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perfect everyday olive oil cake with blood orange

perfect everyday olive oil cake with blood orange

This is the cake I will feed all of you. With a crisp exterior, and an incredibly moist, green interior -it's an excuse for a little something in the morning with coffee; the perfect afternoon snack; and the loveliest end to an Italian meal, with an extra pour of wine or amaro.

It also takes 10 minutes to prep, requires only the most standard ingredients, and is butterless and therefore totally healthy in my book.

The majority of the recipe comes from Maialino -- one of our favorite new york restaurants, where we've spent many festive occasions from birthdays to bringing our families together pre-wedding. Their olive oil muffins are typically on the brunch menu, and convert beautifully to a cake.

I found the original recipe on Food52 and tweaked the citrus and booze choices.


You'll need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 and 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • .5 teaspoon baking soda
  • .5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (the best stuff you've got! you're going to taste it)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoon grated zest -- the original recipe calls for orange; I subbed in blood orange
  • 1/4 cup fresh citrus juice -- the original recipe calls for orange; I subbed in blood orange
  • 1/4 cup booze -- the original recipe calls for Grand Marnier; I subbed in blood orange amaro

A note on citrus choices: I found doing this as a blood orange cake to be lovely -- a faint whiff of citrus, not too sweet. Next round I plan to do it with meyer lemon zest, a mix of lemon and orange juice, and perhaps some limoncello or a less citrusy booze. My strong hunch is that the recipe is really, really forgiving. Just be aware of using sweeter/more sour flavors and adjust accordingly.

To make:

  • Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9" inch pan at least 2 inches tall or muffin tin (note that the cake will rise a bunch.) Add parchment paper and grease again. Note: I was using a non-stick pan with ridges on the bottom so didn't bother with parchment. Good news: slices came out fine; bad news: an attempt to take the whole cake out was disastrous. Parchment if you can!
  • Whisk together all dry ingredients, except the zest, in one bowl.
  • Whisk together all wet ingredients in another large bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until they're just combined.
  • Pour into pan and bake roughly an hour. Note if you're doing smaller pans or muffins, you'll likely cut cooking time down to about half that. Cake will get lovely and brown and crisp when done, and a cake tester should come out clean (though the cake should remain completely moist.)
  • Eat entire cake because it's so good.
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