Orange Olive Oil Cake

For my 500th blog post I give you this simple Orange Olive Oil Cake. So easy to make, but a big flavour bomb! I have barely turned my oven on all summer, but this one called out to me, and I had to try it. And . . . rave reviews! If cake at breakfast is your thing, then this is the one for you, but it’s good anytime. It’s so easy – combine the liquids, add to the dry, bake. Eat. Yum. (You will need some kind of device to zest the orange – a microplaner, part of your grater, or an official zester; I prefer the microplaner.)

This cake is super moist, and super flavourful thanks to all the lemon zest. And the olive oil seems to pair really well with the citrus.

My oven is a gong show, and I never know when it’s going to heat up or cool down, so I do my best to guess (one of the reasons I haven’t been baking much lately). For me this was done almost 15 minutes before the suggested bake time because my oven was so hot – and it still turned out great! So if you are a newer baker, or have a really unpredictable oven like mine, this recipe seems to be a no-fail one.

I ate and gave away a lot of this cake, and then I froze a portion. It’s so nice to have something in the freezer that you can pull out when you need it!

I found the recipe on this website (thank you), based on a recipe that originates with Jim Lahey. I use his amazing pizza dough recipe, and my bread recipe also comes from him.

What you need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • zest of 2 navel oranges (I used very large oranges)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2/3 cup whole or homogenized milk
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 155 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt or 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

What you do:

  1. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan by cutting a round piece of parchment paper to place in the bottom. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Place the rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, then mix it together.
  3. In another bowl combine the sugar, zest (I use a microplaner to do this), eggs, orange juice, milk and olive oil.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, scraping the bottom and sides to make sure all the flour is incorporated; it might seem a bit weird, but it’s okay to have some lumps.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, at which time the top should be browned and a cake tester should come out mostly clean. (Note – I put the cake pan on a baking sheet because I thought it might spill over – it didn’t though! Whew.)
  6. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan and then turn the cake onto a cooling rack.
  7. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Snacking Cake with Nutty Topping

Moist, nutty, and not as dense as you might think!  Another great recipe from Lottie + Doof, and if you need justifying you can say, “It’s good for me, it’s got oatmeal in it.” The cake is good, but for me it’s a vehicle for the topping, a German chocolate cake-style topping, all nutty and buttery – you can’t go wrong.

This one is pretty easy to make.

What you need:

1 cup quick cooking oats

3/4 cup water at room temperature

3/4 cup unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Icing:

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 tablespoons milk (I used soy creamer because it’s what I had)

3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut (I used unsweetened and it worked great!)

3/4 cup chopped pecans

What you do:

1.  Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit extra to stick up around the edges so you can grab onto it later. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Stir the oats and water together in a small bowl and let sit for about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed.

3. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together in a bowl.

4. Beat the butter and sugars for a few minutes until it is “the consistency of damp sand.” (not my words, but that’s the way you want it to be)  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring just until combined, then add the moist oats, and stir again until just combined.  Pour into the lined baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6.  When the cake it baked, take it out of the oven to cool for about 10 minutes.  While you are doing this you can prepare the broiled topping.  It’s a good idea to melt the butter ahead of time, though, so you can do this while the cake is baking.

7. Add the milk, sugar and nuts to the butter and mix it all together.  Sprinkle it on top of the cake and press it down a little.  Put it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.  Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn!

8.  Let it cool for about an hour, then you can take it out of the pan by pulling on the parchment paper.