Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blood Orange Basil Olive Oil Cake

Wow, that was a mouth full of a title. 


This was my first attempt at an olive oil cake and I really liked it.  This is the cake to make when you probably shouldn't be eating cake.  I like to think of it as "healthy," since it does have fruit and olive oil in it!  If you are looking for something more on the decadent side, I highly recommend trying this or this or just eat a stick of butter.  Just kidding...sort of.

But really, this cake is light and airy, with a hit of tart blood orange citrus accented with basil olive oil.  If you are looking for the perfect light dessert to complement a hearty dinner, this is for you!

Blood Orange Basil Olive Oil Cake
adapted from Epicurious

3/4 cup basil olive oil, plus additional for greasing pan
1 tbsp. blood orange zest
1/3 cup blood orange juice (2-3 oranges)
1 cup cake flour
5 large egss, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350.  Grease 9" springform pan with some oil, then line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.  Oil parchment.

Finely grate enough orange zest to measure 1 tbsp and whisk together with flour.  Halve orange, then squeeze and reserve 1/3 cup fresh juice (you might need to use 2 or 3 oranges to get enough).

Note:  Do not wear your favorite white shirt when squeezing these babies.

Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil and reserved orange juice, beating until just combined.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not over beat, remember you want it to be light and airy!) until just combined.

Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 tsp. salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters (I transferred the flour mixture to a different bowl and cleaned out my KitchenAid bowl and beater) at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.

Fold egg whites into yolk mixture gently but thoroughly.

Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate.

I garnished my cake with whipped cream and a sprig of basil.  If you have never made your own whipped cream, I beg of you, stop whatever you are doing right now and go do it!  It is easy and so much better than the stuff in the spray can (and yes, I realize that stuff is darn good too!).  

Adding the sprinkle of sugar on top gives it a subtle crunch as you take a bite!



  1. oohhh that looks yum! I will have to attempt to make that!

  2. I have always wondered what an olive oil cake tastes like. I love the idea of a savory cake.

  3. i have never made or eaten an olive oil cake! this looks like a must though =)

  4. I've been seeing a lot of olive oil cakes floating around lately and I've really got an itch to try one! The only thing I'm missing for this one is some basil, but that's easily solved! =)

  5. Those oranges are so intriguing. I must buy some and make this Thanks for sharing.