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Orange 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.

Orange Olive Oil Cake

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.


*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

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

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Saturday 3rd of June 2023

This cake is absolutely delicious and a favorite dessert in my family now. The only issue I have is that the top always “puckers” when the cake is cooling. It comes out of the oven looking round and taut, but as it cools, wrinkles appear. I cover that with the powdered sugar, and the cake tastes GREAT, but does anyone know why this happens?


Monday 5th of June 2023

Hi Cynthia, I've never had that happen with this cake. There can be so many variables involved when baking a recipe that will lead to different results. Here's a link to some things that might cause the issue. Maybe it will help you troubleshoot and figure out what the problem is. I know there are a lot of reasons that this could be happening, but I hope this list helps you narrow it down so that you can have success the next time you bake it.


Wednesday 26th of April 2023

Very moist and tasty cake and so healthy, thanks for sharing. Wish I could add the pic.


Thursday 27th of April 2023

Hi Anthea, I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the cake. I can just imagine how lovely it looked!


Saturday 24th of December 2022

Oh my goodness. I made this cake and without a doubt one of the best! I tried it the first day and it was delicious. After trying it the 2nd day I think perhaps it's a touch better (moister). Anyway, I'm looking forward to making it for company. Thank you for your hard work in developing these recipes, you are very talented!


Sunday 25th of December 2022

Hi Christine, I agree! Better on day 2. Thanks for your wonderful feedback!


Monday 19th of December 2022

Hi, Ramona! This cake looks and sounds great! I'm considering making it as a Christmas gift cake to mail to my daughter who resides in Olympia, WA, whereas I reside in Fort Mill, SC. Would this cake make the grade in traveling for the number of days it would take shipped UPS to get from the east coast to the west coast? How best would you package it?


Monday 19th of December 2022

Hi Dionakaye, It really is a delicious cake! This cake should be fine at room temperature for about 5 days, so ship accordingly. I shipped the cake once, but it was a 2 day ship. When I did that, I wrapped the completely cooled cake very well in plastic wrap, then foil. Then, I packed it in box and made sure it was insulated with packing materials so that it wouldn't move around. Then, I placed that box within the shipping box, padding it with packing materials so that it would not move around in the larger box. I sealed all edges of the carton with packing tape and wrote fragile and perishable on the outside. It arrived 2 days later without issue. The cake is somewhat like a pound cake so it's not too, too fragile. You can check out this link for another opinion on how to ship a cake. They recommend freezing it first. Good luck!


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!

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