This cake combines two of my one-time obsessions – blood orange and olive oil cake
I don’t know if this happens to anyone else but I get a little sad when I fall out of love with things I was once passionate about. I spend countless moments loving and obsessing over certain things like books, places, (ahem…men), ideas and food only to completely lose interest and subsequently forget I ever felt this way.
When I first fell in love with blood orange it was for the deep red flesh, the delectable sweet and tart flavour, and subtle floral aroma. Blood orange tastes like sweet oranges with the tanginess of grapefruit. I loved coming up with ways to use them up; it adds a pleasing of zest to sweet and savoury dishes and doesn’t dominate the flavour of the dish.
A few years ago I went totally crazy for olive oil cakes, making one weekly over the course of a summer. I love what olive oil brings to cakes; fruity and buttery, with deep honeyed flavours and almost caramelized.
This blood orange olive oil cake is made in the same vein as my beloved lemon olive oil cake. Tender and mildly fragrant, swapping out lemons for blood orange, produces a mellower cake infused with delicate citrusy hints of oranges.
The sweet tartness of the blood orange works in perfect balance with the peppery flavour of the olive oil.
This is one of the easiest cakes you’ll make, so straightforward and simple, it’s no wonder I made it that many times.
I almost feel disingenuous calling it a cake, although I do have a hard time calling anything that doesn’t involve a mixer and lots of creaming butter and beating eggs a cake.
Here, putting everything together takes a few scant minutes, it smells divine while it bakes and it’s so gratifying when it comes out of the oven.
For a sweetener, I prefer golden syrup, which lends that deep caramel flavour to the cake; maple syrup, on the other hand, will add a slight woodsy caramelized note – both work quite well in the cake.
I love this cake, it’s certainly rekindling my love for blood oranges and the rich vibrant taste of olive oil cake.
It makes for a great snack cake, or a little treat for your morning coffee or tea; a thick slice with your favourite beverage is like a warm cozy blanket on a grey day.
While blood orange is still in season, I want to try this cake again, perhaps this weekend; this time with a little hibiscus to deepen the hue and echo the tart notes, and a splash of orange liqueur. I can’t wait to report back.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
- Zest of 1 small blood orange
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup maple or golden syrup
- 3/4 cup almond milk or other plant milk
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly oil an 8 or 9-inch cake pan
- In a large bowl, sift flour, add mix in baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and zest
- Combine olive oil, maple syrup, milk, blood orange juice, vanilla and orange extract in a smaller bowl and whisk to combine
- Pour the olive oil mixture into the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Do not over mix
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pan
- Bake in oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Remove cake from oven, cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cake cool completely before serving
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203 Total Fat: 8.7g Saturated Fat: 1.3g Sodium: 185mg Carbohydrates: 29.9g Fiber: 0.7g Sugar: 12.3g Protein: 2.2g