• Cook with Love and Kosher Salt


(very moist) orange cake

100 percent happiness – we all LOVED this orange flavored cake.  Really a new favorite in our house!  As I nibbled and watched my family enjoying… sighing, smiling, making mmm noises, and Sylvie licking the crumbs off her plate…well, life seemed very good and simple that moment.  When I saw that this cake featured olive oil, I was curious but also slightly worried that it wouldn’t be “blog-worthy” or that the olive oil would overwhelm the flavor.  But no worries, the oil added an amazing dimention –  it was so tasty and so incredibly moist.  My family and neighbors Ali and Jonathan had no idea that there was olive oil in the cake (although I tasted it – and enjoyed it!)  The orange syrup finished the cake with even more orange flavor.  Not much more to say, save that it is nice there is no butter in this recipe, it is fairly easy to make and you will most likely have most of the ingredients on hand.  This is perfect for everyday and company too.  I mean it.  Try it.

(very moist) orange cake (slightly adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri):
4 navel oranges
3 large eggs (room temp)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups olive oil (I used extra virgin, but you can also use pure olive oil – use an olive oil that you like, that is high in quality)
1 1/2 cups milk (pull to room temp if you can)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (look to baking tips and measuring flour so that you don’t add too much)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
6 tablespoons sugar

Rub 2, 9 inch cake pans with a little bit of canola oil.  Line bottom of pans with parchment rounds.  (These might be nice in a muffin shape too.  Just adjust baking time.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place rack in middle of oven.

Wash the oranges.  Grate the zest from the oranges – being careful to grate only the orange part of the orange – do not grate the pith (the white bitter part).  You can segment the oranges with a grapefruit knife and eat for a snack :))

Juice enough of the oranges to reserve 1/4 cup for the syrup.  Set aside zest and juice (separately).

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and orange zest.  Whisk in 1 cup of the sugar and whisk for about a minute.  I did this by hand – vigorously. Then once lighter, whisk in oil and milk.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Whisk the dry mixture into the egg mixture in three additions — whisking until smooth.  But don’t over mix.

Divide and pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake the cakes until they are a golden, and firm when you press in the center.  It should take from 50-55 minutes.

Cool the cake for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges (if needed), invert, and un-mold.  Then turn right side up again.  Repeat with other cake.

Make the syrup while the cake is cooling.  Bring the 1/4 cup juice and sugar to a boil.  And simmer for a minute or so.

Once cake is inverted poke little holes all over the cakes with a toothpick.  Then brush the warm syrup all over the cakes and repeat until you have used it all.

Let cool.  Delicious.  Once cool, you can wrap and freeze the cake as well.


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  1. Jenn

    10 years ago

    looks amazing, lisi. can’t wait to try! btw, already got tons of positive feedback on your ginger cookies. thanks again!

  2. sylvie

    10 years ago

    that looks sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good

  3. Rachel

    10 years ago

    This cake was quite easy, once you get past all the zesting – and really, that’s not even so hard. Very interesting putting the cake batter together. Not traditional in the least! And the olive oil, I only tasted it b/c I was looking for it, but your diners will not notice it at all. Sooo moist, and fragrant beyond belief. Great to bring to someone as a gift, or to serve with tea. This is yet another keeper!
    And have to share what my dear brother told us all, as he surveyed the many treats I laid out after dinner last night. His wife, my own sister-in-law Sandy, said, “I’ll wait a bit, because I’m so full,” and my brother said, “The meal isn’t over when I’m full; it’s over when I hate myself!”
    Gotta love him!

  4. Amy

    10 years ago

    Made the Orange Cake last night – mmmmm!

  5. Rachel

    10 years ago

    What do you think about making mini- or regular-size muffins out of this? Think I’d get 24 cupcakes out of this recipe? Makes glazing a little more time consuming, but it’d be worth it.

    • Lisi

      10 years ago

      yes, i think that is a great idea. delicious mini orange cakes. go for it. and lmk how they come out. as usual, just watch baking time…

  6. Rachel

    10 years ago

    Okay – so I made mini muffins out of this batter. Use muffin cups for these! My first batch, I envisioned them popping right out, so I could just gather them in a basket and drop them off at my daughter’s class party. Nah. I had to scrape them out of the non-stick muffin tins. Scrape. And then scrub the sticky crumbs off the tin, before trying again. I just brushed these mini ones with a touch of glaze, and that was perfect. They looked cute, but boy was it a long time to bake. I got about 100 mini muffins, plus the scraped-out batch. Even in mini form, they taste utterly delish, and if you’re a fan of popping a perfect-tasting, pre-portioned treat in your mouth, then this is your recipe to try – just make sure you have plenty of mini muffin cups!


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