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Dinner & A Book

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Aired on March 23, 2019

California Orange and Olive Oil Cake Recipe

Light olive oil and flour for prepping the pan

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup orange juice (see cake notes)

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

2/3 cup light olive oil

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Cake notes: if you have 2 or 3 fresh oranges, you should be able to juice them and obtain enough juice to measure 2/3 cup. Grate enough of the zest from 1 or 2 oranges to make 2 teaspoons.

Olive oil tip: How to substitute olive oil or butter in your favorite cake recipe? The rule of thumb for swapping a liquid fat for a solid fat like butter is to use 75% of the amount of butter. So if the recipe calls for 8 ounces butter, you would use 6 ounces (3/4 cup) oil. But unlike butter, which may be creamed with sugar to aerate and produce little gas bubbles that will expand in baking and help the cake rise, oil won’t help the cake rise through beating. There must be a chemical leavening present-baking powder or soda.


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9” spring form pan with the olive oil and flour. Shake out the excess flour, and set the pan aside.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Crack the eggs into the bowl and stir to break the yolks, and then add the orange juice, zest, and olive oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined, 60 to 70 strokes, or mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Turn the batter into the prepared pan, and place the pan on a sheet pan or baking sheet to protect your oven from batter leaking from the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the oven, and bake until the cake is well browned and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 38 to 42 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Let it rest on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, unsnap the collar rim, and let it rest on the rack until cool, 30 minutes more. To serve, run a sharp knife underneath the cake to remove the bottom of the pan. Place the cake on a plate, dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and slice and serve.

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