. This is how I know what changes to consider, whether an oven temperature needs tweaking, substitutions, or general appeal of a recipe. For example, when a few comments consistently say to reduce the amount of sugar as it did with this recipe, I pay attention.

I wanted to share a fun recipe to celebrate my 200th blog post. This lightly sweetened, fruity cake is made with extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter. Olive oil is a healthy substitute for butter. Although it is a source of fat, it contains dramatically less unsaturated fat and cholesterol, and is a good source of antioxidants. Baking with oil produces a lighter texture and helps enhance the flavor of the other ingredients. The juice and zest of the oranges help balance the intensity of the olive oil flavor.


  • The juice and zest of 3 navel oranges
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Low-fat cultured buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh whipped cream (optional)

  • I cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving extra paper overhanging on the sides. Use a microplane to zest all 3 oranges and place the zest in a large bowl with the sugar. Use your fingers to coat the sugar with the zest. Juice all three oranges into a measuring cup. It should yield about 1/2 cup or so, depending on the size of the oranges. Pour enough buttermilk into the measuring cup with the fresh juice, to reach 2/3 cup total liquid. Pour the liquid over the sugar mixture and whisk together well. Add the eggs and continue to whisk until combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Using a spatula, gently fold in the olive oil. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Please note that it is a wet batter. Bake the cake for about 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown, and a wooden skewer or knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.

While the cake is baking, combine the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract into a medium-sized bowl. Whip the cream to soft peaks, using a whisk or an electric mixer with the whisk attachment.

Cool the cake in the pan for about 5 minutes. Using the parchment paper, gently pull the cake out of the pan and let it finish cooling on a cooling rack. Serve with the fresh whipped cream and orange slices.

Inspiration: Dorie Greenspan


  1. Janet Nahirny

    Congratulations on your 200th post! This looks delicious — and I love that you used GF flour! (Sophie agrees that Bob’s Red Mill is the best GF flour around.)

  2. vivian port

    This looks delicious. I have had olive oil cakes and was pleasantly surprised by their lightness, flavor and texture.
    Love to you and family,

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