Orange and Olive Oil Cake
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Made with fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange zest, and olive oil, this orange and olive oil cake is moist and delicious, perfect with coffee or tea, and it tastes better with each passing day — so don’t be afraid to make it in advance.
A recent visit to the Temecula Olive Oil Company’s shop forever changed how I think about olive oil. I learned so many incredible things, namely the best way to mill olives (with a stone mill) and the enemies of olive oil: light, time, and heat. Moreover, their olive oil is delicious, and, after reading this New Yorker article, it feels great having a local source for such a staple ingredient.
I made this orange and olive oil cake — a longtime family favorite — using the TOOC’s citrus extra-virgin oil, and never has it tasted so delicious. I didn’t even use fresh-squeezed orange juice (the horror!).
This cake puffs up a touch when it bakes, and sinks when it cools. To serve, simply dust it with powdered sugar — it is so moist and flavorful on its own rendering frosting or a glaze unnecessary. It also keeps well for days (and maybe even improves in flavor), so don’t be afraid to make it ahead of time.
How to Make Orange and Olive Oil Cake, Step by Step
First, gather your ingredients.
Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Then whisk together the wet ingredients: freshly squeezed orange juice, olive oil, and orange zest.
Beat the eggs; then gradually beat in the sugar.
Add the wet mixture to the egg-sugar mixture in thirds alternating with the flour mixture.
Pour the batter into a buttered- and parchment-lined springform pan; then bake at 350ºF for 45-60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 210ºF or above.
Remove from the oven and let cool on rack for at least 15 minutes before removing the sides.
Turn the cake over onto a platter so that the bottom side is up. Remove the parchment paper. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before serving.Print
Orange and Olive Oil Cake
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 8 to 10
This cake sinks way down as it cools. Don’t worry. It will still be one of the most delicious cakes you have ever tasted. It is so moist. Also, this is one of those cakes that seems to get better by the day. Don’t be afraid to make it a day early if serving for company.
- Butter for greasing the pan
- 1½ cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon (6 g) salt
- 3 eggs
- 1¾ cups (350 g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 2/3 cup (158 g) freshly squeezed orange juice (the juice from about 2 oranges)
- 2/3 cup (141 g) olive oil, see notes above
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch springform pan or cake pan. (You can also use a 12-cup Bundt pan.) For easy removal, place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended, then gradually whisk in the sugar, beating until slightly thick and pale yellow.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the zest, juice, and oil. Add to the egg mixture in thirds alternating with the flour mixture.
- Pour batter into the pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes (or less if using a Bundt pan — start checking after 35 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out clean or until an instant-read thermometer registers 210ºF or above. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes. Note: This cake rises in the oven and falls way down as it cools — this is normal. The cake still tastes incredibly delicious and moist.
- Sift confectioners’ sugar over top before cutting and serving.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: orange, olive oil, cake, moist, zest
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
151 Comments on “Orange and Olive Oil Cake”
This is an awesome cake. Everyone in my family expects this cake for all special occasions. Using citrus oil is a must.
So happy to hear this, Pauline!
I believe the oven temperature is way too hot to cook this cake for 50 minutes. Mine rose up and then proceeded to fall and then almost burn. I turned the oven down but I still didn’t leave it in for 50 minutes. Now, where it fell is completely flat and turned into a hard crust. The flavor is great, but I think the temperature was too hot for a cake. Since it was pretty easy to whip up, I will give it another try but cook it at 350. BTW, I have an oven thermometer that stays inside the oven at all times. Any others have this problem?
Hi Lisa! Sorry for the trouble with this one. I’ve added a few more notes to the recipe based on your feedback, which I hope might help others. This cake always rises while baking and falls way down — the cake will still taste delicious and super moist despite the falling. The “hard crust” description is troubling for me … that is not at all how the cake should be. Question: do you use a scale to measure the flour? I think cooking at 350ºF for the entire time is a good idea. I added some notes to the recipe regarding temperature. Let me know if you give it another go.
Made this exactly as written and it was delicious. My oven is accurate but had to take out after 45 min it looked dry and over-done. The flavor was perfect, delicious with a crunchy exterior and ridiculously moist inside bursting with orange flavor. I am hooked on the Citrus Olive Oil. Should I have reduced the temp to 350?
So happy to hear this Rose! It’s one of my favorite cakes — I find the flavor and texture to be so, so nice — but it does seem to give people trouble, so I’m always happy to hear when people love it. I don’t think it would hurt to reduce the oven temperature if you see the cake browning too much. Another option is to start it at 375ºF, then reduce it to 350ºF after 15-20 minutes. Thanks for writing!
This cake is wonderful! I used some olive oil I brought back from an olive farm in Greece, but I don’t think it takes a special oil. I used a generous 2/3 cup (maybe 3/4 C) of freshly squeezed orange juice and baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It was very moist and orange-y. My problem was that I used an 8″ round pan and filled it too full, so it rose much too high before it fell (and it didn’t fall too much). Next time I’ll use two 8″ pans and fill them just half full. Our guests loved it.
So happy to hear all of this Mary! This is one of my favorites, and I just love when it turns out well for people.
Wonderful recipe! I made it with Temecula’s Citrus Blood Orange Olive Oil, juice of blood oranges and did add the Grand Marnier. Delicious!
So happy to hear this Rose! And yay for using the TOOC blood orange olive oil … isn’t it gold??
This came out wonderfully. The best part was the slightly crackly top. So soft and hydrated inside, and yet very substantial!! On the second day it’s a bit firmer, but not at all dry.
I baked at 350 for about 50 minutes in a 9-inch round pan.
I like my cakes not super sweet, so I’ll probably use less sugar next time. (I know that might take away some of the crackle on the top though…)
Thanks for this great recipe!
I was taken in by the absolute beauty of the illustration and the promise of bright orange and olive oil flavors. Followed the recipe to a T but the cake collapsed while baking in the oven, undisturbed. I know you warned this might happen but the texture of the cake changes when it collapses and isn’t as nice. The flavor was there, but the texture was not nice and it sure didn’t look very nice. Why does it collapse? I think a cook/chemist might know the answer. It should be avoided.
If you look at the photos… it’s supposed to collapse!
Wow wow wow! I made this using Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-1 gluten free flour, and it turned out very tasty. My (very anti gluten free) husband told me this was his favorite cake. Crunchy-ish on the outside and soft and delicate on the inside…
I made half the recipe and used one 6″ round cake pan to make it. It turned out looking just like the picture. I wonder what part of the recipe makes the cake sink? I know it’s supposed to do that and it’s beautiful, but I am just interested in the chemistry. Please help me figure it out!
I made this Monday while visiting my bachelor son so purchased aluminum bread pans. Followed the recipe exactly using California olive Ranch OOEV “ everyday.” Can’t believe how beautifully it turned out. Crunchy edges and moist interior… maybe even better the next day. Have been trying to emulate my local San Francisco Bay Area bakery’s orange olive oil cake and bingo. Many thanks.
Oh yay! Wonderful to hear this, Janice! Love the idea of baking it in loaf pans — did you use two standard (8.5 x 4.5 inch) pans? If not, I’d love to know the size! In some ways loaf pans are more practical, especially around the holidays. Thanks so much for writing!
Hey Alexandra, As requested the size of the aluminum loaf pans were 8″x 3 7/8″. I tried your fabulous recipe again today using smaller paper loaf pans from Sur La Table so I could share with friends especially with the holidays coming up. I filled the pans too much and the batter overflowed but still delicious. Next time (which will be soon) I will use three paper loaf pans. Fortunately, I kinda knew I had too much batter so cooked them on a cookie sheet to catch the potential overflow. We actually ate much of the overflow as it was like crunchy, crisp orange/olive oil cookies. I’m an occasional baker so am very curious why people had problems. Beginner’s luck? Again, thanks so much. Was interested to see you’re a Tartine fan all the way out here on the West Coast.
Thank you so much, Janice! I so appreciate you taking the time to write back and share your notes. I am going to try the loaf pan soon. Bummer about the overflow with the smaller loaf pans, but great to hear it was still edible 🙂
I discovered Tartine when we lived in CA many years ago now. We lived in Southern CA, but we had friends in San Fran and those Southwest tickets were so reasonable, so I visited fairly often. Tartine is such an amazing place. I have all of their cookbooks and just love their style and vibe.
Thanks again for writing!
Is freshly squeezed orange juice necessary for this cake? Would a good quality, “some pulp” orange juice give the same results?
Thank you for sharing a dessert recipe that is good for both celiacs and lactose intolerant people, as I have both in my family and am looking forward to making this cake!
A good quality orange juice should work just fine! Just a note: the original recipe calls for flour and I always use flour. The commenters in this thread made the cake with gluten-free flour, and they had great results, but I actually have never made this one gluten-free. It sounds promising, but I want to clarify that I’m not classifying this cake as gluten free.
Bummer to hear this, Steph. I really don’t know why this one doesn’t work for people. I suspect it’s really just a matter of timing … I think it sinks when it is removed from the oven before the batter is cooked. So perhaps I need to add some more visual cues as opposed to timing cues to help people out. I’ve made this one so many times, and yes, the center always sinks, but it is cooked, and it is moist and delicious. I’ve been meaning to try this with another egg, which I’m wondering if it might provide some more texture in the cake. If I make any discoveries, I’ll be sure to update the recipe. Sorry again this didn’t work out.
Super easy and so orangey and delish. I added 2 tbsp grand marnier. I was kind of skeptical after making and loving the Orange Ricotta Pound Cake, but this is different and so good. I decorated it with the powdered sugar, red and green sugar sprinkles, and dried orange slices and it looked much fancier than it is!
So nice to hear all of this, Shelley! Your cake sounds SOOOOO pretty. Love the dried orange slices idea and all of it. Thanks for writing!
Made this recipe the other evening. It came out beautifully, didn’t sink way down at all. We like the flavor, and while I am a chocoholic, this cake satisfied my sweet tooth. Delicious with a cup of tea. Husband loved it. Usually I freeze half of what I bake, but this one is staying on my counter to the end! My bake time was about 55 minutes, I didn’t bother with the confectioners sugar, since it’s only us- but I might think about an apricot jam glaze if I were serving it for company or just the confectioner’s sugar. Interesting flavor, kind of like an intense sponge cake with orange undertones.
So nice to hear all of this, Sara. Thanks so much for writing and sharing your notes. I find this one gets better by the day. Hope it does for you as well 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hi Kelli! I do use extra-virgin olive oil here.
just put this cake into my oven and cant wait to have my 1st taste; you still haven’t replied to my earlier question, but did use best EVOO in this recipe, which wasn’t really hard, just zesting/juicing fruit is always a challenge as i only can use 1 hand!!
batter looked great, so will advise as to taste, and try a pic, but can’t connect cel to pc, so will try my other camera!! thx again:): kelli
See above: I responded to your comment saying that I do in fact use extra virgin olive oil in this recipe.
Ali, made this cake ton your exact instructions, and it took just 45+ minutes, center fell while still baking, and its cooling now, b4 i put some sugar on top! BTW in the center which fell, its much darker? is that normal?
thx again :):
Hi Kelli! The center does fall, but it sounds as though you might have better luck lowering the oven temperature and baking the cake for a little bit longer. Hope it tasted great!
this is a very interesting recipe. the cake reminded me of the consistency of a canele – soft, moist inside with a crusty, sugary exterior. A loaf pan did not work because it did not fit all the batter. I then used a 9-inch springform pan and baked for 45 mins at 350 F. I was lucky to check on it at the right time. I did think 380g of sugar was too much, so I did 350g – next time I might go down to 300g. Thank you for sharing Alexandra!
Thanks for writing, Luciana, and sharing all of your notes! Glad to hear the reduced sugar worked for you and that you were able to find a pan that worked 🙂
This is by far the best olive oil cake recipe I’ve used. It’s become a classic bake in our household and I have friends and family begging for me to bring it around. The outside is crispy and the interior stays really moist. The orange adds the perfect balance to the olive oil. The only downside is when I make it, as a home of two, we devour it in a night.
So great to hear this, Sam 🙂 🙂 🙂 This is a staple around here during the holidays. Thanks for taking the time to write.
Delicious! A wee bit of leakage from my new springform pan so had to open the oven and place a tray under the pan. No further leaking though. I used blood orange infused olive oil including the orange juice and rind.
So nice to hear this, Laura! Apart from the leakage, that is. Thanks for writing 🙂
Bummer to hear this, Liz, as it’s one of my favorite cakes. I don’t know why this one works for some people and doesn’t for others. Did you use a scale to measure the ingredients? What size pan did you use? And what material is it? Did you make any other changes?
This was so good there aren’t enough words to describe how good. First of all, the ease of preparation. I used half manderine oil for the olive oil quantity and it was just right. Not subtle but not overkill either. Mine took 55 minutes to bake in a springform pan. I served it on 2 occasions to rave reviews. It keeps very well. My father in law had 2 pieces and took the remainder home. Will definitely make this again.
So wonderful to hear this, Annier! This is one of my absolute favorite cakes, and for whatever reason, it is not always a home run with the commenters. Thank you so so much for writing and sharing all of this. Love that your father-in-law loved it so!
this was amazing, I splashed in a little more orange juice and the cake actually leaves an orange flower in your mouth. It needed 46 or 47 minutes tops in a spriingform and was a little flat in a springform. My 9 year old and husband who are foodies cannot have just one slice, he needs 2 at a time. I cannot wait to try double the recipe for two round pans and find a cream cheese frosting for the middle filling. I had just tired another version of this recipe with 4 cups flour which is for a traditional Greek New year’s orange cake called “Vasilopita” but it called for the juice and everything before the eggs- the eggs being whisked separated and added in the end- and it comes out more like a very dense bread, but the same exact thickness. This one with the eggs first is the trick to the softness and yellow color. I wish I knew this secret earlier.
The amount of flour here is just perfect. It is so light you can eat the entire cake in one sitting. We really cannot get over how easy this was, we can make this weekly in the mixer while cooking dinner one night.
So nice to hear this, Stacy! Thanks so much for writing and sharing all of this. My family is Greek as well, and we always make a vasilopita as well, though my mom always changes which cake she makes — often it’s this one, however! The kids love the hiding-of-the-coins tradition. So glad you liked this one 🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊
So it was a fluffy orange cake for 4 days still delicious..amazing recipe.. then the second time I thought I would be slick and add a little more oj and an additonal spoonful of flour.. I even cooked it for 52 minutes this time versus 47 or 48 when it was perfect last time.. It ended up flatter and gooey. My kids loved it but any guest would think it is undercooked because it has that gooey look on the middle bottom. I think this recipe has to be exactly how it is written and it is amazing. Also mix the oil and juice exactly per the recipe. I usually play around with recipes and change them but I found you cannot mess with this one!!
Thanks so much for writing and sharing your notes, Stacy! I would not have thought the small changes you made would have made a difference either.
I love-love-LOVE this recipe. In fact, I was already planning to bake it today per the special request of a friend hosting a gathering this evening–when I found it in my feed. I see you have added an extra egg, but it’s worked out great for me with two and regular EVOO. I usually cut back on the sugar by 1/4 cup and swap in at least half the orange juice for meyer lemon juice–and use both orange and meyer lemon zest. EVERYONE raves. Thank you, Ali, for this wonderful recipe!
Hi Laura!! I have to confess, I added the extra egg, because, for whatever reason, this recipe is hit or miss with people, and somehow adding the extra egg seemed to help. That said, I am going to revisit the recipe again very very soon with just 2 eggs, because I think I prefer the texture with 2 — it’s moister and less cakey. The issue some people have is that the cake has fallen while baking — as opposed to after baking (which is to be expected) — and I’m trying to figure out why. I think some people might be overbeating the eggs, so I removed the electric mixer from the instructions, because I’ve had success just mixing by hand, and I think that might prevent overbeating. Alas.
I am so, so happy to hear you love this one and that everyone raves, and I LOVE the idea of using meyer lemon juice for part of the juice. Will try that. I love this one and want everyone to have success with it!
Made this for Easter and doubled the recipe and cooked in a sheet pan. Everyone loved it and it was completely cleaned out. Multiple people asked for the recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Great to hear, Sarah! Thanks so much for writing and sharing all of this.
I made this wonderful cake according to recipe except I reduced the sugar to 300 g. The cake baked in a dark parchment lined springform at 350 F for 40 minutes. I turned the heat off, left cake in the oven with the oven door ajar 6″ to cool down gradually.
The cake did not collapse.
May be this may help for bakers who prefer the cake not collapsed.
Great to hear Adriana! Thanks so much for writing and sharing your notes. So helpful!
I didn’t see in the directions when to add the Grand Marnier. Would you whisk it in with the zest, juice and oil?
Yes! Add it when you whisk in the juice and oil. Sorry about the confusion here!
I love this cake! My sugar-loving husband wants me to put a cream cheese frosting on it next time. What do you think? Too much?
I love a cream cheese frosting! My favorite is the cream cheese-whipped cream frosting in this recipe.
My partner said it was the best cake I’ve ever made, and I agree.
Great to hear, Helene! Thanks so much for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂
Love this cake! So moist and just the right amount of orange. I add the Grand Marnier and decreased the sugar to 300g and baked for 45 mins. Our new favorite cake. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!
Wonderful to hear this, Shawndra 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for writing and sharing your notes. I always love hearing about success stories when the sugar is reduced. Will try!
I am too not embarrassed to say that I have made this cake an embarrassing number of times. It’s just delicious and I finally feel accomplished at a baked good. THANK YOU!
Question: I want to grate dark chocolate (with just a bit of orange zest) over the top. Have you done this? Does it work? Does it require alchemy?
Thank you again for this wonderful recipe!
So nice to hear this, Kathy! I think grated chocolate over the top with orange zest will be divine and so pretty, too. I would wait until the cake cools, then shave the chocolate and zest over the top. No alchemy required! Enjoy 🙂 🙂 🙂
This is one of the best cakes ever – a total crowd pleaser! Thanks for the recipe!
Great to hear, Heather 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for writing.