Olive Oil Citrus Cake

February 19, 2011 at 10:49 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, simple cakes, sweet things | 14 Comments
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olive oil cirtus cake

We’ve had a long, cold winter here, but for two days this week we got a little peek of spring.  The temperature has gone back downtown, but two days of melting snow and no jackets required has left me feeling less weighed down and in the mood for something fresh and light.  I have heaps of citrus in the fridge right now, and have had my eye on this Olive Oil Citrus Cake from a sweet little book called Rustic Fruit Desserts for a while It is bright and sunny in flavor (kind of reminded me of Fruit Loops!) and moist and springy in texture.  It puts me in the mood for more things citrus.

The recipe calls for a whole cup of fruity extra virgin olive oil, so I broke out my special bottle.  To be a little more thrifty in terms of both dollars and calories, next time I may experiment with 2/3 cup of oil and 1/3 cup of low-fat yogurt.  Sounds like it would work here, no?  The recipe calls for grapefruit, lemon and orange zests, but these can definitely be switched up.  I didn’t have a grapefruit on hand, so I subbed lime zest in the cake and orange juice in the glaze.  I’m sure this cake would be excellent even made with only lemon or orange.

olive oil cirtus cake

Olive Oil Citrus Cakemakes a 9-inch cake
adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson

Steph’s Note:  Use a fruity olive oil here rather than a peppery one.  Feel free to mix up the citrus, depending on what you have at home.

1 1/4 c unsifted (5 oz) cake flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t fine sea salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 T plus 3/4 c (5 1/4 oz) granulated sugar
zest of 1 grapefruit
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t lemon oil (optional)
1 c extra-virgin olive oil

¾ c powdered sugar
2 T freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

-Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Using a paper towel, coat a 9-inch by 2-inch round baking pan with olive oil (I also lined mine with a parchment round), then sprinkle it with about 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.

-To make the cake, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together twice. Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and zests on high speed for 5 minutes, until the eggs are thickened and lighter in color.  Add the vanilla and lemon oil. Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed and drizzle the olive oil into the batter, pouring slowly along the edge of the bowl.  Add the flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

-Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and domed slightly in the center.  Cool to room temperature.

-To make the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl.  Add the grapefruit juice, and whisk to combine.  Pour the glaze over the cooled cake.

-Wrapped in plastic wrap, this cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.


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  1. This sounds really good..I have grapefruit in the frig too..

  2. I’m tempted to grab a fork and try helping myself to a bite through the computer! As a citrus love, this looks so luscious!!

  3. Hmmm – this looks delicious and just the right thing to help get us through the rest the winter.

  4. Wow. This cake sounds heavenly. Love olive-oil cakes… yours looks delicious! Love the color and texture.

  5. This looks really easy! Plus, I like the ability to substitute in different citrus fruits!

  6. I can’t wait to try this cake – it’s perfect for winter citrus fruits.

  7. Wowee! I love olive oil cakes. This looks simple, but I can tell that it packs great flavor. Bookmarked!

  8. Olive oil cakes are my favourite, not too sweet and the touch of citrus will awaken us from the winter blues.

  9. Oh yum, this looks like a cake that would definately brighten you up as it starts to get a bit warmer, I’ve never had olive oil in a cake before and would be really interested to see what it tastes like yum!

  10. What a beautiful cake – it sounds delicious.

  11. this looks absolutely delicious! sounds like the perfect combination!

  12. This looks lovely. Very glad to have discovered your blog – the photos are great.

  13. Oh, Yum! Looks delicious. What brand EVOO did you use?

  14. This looks really delicious. I have had an olive oil cake before but was unimpressed this one looks better. Yours looks delicious!!

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