Orange Olive Oil Cake

I find cakes intimidating to make. They are easy to mess up and when you’re making a cake for someone, usually for a special occasion, the last thing you want is for your cake to flop. In the past, I’ve forgotten to add eggs or my worst mistake was to use a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon! Not even frosting can cover up those mistakes… There are, thankfully, some foolproof cake recipes and this is one of them! It can be prepared in one-bowl, baked in one pan and made with ingredients you probably already have lying around the kitchen.

I have adapted the recipe from The Splendid Table, a podcast National Public Radio hosts in the US. I just reduced the sugar and pumped up the orange zest because I like it better like that. I’ve also thrown in poppy seeds because I have a bag of them at the back of my pantry that I’m trying to use up!

Orange Olive Oil Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups (190 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) orange juice (from 2-4 oranges)
  • 1 generous tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (also optional, but it looks nice)


1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch (22 cm) cake pan with butter and flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside.

2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Push the dry mixture to the sides of the bowl to make a hole and crack the eggs into the center of the bowl. Stir to break the yolks then add the orange juice, zest, oil and poppy seeds (if using). Mix by hand or with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is well browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the oven. Let it rest. Place the cake on a plate, dust with confectioners’ sugar, slice and serve.


  • Even when using blood oranges and the juice looks magenta, the cake will bake out yellow in color.
  • The first time I made this I was scared the cake would taste too strongly of olive oil, so I used half olive oil half vegetable oil. That isn’t necessary. Take a deep breath, be bold and let the olive oil flow!

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