February 20, 2023

Olive Oil Cake ~ #TheCakeSliceBakers

Olive oil adds a distinct fruitiness to this cake and the addition of orange and lemon zest, 
as well as a little cardamom, balances everything out. A little powdered sugar and 
some candied orange slices are the perfect finishing touch.

The Cake Slice Bakers are baking through - Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano this year. Aleksandra, a James Beard Award–winning writer, shares her secrets of the cakes Parisians like to bake at home. Recipes such as a simple yogurt cake, a surprisingly easy Bûche De Noël, and Walnut Pear and Roquefort Madeleines will show you the surprising simplicity of a French cake.

The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of dedicated bakers who all love cake. Each year we choose a new cake-centric cookbook and bake our way through it. Every month we are given 3 choices and on the 20th day of each month we reveal what we have chosen on our blogs. This month's choices were Spelt Chocolate and Coffee Cake, Dorie and Pierre's Ispahan Cake, and Olive Oil Cake. My original choice was the spelt cake, but since my husband is trying to follow a more Mediterranean diet, I thought I may be able to tempt him with a cake that included olive oil. Yep, I know cake is not traditionally part of that diet, but you do what you have to do.

The batter for this cake was the complete opposite of last months cake, which was quite dense.  This batter is quite thin and I worried about how long it would take in the oven to become an actual cake.  I should not have doubted it for a moment as it turned out perfectly. This cake is wonderfully moist thanks to the olive oil.  It may sound strange to use olive oil in a cake rather than vegetable oil, but you can't really taste it other than a fruitiness and a slight herbal taste.  Citrus pairs perfectly with this cake and I think it would be fun to experiment with other types of citrus than just orange and lemon.  I used some navel and blood oranges to candy for the topping, but next time I am going to add blood orange zest and blood orange juice.  It should give a nice pink tinge to the cake. The only downside to this recipe is that it tasted like there was too much sugar, so I am going to experiment with lowering the amount and will amend the recipe when I find the perfect balance.

Olive Oil Cake

  • 240g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 15g (1 tablespoon) baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 250g (1¼ cups) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 130ml (¾ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 155ml (¾ cup) whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • juice of one large orange
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom

  1. Preheat oven to 180℃ (350℉).
  2. Spray a 23cm (9-inch) springform pan with baking spray and line it with a round of parchment; set aside.
  3. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom in a small bowl; set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs and the sugar until fluffy and pale yellow.
  5. One by one, with the mixer on low, add the olive oil, milk, orange and lemon zest, and the juice. 
  6. Raise the speed to medium and continue to beat for another minute or two, until homogenous.
  7. Fold in the flor mixture with a rubber spatula until just blended.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 345 minutes, or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. The cake is equally delicious eaten warm or cold, and will stay fresh for a few days thanks to the olive oil.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

It is a new year and a new book - Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes - and our choices for February 2023 were ~

Olive Oil Cake


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