Chocolate chip cookie dough balls on tray ready to bake. Red mixer with red SideSwipe for Kitchenaid beater and mixer bowl in background


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Orange Olive Oil Cake

Orange Olive Oil Cake
This rustic cake sings with flavors of a great and fruity (yet affordable) olive oil and fresh orange. It's no surprise to us it's the most saved Genius recipe from Food 52. It's also a recipe that can and IS often adapted from the original, which was developed at Maialino Restaurant in New York City. They serve it at breakfast in muffin form, and they've been known to turn it into a birthday cake, layered with mascarpone buttercream (OMG, sounds good.) We read through lots of bakers' reviews and decided to deviate a little from the original recipe to lighten it up a bit. Below is our version.

You'll notice that there are chopped, fresh cranberries dotting the top in our photos. We had intended to have them throughout the cake, but discovered in both cake and muffin versions they floated to the top of the bakes! It looks pretty on the cake, but was ridiculous on the muffins. We don't recommend that you try adding any fruit to our version of this cake. 

We do recommend that you alter the flavors if you like. We skipped the alcohol and used all fresh orange juice (from a jug) and the zest of two oranges. Yum. This would be equally delicious as a lemon or even a lime cake. If you try it, let us know how it comes out!

We served this cake naked, but a sauce of macerated cherries, strawberries or sweetened blueberries would be decadent addition. The original recipe called for a roasted strawberry sauce that also sounded delish. A lovely vanilla ice cream might also we good. I should stop.

This is a great cake to bake the day before. We think the flavor is better after it sits overnight. The cake or muffins will keep at room temperature for several days. We didn't try to freeze them, but they would likely freeze well for several weeks or a month.

NOTES: This is a hefty cake. If you're not serving a crowd, you may want to divide this recipe in half. We made a 6-inch cake and about 16 small muffins from a full batch. The 6-inch cake will easily serve 6-8 people, depending on whether they wants seconds, of course!



  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups (350g) sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (160g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 -1/4 cups (305g) whole or 2% milk, room temperature
  • large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 -1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup (60g) fresh orange juice, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (55g) Grand Marnier (can substitute more orange juice)
  • 9-inch pan that is at least 2 inches deep (or 2 standard 9-inch pans)
  • 6-inch or 9-inch pan plus muffin tins to make a combination of muffins and cake 


  1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Oil, butter, or spray pans with cooking spray and line the bottom(s) with parchment paper and/or muffin liners.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, separate the eggs into white and yolks. Drop the yolks into the bowl of your stand mixer. (If you prefer to skip separating the eggs, you can drop whole eggs and beat them slightly with SideSwipe or a whisk.)
  4. In your stand mixer, fitted with SideSwipe, beat the olive oil and egg yolks on low to medium speed until yolks are well combined and emulsified. Add in milk, egg whites, orange zest and juice and Grand Marnier. Beat on low to medium speed until well combined. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients; beat on your mixer's lowest speed until just combined. The batter will be a little on the thin side.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake according to the times listed below. The cake is done when the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the cake pan to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes in the pan.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours.


  • 9-inch, 2-inch deep cake, about 60-70 minutes
  • 2, 9-inch cakes, about 45-55 minutes
  • 6-inch cake, 35-45 minutes
  • Standard size muffins, 16-19 minutes depending on how high you fill them