Citrus Olive Oil Cake

I set out to make a Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake. And this mostly is but not completely. We’re near the end of the blood orange season and the bin consisted mostly of very small oranges that were looking fairly rough. By the time I trimmed them I was left with… not so much blood orange. The recipe is forgiving in that you can use mostly any citrus you like, so the juice is a combination of grapefruit juice and mandarin orange juice, whatever is in the refrigerator. One thing I didn’t anticipate was the choice of cake pan. I used a cake pan with a removable bottom and it leaked in the oven, ah the smell of burning sugar. So I wouldn’t recommend using that type of cake pan. Even lined with parchment it’s quite a sticky situation on the bottom so I’ll make note to grease the pan and parchment generously. 

One more thing. Olive Oil. It might be time to stock up. I read recently that we’re about to have a worldwide olive oil shortage which means prices may go up in the next few months. Keep in mind there have been a lot of headlines recently about fake olive oil, there are brands to avoid if you’re going for taste, I use Kirkland brand from Costco which I’m glad to find out has high marks because it tastes so good. I really like this recipe from Adventures in Cooking, the cake tastes really good even with my cake pan mess. Enjoy!

Citrus Olive Oil Cake

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • about 5 thin slices citrus, enough to nearly cover the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange or blood orange juice
  • 1/4 cup citrus juice of your choosing
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated blood orange zest

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line the bottom of a well-greased (super well-greased!) 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper, then grease the paper as well and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat with the light brown sugar, honey, and lemon juice, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and pour syrup into the cake pan. Arrange the sliced citrus on the bottom of the pan in a flat even layer. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom until blended. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar, and olive oil at medium low speed until smooth. Add the orange juice, citrus juice, milk, vanilla and zest and mix until incorporated. Then gradually add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing until just blended.

Fill the cake pan 3/4 full with the batter and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen, place cake plate on pan and flip upside down.

Adapted from Adventures in Cooking