Nut Oil Cake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes two

    3 × 5 inch

    Mini Loaves

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Among my favorite flavor secrets are good nut oils. Like great olive oils, they are often drizzled on as a condiment just before serving, but their rich and subtle flavor makes them a versatile ingredient in all kinds of dishes. Traditionally, the most fragrant, flavor-concentrated oils came from Europe, and particularly France. A domestic producer in the Napa Valley that I like a lot is California Press. They make wonderful oils from walnuts, almonds, filberts (also called hazelnuts), pecans, and pistachios. Any good nut oil matched to the same chopped nut would be great in this simple cake. My favorite is pecans with pecan oil. It makes a light and tender cake, which I like to bake in small loaves, cut thickly, and serve either as the base for a fresh fruit dessert or to accompany good coffee or tea.


  • cup toasted nut oil, plus additional for oiling pans
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • cup fresh orange juice
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup toasted and finely chopped nuts


PREHEAT THE oven to 350°F. Using a little nut oil, lightly oil an 8-inch round cake pan or 2 mini loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer and then gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the toasted nut oil and orange juice and continue to beat for another minute or so. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently beat the flour mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Gently fold in the nuts. Pour the batter into the pan(s) and bake for 25 minutes for the mini loaves or 40 minutes for the round cakes or until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted into the center pulls out clean (or with only crumbs clinging).

Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. To store, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.