Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake


Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake

Seasonal Baking in Winter


“It ballooned in great dark rolls above, and beneath it drew a long trailing skirt of rain, and as they looked the cloud rumbled and flashed fire. Borne on the wind, the cloudburst drummed hollowly on the fat wet hills across the valley and moved out over the flat lands.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


It’s been raining, raining and raining, just what the central coast of California needs. So much rain that the drought is almost over. We had a break filled with sunshine and cold mornings but it will rain again. This is the winter we have wanted for the last three years and now that it is here we can breathe again. California will be fine.

Orange Slices

Welcome to citrus season, an antidote for the dreary gray days of winter. Baking in winter can satisfy the craving for something new, fresh and in season. An avalanche of flavor is hiding in oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons. I’ve had this recipe for Orange Scented Olive Oli Cake bookmarked since early December and just couldn’t let it slide away. Pastry chef and cookbook author Nick Malgieri’s recipe for Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake is easy to make and bright with seasonal flavor. Every slice is packed with sunny citrus goodness.

Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake

Seek out the pure olive oil that the recipe recommends. The pure olive oil is mellower than extra virgin, and won’t overpower the delicate orange flavor of this wonderful winter cake. Whipped cream is extra and entirely unnecessary unless looking for something fancy that will brighten any winter event. This includes a well deserved afternoon coffee or tea break. Unless there are plans for the oranges after zesting, serving with orange slices is a must.

I used an Angel Food pan instead of two, 9” pans with wonderful results. I imagine this recipe would also work in any tube or Bundt pan. For one cake, instead of two, increase baking time by five – ten minutes. The cake holds well, wrapped tightly, it will keep for several days at room temperature. This bright and sunny cake is just what we need to keep the winter blues away.

Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake

Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake

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28 Responses to Orange Scented Olive Oil Cake

  1. It looks like a sunshine! So moist and aromatic.

  2. Carol Sacks says:

    Oh my, I’m craving this lovely confection right now! Will have to try it soon.

  3. Andy says:

    Hi Deb,

    I have a very similar recipe – called Moroccan orange cake and everyone enjoys it. Sometimes I use loaf pans when I want to serve it with tea.

    Your pictures are lovely.

  4. Sorry to be such a stranger my friend. 2016 swallowed me whole and in some ways 2017 is trying to do the same but I am resisting :-)!!!! I LOVE this cake. I will definitely make it – cooking with olive oil and citrus just makes me happy and Nick’s recipes are great. I bought one of his books for my son. You should join our #ProgressiveEats group – I just started and guess what our theme was? Citrus. I made an orange anise challah bread. Your recipe would have been perfect for dessert! Yippee for the rain – that is one GREAT thing that has happened this year. And I am grateful for it.

  5. Another beautifully written and photographed post Deb. Your cake looks divine. I am happy about all the rain we are getting.

  6. I really crave citrus at this time of the year. Good thing, since it’s so abundant! Don’t bake with it much for some reason, though. This cake reminds me of an orange spice cake my mother used to make, although hers definitely didn’t use olive oil (this is a recipe from the 50s, when I don’t think most people used olive oil for anything!). Really nice — thanks.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you John! Mother nature takes care of us with the abundance of winter citrus. Its’ just whatt our sun light starved bodies crave.

  7. Mimi says:

    Beautiful! That’s all I can say!

  8. Cathy says:

    I love the smell of oranges and clementines in winter, so there is nothing better than zesting them for a recipe. I bet this smells good while baking! 🙂 Hope your sunshine returns soon!

  9. Beautiful, Deb! Your sunshine cake looks like the bright and soothing balm we all need this winter.

  10. Your cake looks like sunshine and must taste very good. I love simple desserts like this.

  11. Yi says:

    The cake looks absolutely moist and soft. I love everything orange and your pictures make me want to grab a slice out of my monitor right now 🙂 Great recipe!

  12. Perfect timing! A friend just gave me a bottle of some of the best olive oil I’ve tasted in a while, from her trip to Italy. I’ll have to put the salads on hold and make this scrumptious cake. LOVE citrus season!

  13. Mary says:

    Deb, I have a dear friend who just loves olive oil cakes. Making this cake for her would be such a wonderful surprise. Thanks for a sweet little ray of sunshine while we out-wait the California rains.

  14. mjskit says:

    I’ve always wanted to make an olive oil and now that I see this ORANGE olive oil cake, I know where I’m going to start. Thanks for flagging this recipe for us and showing what a perfect cake it makes. Can’t wait to make!

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