Orange-Scented Olive Oil Cake

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Preparation info

  • Makes


    round cakes
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

This intriguing recipe comes from my friend Fritz Blank, chef-owner of Deux Cheminées, one of Philadelphia’s loveliest restaurants. I like to use pure, rather than extra virgin, olive oil to prepare it.


  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 3 large eggs
  • cups sugar
  • cups pure olive oil
  • cups milk
  • cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Two 9-inch (22½-cm) round pans, 2 inches (5 cm) deep, well oiled, and the bottoms lined with disks of parchment paper cut to fit


  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Grate the zest from the oranges and place in a large mixing howl. Use a knife to completely remove the remaining skin and hitter white pith from the oranges. Cut the oranges into -inch (1-cm) thick slices and refrigerate, covered, for serving.
  3. Add the eggs to the orange zest and whisk well to mix. Whisk in 1 cup of the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture-lightens, about 1 minute. Whisk in the oil, followed by the milk.
  4. In another bowl, stir together the remaining cups of sugar with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the dry mixture into the egg mixture in 3 separate additions, whisking smooth after each addition.
  5. Divide the batter equally between the 2 prepared pans.
  6. Bake the cakes until they are well risen, deep golden, and firm in the center when pressed with a fingertip, 50 to 55 minutes.
  7. Cool the cakes on racks for 5 minutes, then unmold, turn right side up again, and cool completely on racks.


Serve a wedge of the cake with some of the sliced oranges. Fritz suggests a scoop of vanilla ice cream or orange sherbet as a good accompaniment.


Double wrap the cakes in plastic wrap, keep them at room temperature, and use them within 24 hours. Or freeze them for up to a month. Defrost and bring them to room temperature before serving.