Orange Olive Oil Cake

This orange olive oil cake is an effortlessly delicious dessert. A moist cake with a crackling crust and an aromatic oil rich middle that could almost taste custard like. It’s made with olive oil, orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice, and Gran Marnier or any other orange liqueur you might have and loads of orange flavor. It requires no-mixer - you can stir everything up with a bowl (two bowls to be exact) with pretty basic pantry items. Easy, refined and delicious.

Orange Olive Oil Cake

This tasty recipe is my version of a very popular recipe on food52. The cake has big orange flavors thanks to incorporating three different forms of it via the orange zest, orange juice, and the orange liqueur - bonus one if you are using orange bitters. That is definitely how I like my citrus cakes - with a good punch of citrus flavours in them.

Orange Olive Oil Cake

You all know by now I have a deep love for all things citrus and I also love soaked or syrupy desserts. This ticks both of those off due to how moist this cake is. Third on that list of criteria is simplicity and this cake is pretty easy to put together and believe it or not no mixer is involved or required. The cake is perfect on its own with just a dusting of powdered sugar - but we like to go big with a thick creamy layer of mascarpone whip. Whipping the topping will require the use of mixer, pulling the mixers out for it is worth it though. It adds a delcious creamy texture to each bite - and balances out the richness of the cake really well. It’s optional but recommended.

Orange Olive Oil Cake

How do you make an orange olive oil cake?

It really couldn’t be easier. Simply whisk together the dry ingredients, then whisk together the wet ones, and stir everything together. The batter comes together in minutes. Pour the batter into pan and bake until deeply golden. Enjoy warm once it’s out of the pan with a dusting of powdered sugar or cooled with the creamy mascarpone whip. Garnishing with fresh or candied orange slices is a nice touch too.

Orange Olive Oil Cake

Olive oil matters when it comes to this olive oil cake especially with the amount of it in this recipe. I recommend using an olive oil that is mild in flavor, with citrus, floral, and grassy tasting notes. Avoid olive oils infused with herbs and spices like garlic and rosemary. It adds a wonderful flavour and texture distinct to olive oil cakes. You will love how easy to make and how delicious this cake is with its moist center and crackly edges. The perfect way to enjoy some of the delicious citrus in season right now. Feel free to use any variety of oranges in this cake and you can even make this with lemons or even grapefruit. It’s irresistibly moist, rich and flavorful. Because of all the moisture in the batter, there’s not even the slightest chance of the cake overbaking and drying out so it’s pretty much a no fail recipe! Happy baking!


Servings: 9 inch, single layer cake
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1hr - 1 hr 15 mins


For The Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup almond flour (or almond meal - almonds finely ground in food processor)
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1⅓ cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tbsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup triple sec or grand marnier or any other orange liqueur
  • 1 tsp of bitters (orange bitters would be perfect in this cake but optional)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

For The Mascarpone Whip

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (chilled)
  • ¼ cup powdered / icing sugar
  • 1 cup mascarpone (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Orange slices for garnishing (optional)


For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and line a 9 inch spring form cake pan (or baking pan that is no less than 2 inches deep. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, almond flour, baking soda and baking powder, set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients: olive oil, milk, eggs, orange juice, zest, orange liqueur, bitters if using and vanilla extract.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet a little at a time until we’ll incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and place on a cookie sheet and bake for approx 1 hr - 1hr 15 min until a cake tester comes out clean. It will be a deep dark golden colour. If you find it’s getting too dark and you’re worried it will burn place a piece of foil over it and continue to bake until it’s done.
  6. Once done, remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack for ½ an hour then run a knife around the edges and remove springform or invert cake onto rack if using regular cake pan, and let cool completely before icing.

For the Mascarpone whip

  1. In a medium bowl beat the cream, sugar and vanilla until thick peaks appear (very thick).
  2. In a medium bowl beat (with same beaters) the mascarpone until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture and whisk strongly until smooth. Don’t over mix. Slather a thick amount over the cake once cool and garnish with orange slices (I like using an assortment).

Recipe Notes

  • This cake can be served without the mascarpone whip. It can be served warm, after its out of the pan or at room temperature simply garnished with confectioners’ sugar and orange slices before serving.
  • Without the whip topping the orange olive oil cake can be stored at room temperature, tightly covered in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. After that, refrigerate for up to 2 more days.
  • If making with the whipped topping, leftovers of this cake should be wrapped and refrigerated. Will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.
  • Feel free to make the cake ahead without the whip and keep it at room temperature covered in plastic wrap up to 2-3 days ahead. You can make the mascarpone whip separately just before slicing/serving cake and top cake with it then.
  • Whipped mascarpone will keep separately in tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days if making ahead.
  • The longer the cake sits the more intense the flavours will be - and the more moist or dense it gets.

Orange Olive Oil Cake