Olive Oil Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
1 hr

Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur, rum, brandy or whisky
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling pans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons anise seed
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons lemon or orange marmalade
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 2 (10-inch) round cake pans.

In a nonreactive saucepan, reduce the orange juice over medium heat to 1/4 cup. Add salt, stir, and let cool.

Lightly beat eggs with paddle attachment in standing mixer on high for 1 minute until frothy. Add milk, sugar, liqueur, olive oil, reduced orange juice, lemon zest, anise and 1 teaspoon rosemary. Mix for 1 minute until well blended. Mix in the flour, baking soda and baking powder until well blended and smooth.

Pour half of the mixture into each oiled cake pan. Bake for 1 hour. Place on a rack to cool. Run a knife around the edges and place it on a plate. While the cake is still warm, smooth 3 tablespoons of marmalade onto the top of each cake. Sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary evenly over both cakes. Garnish center with rosemary sprig. Cut each cake into wedges and serve.


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    18 Reviews
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    This cake was a hit. I made it for Christmas dinner. The people that tried it said it reminded them of poppy seed cake at first bite but the flavors seem to change as they nibbled more. As for the parchment paper, I skipped that and used "Baker,s Joy." It came out fine. I did cut back the oil and sugar to 1 cup and 1 1/2 cups, but next time I think I will use the full amount of sugar since it wasn,t quite sweet enough for my taste. I will also try baking it for a shorter time. It almost was too done around the edges. All in all it was a very delicious and different cake. Thank you all for the reviews. The tips were very useful. And thnak you Mr. Chiarello for the delicious recipe.
    Wow - I thought I was in Italy! I made 1/2 the recipe because my family aren't cake eaters, and even my "no thanks - don't want any cake" husband loved it! I decreased the sugar and olive oil per recommendations and cooked it for 37 minutes in my convection oven in a springform pan. Perfect - will def. be making again- thanks Michael!
    I read all the reviews and followed the instructions to cut the amount of sugar to 1.5 cups and olive oil to 1 cup. It was a hit at work.
    I was a tad skeptical about this recipe, but the reviews convinced me to give it a try. The orange, rosemary, anise and olive oil combine to give this cake a flavor that totally took me back to Firenze , buying groceries at the Sant'Ambrogio market and stopping on the way home for a cappuci'o & a dolce. Exremely moist and dense, this cake can be served with or without some freshly whipped cream. I liked it without the accompaniment, but my husband liked the extra dollop o' love.
     
     After reading the reviews about how the cake stuck to the pan, I used 2 springforms, lining the bottoms with parchment. The cake came out no problem.
     
     This is a cake that can keep for a few days without drying out and still retain its flavor and texture.
     
     
    I halved the recipe and per rec's here did cut back on the sugar. It was good, not great, but I'd serve to guests without embarrassment. If I was going to pair with ice cream or some sweetened mascarpone then I'd keep the sugar on the low side. But to serve it straight I think I will increase the sugar next time. I also cooked it into a silicone cake pan which worked terrifically as far as non-stick etc. It did rise and brown nicely bit without a metal pan I didn't get the nice "crispy" deeply caramelized edges.
     
     Thank goodness for the reviewers b/c I bake a lot and when I saw this batter I thought there is no way in heck this is going to work. I was really tempted to add some more flour but bearing in mind what others had said decided to give it a shot. It rose beautifully and the texture was just fine.
    A very good cake. The rosemary is an interesting touch. Definitely worth trying but I will probably look for another recipe. Would agree that it is a bit too sweet. No problem with the oil amount. It will start to separate if you let sit before baking. Definitely use parchment paper.
    After reading other review I cut the sugar to 1.5 cups and the olive oil to 1 cup. I forgot to buy the anise seed, so used fennel seed instead, but only 1.5 teaspoons. They have a similar taste so I hoped it wouldn't make a difference. It was soooooooo great. 6 other people had some and all loved it . I used my convection oven and it only took 40 minutes. Also, I used a nonstick pan and it came out fine. My electric mixer is broken so I used a large wire wisk and sifted the flour. It was moist, yet light and fluffy. WOW!!!
    Delicious, but a bit too oily.
    This cake has great flavor and a fabulous moist crumb. I substituted dried culinary lavender for the rosemary. It's a slightly different take on the Mediterranean flavors, still wonderful. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. The batter is very soupy, but it baked out beautifully.
     As other reviewers suggest, USE PARCHMENT PAPER. It does stick.
     Also, I baked mine at 350 convection, and it was perfectly done in 40 minutes. I live at 6000 feet, so it would be less time at sea level.
    Bake it just as the recipe calls for. Don't let the soupy consistency pre-bake or the dark color while baking fool you. AMAZING flavor & texture.
    The flavor and moistness of this cake was delicious; however, I cooked it far less than the one hour time, about 40 minutes, and it stuck to the pan, and seemed overdone around the edges. The batter seemed too "wet", next time, I'll add about 1/2 C flour extra, add parchment to the pans, and watch baking time carefully. I microwaved a triple citrus marmalade with a dash of orange liqueur as the topping. Despite the poor presentation due to pan difficulties, everyone loved this cake, and I will certainly make it again soon.
    Delicious! I would make sure to put parchment paper down before you put in the batter. My cakes came out in chunks! Looked terrible but everyone really loved the flavors. Unexpected and different but very tasty!
    I really liked this cake and so did my huband. I used only One and a half cups sugar because I think most cakes are too sweet. And I also cut the olive oil to one cup. I added a little more flour because it seemed to need it.
    I'm with Debby--the name may not sound very appealing, but this cake is excellent. The liquid to dry ingredient ratio seems a bit off, as was evidenced by a sunken center in the finished product. However, this did not prevent the guests from gobbling it down! The presentation is simple & elegant, and I served it warm with a scoop of vanilla gelato topped w/limoncello. :-9
    If you want to add a special item to your picnic fare, consider this olive oil cake. It is moist, travels well, and does well outside, even on a humid day. You can precut it and guests can eat it as a finger food. Guaranteed - you will not have leftovers.
     Carol Taylor
     Raleigh NC
    The unusual combination of ingredients blend to create a most delightful cake !
    What a unique blend of flavors. Fantastic flavors and very easy to make. It's a keeper!
    The name of this cake doesn't sound very good. But it looked good when I watched the show. I just baked it and my family loves it! It's a bit different to have rosemary as a sweet instead of a savory but WOW!!! Try it -- you'll love it!.
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