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Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake

Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake 8.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Dec 1, 2016

This is the one cake that can see you through the holidays: It's easy to assemble and serve, and it freezes well. Pastry chef-instructor and cookbook author Nick Malgieri likes to use a mild olive oil here so the assertive flavor doesn't overpower the oranges.

You'll need a 9-inch round cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches high.

Serve with orange slices and a dollop of whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream or orange sherbet.

Make Ahead: The cake can be double-wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before serving.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings; makes one 9-inch cake

  • 3/4 cup (177 milliliters) olive oil, plus more for the pan (see headnote)
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (177 milliliters) whole or low-fat milk (may substitute nondairy milk)
  • 1 1/4 cups (156 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the middle. Use some of the oil to generously grease the 9-inch cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

Finely grate the zests from the oranges over a mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer); you should have about 1 tablespoon zest. Use a knife to completely cut away the remaining skin and pith from the oranges. Cut the fruit into 1/4-inch round slices; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Add the egg, egg yolk and 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar. Using a hand-held electric mixer or the balloon whisk attachment if using a stand mixer, beat for 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture is very light. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on medium speed, pour in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue beating until the olive oil has been incorporated, then pour in the milk in a slow, steady stream, beating until incorporated.

Stir together the remaining 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar, the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl, then add that mixture to the egg mixture in three separate additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating on medium speed until smooth after each addition.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the cake is well risen, deeply golden and firm in the center when pressed with a fingertip.

Transfer the cake in its pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a table knife around the edge to loosen the sides, then invert to unmold and turn the cake right side up again, placing it on the rack to cool completely.

Cut into wedges and serve with the orange slices, plus other accompaniments, as you wish.

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Recipe Source

From pastry chef-instructor and cookbook author Nick Malgieri, who credits the recipe to Fritz Blank, chef-owner of the now-defunct Deux Cheminées in Philadelphia.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick and Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (cake only, based on 10): 320

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 18g 28%

Saturated Fat: 3g 15%

Cholesterol: 30mg 10%

Sodium: 105mg 4%

Total Carbohydrates: 38g 13%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 26g

Protein: 3g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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