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Orange Olive Oil Cake

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Orange Olive Oil CakeOrange Olive Oil CakeOrange Olive Oil Cake

Orange Olive Oil Cake…O.M.Y.  (Oh My Yum!)

Orange Olive Oil Cake with a slice of orange and a slice removed from

A good friend generously coined this phrase after viewing one of my recent posts.  It might be too casual a term to describe what I think is just a slightly sophisticated cake, but I’m going to use it because it’s exactly what I thought after taking my first bite.

The first time I had an olive oil cake, I was with my sister.  We were in Santa Monica having lunch at True Food Kitchen.  We had just discovered it on the last day of a trip; I loved the concept, the menu and the whole restaurant vibe.

They had lots of healthy and interesting food choices whether you were vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or a carnivore.  We wanted to try everything but since that wasn’t feasible, we ordered a few different things to share between us.

And since lunch was so healthy…we ordered dessert (of course,) an olive oil cake (because that’s a healthy choice :)   I thought it would be kind of herby and olive-y tasting, but no, it was a moist, delicious cake with just the slightest hint of olive oil flavor.

It was a perfect ending to a perfect meal.  If we weren’t leaving the next day, we would have gone back to try more of the menu.

A slice of Orange Olive Oil Cake on a plate with a fork from

I have had an olive oil cake on my radar to make ever since.  And last week, I made it happen with this Orange Olive Oil Cake.  It’s been freezing here the past couple of weeks and I was in the mood for something that would conjure up images of a warm sunny place.

The hibiscus trees that we brought in for the winter are blooming like crazy, making my foyer feel a bit tropical even though it’s the middle of January.  I thought this cake would be a perfect choice to brighten up a wintry day, and wow! Did it deliver!

The cake is full of orange flavor, super moist, a bit like a pound cake, but lighter and fluffier. When I was shooting it, the aroma of fresh cut oranges was intoxicating and a nice contrast to my snowy back yard visible just outside the frame of these shots.

It doesn’t need anything but a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a fork.  Or not.  It’s certainly sturdy enough to just pick up and take a bite.

A slice of Orange Olive Oil Cake broken open to show texture from

So there you have it, a citrusy olive oil cake that’s as wonderful for dessert as it is for a snack or even a fun breakfast treat.  Fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest and a pinch of cardamom are such sunny, citrusy, flowery flavors.

I think it’s the perfect remedy for these arctic winter days.  And in case you needed just one more reason to love olive oil…This cake?

A piece of Orange Olive Oil Cake on a fork from

definitely a good one.

4.72 from 7 votes

Orange Olive Oil Cake

Orange Olive Oil Cake. A refreshingly light tasting yet very moist cake made with fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest and your favorite mild olive oil


  • zest from 1 1/2 oranges
  • 3 or 4 oranges or enough to squeeze 3/4 cup juice
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups mild olive oil
  • Confectioner's sugar for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray. I also placed a round of parchment in the bottom and sprayed that as well to insure an easy release. Wrap the outside of the pan bottom in heavy duty foil to catch any possible leaks.
  2. Zest 1 and 1/2 oranges, then squeeze as many oranges as you need to yield 3/4 cups juice. This took exactly three oranges for me. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom (if using)
  4. Beat eggs on medium high until broken up and combined, about 1 minute.
  5. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until light and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
  6. On low speed, alternate adding your flour mixture and oil to the egg/sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. (1/3 flour, 1/2 oil, 1/3 flour, 1/2 oil, 1/3 flour) mixing until mostly combined after each addition.
  7. Add the orange juice and zest and mix carefully to incorporate as this mixture will splash. I usually pulse my stand mixer a few times (by turning to my lowest speed briefly a few times) to incorporate it then turn it to low to finish mixing.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. I covered my cake with foil, just lightly laying a piece on top of the pan, for the last 15 minutes as the top was getting brown and I didn't want it to brown further. My pan was deep enough so that the foil did not touch the top of the cake. If you think that it might be an issue, tent the foil to keep it away from the cake surface.
  10. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in pan, then remove ring around springform pan and allow to cool completely on a rack.
  11. Cover cake and let sit overnight. (See notes below)
  12. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Recipe Notes

*The original recipe states to let cake sit covered overnight for best flavor. I did this so I haven't experienced the difference between that and eating it right away. I suspect it's quite good the first day and simply gets better the next day much like brownies and banana bread.

*I used a simple mild olive oil, but you can experiment with other fruity or buttery olive oils. I would avoid any strong or peppery olive oils as this will affect the delicate flavors of this cake.

Adapted from Portugese Orange Olive Oil Cake

The Merchant Baker © 2015

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Sunday 13th of February 2022

Any chance this cake can be made using gluten free flour? Bobs Mill 1:1?


Sunday 13th of February 2022

Hi Marie, I haven't experimented with any gluten free flours, but Bob's Red Mill specifically formulated this flour to be used in many recipes, including cake, so I imagine it would work quite well. It's definitely worth trying. Please come back and let me know how it works out for you!


Friday 7th of January 2022

Gah! This recipe is so delightful ( and foolproof)! I made it this evening and halfway through my roommate shut off the oven, it took 20 extra minutes before I realized, and 45 more to fully cook through. Even so, it was an absolute HIT in my household. The texture was outstanding and the flavor is wonderful. I'm so thrilled this is in my repertoire now!


Friday 7th of January 2022

Hi Erica! I'm thrilled to hear the cake made it through the interrupted baking process and even lived to be a hit! Yay! :)


Monday 5th of April 2021

Tried this recipe and it turned out well, except next time I will take it out after 45 minutes, as it was a tad dry, but the flavor and texture were great.


Monday 5th of April 2021

Hey Thomas, glad to hear you enjoyed the cake. Ovens can vary, some running hotter than others. I use an oven thermometer to ensure my oven temp is right on target and to give me the best chance of sharing an accurate baking time. I'm sure your plan to reduce the baking time will solve the problem. Definitely do the toothpick test as an added check...I always look for a few moist crumbs adhering to the pick. Thanks for coming back to comment :)


Thursday 21st of January 2021

Does the top become “sticky” like cupcakes do after sitting overnight?


Thursday 21st of January 2021

Hi Robin, I just made this cake recently but I gave the whole thing away to a friend so I wasn't there the next day to be reminded of the texture. From the other times I've made it, I don't remember any stickiness and if I look at my photos, it also doesn't seem sticky. I usually dust the top with powdered sugar and it's not like it completely melts overnight and becomes wet, if you know what I mean. So, while I haven't actually looked for that surface texture issue, the best I can say is that I don't think it does. It is a delicious cake though, so it's definitely worth a try.


Monday 18th of May 2020

Just made this and couldn’t wait a day to try it. It’s delicious! Thanks for sharing this!


Monday 18th of May 2020

You are welcome, L! We can't always wait a day, either. For me, it's just like brownies, or chili or chocolate cake...good on day one, even better on day two! Two days of yum!

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