A Cake with Zest: Mom's Olive Oil Orange Bundt

In trying to plan ahead to make the "Carrot Coconut Scones with Citrus Glaze" this weekend for Baked Sunday Mornings, I noticed that the scones call for freshly squeezed orange juice, but don't require any orange zest.  As luck would have it, another recipe in Baked Explorations -- "Mom's Olive Oil Orange Bundt" -- calls for the zest of two oranges, but doesn't require any juice.  Making the bundt cake ahead of the scones seemed like the perfect plan -- I could zest the oranges for the cake, and then use the juice for the scones.

This cake requires only a few basic ingredients and doesn't take long to make. You beat egg yolks until they are pale and light, and then add in sugar, plain yogurt, olive oil, orange zest, and vanilla.  After mixing in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt), you fold in egg whites that have been beaten to stiff peaks.  My batter had a slight greenish tinge from the olive oil I used, an Italian extra virgin olive oil made by Occhipinti.  While the cookbook also offers a recipe for a glaze of powdered sugar and orange juice, the recipe notes that the cake doesn't need it (plus, I needed to save the orange juice for the scones!) -- so I just opted to sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

This cake was moist and had a firm texture similar to, but not quite as heavy as, pound cake.  The orange flavor was delicate but noticeable, and there was definitely an overall fruitiness to the cake from the olive oil.

This cake was quite tasty and warmly received, and I would make it again.  However, I don't think it quite reaches the heights of Bill Yosses' Orange-Glazed Olive Oil Cake with Fleur de Sel from his cookbook The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion.  Then again, making Bill Yosses' olive oil cake is an undertaking that requires considerably more time and hassle.  The Baked Explorations olive oil orange bundt is a great return on very little effort. 

Recipe: "Mom's Olive Oil Orange Bundt" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Previous Post: "A Baking Leap of Faith: Orange-Glazed Olive Oil Cake with Fleur de Sel," July 9, 2010.


Louise said…
Ooooh. You made the Orange Bundt. I love orange cakes. Based on your review, I may have to add a few drops of orange oil to kick up the taste. I recently made Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake with whole clementines and almond flour, no wheat flour. I have "How to Eat", but the recipe is here -- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/clementine-cake-recipe/index.html It has a high goodness-to-work ratio. I did it over two days. My clementines were almost like tiny mandarin oranges. The cake actually improves after a day as it dries out a bit and the flavor evens out, in a good way. And it keeps well.