World Baking Day 2014 is as good a reason as any to bake something delicious for someone special and we used that excuse to experiment with a bright, summery, citrus scented olive oil cake.
We really like cake recipes that call for oil instead of butter as it eliminates one whole step of creaming butter and sugar. There’s something wonderful about deciding to bake a cake and being able to do it immediately, without needing to wait for butter to soften.
While quite a few of the cake recipes here are oil based, we haven’t really tried baking with a full flavour oil that lends that flavour to the cake. This cake has a wonderful fruity roundedness in each mouthful that comes from the extra virgin olive oil in it as well as the gorgeous orange zest and juice. With beautiful golden crusty edges and a moist crumb, this cake feels delicate and richly satisfying at the same time.
As the cake bakes, the kitchen fills with a gorgeous orange scent and when the cake is finally turned out of it’s pan, it’s irresistible. This cake is so delicious on its own, it needs no embellishment. But if you desire, fresh orange segments or an orange compote over slices of the cake would be perfect. Or perhaps a lashing of luscious whipped cream or a drizzle of chocolate orange ganache.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe.
Orange Olive Oil Cake
1 3/4 cups Flour
Zest of 3 Oranges
1/4 cup fresh Orange juice
1 cup Sugar (Or a tbs or two less if you want a very mild breakfast cake)
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2/3 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour an 8” or 9” round cake tin or a 9×5 inch loaf pan. (We halved the recipe and used 2 mini loaf tins)
If you don’t have buttermilk, warm 1/2 a cup of milk, squeeze 2 teaspoons of lemon juice into the warm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes. Stir before using.
Place the zest into a bowl and add sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar with your finger tips. This is a fragrant and beautiful step, watching the sugar crystals turn a lovely orange colour is a strange sort of satisfying. When you’re done enjoying the feel of the orange sugar between your fingertips, add the juice, buttermilk, eggs and olive oil and whisk well. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and whisk until smooth.
Pour the batter into your prepared cake tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden on top and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. (Around 30 mins if using half the recipe and mini loaf tins, 20mins for cupcakes)
Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack and allowing it to cool further.
Slice into this luscious cake and serve as soon as you like, with our without orange compote, whipped cream or ganache.