Serves a Crowd

Olive Oil & Blood Orange Cake

March  5, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Blair
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 1 very dense 9-inch cake
Author Notes

Adapted from Maialino's Olive Oil cake as part of Recipe Off-Roading, I wanted a cake whose grassy, summertime olive oil flavour would play off of the soft floral sweetness of blood oranges. Already not a particularly kid-friendly cake, I added a good glug of Cointreau to both the cake and the syrup to make it more of an afternoon snack than a breakfast treat. The finished product is a perfect treat for any time you can get your hands on blood oranges, with just the right balance of fragrant, subtle flavours that are better together than the sum of their parts would have you believe. —Blair

What You'll Need
  • Cake
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons grated blood orange zest
  • 1/4 cup blood orange juice
  • 1/3 cup Cointreau
  • 1 blood orange, sliced into very thin wheels
  • 1 cup creme fraiche (for serving)
  • Blood Orange Glaze
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange flower water
  • 1 /2 teaspoons rose water
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  1. Cake
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a deep 9-inch round pan, lay a sheet of parchment on the bottom, and artfully lay out your blood orange slices however you'd like them to be on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, milk, eggs, zest, blood orange juice and Cointreau.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, whisking to combine after each addition. Pour the batter gently into the prepared pan, without disturbing your orange slices on the bottom.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, but start checking for doneness at 50 minutes. Top should be a deep caramel brown, and a cake tester should come out clean but oiled. Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a rack and cooling fully for at least an hour.
  1. Blood Orange Glaze
  2. While cake is baking, make the glaze. Stir together juice and sugar in a pot over low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add orange flower water and rose water and allow to simmer very gently until reduced to a syrupy consistency that coats the back of a spoon. Turn off heat, stir in the Cointreau, and set aside.
  4. After cake comes out of oven, allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before glazing. If syrup mixture has thickened too much, warm it up briefly until just loose enough to brush onto cake, then pour slowly onto cake, making sure to cover the orange slices on the top of the finished cake. Cool completely, then serve with a dollop of creme fraiche on each slice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Virginia Jasmin
    Virginia Jasmin
  • mad353
  • Catherine Tucci
    Catherine Tucci

4 Reviews

mad353 May 27, 2022
I made this for my friends and they all loved it! Not too sweet and super moist
Catherine T. October 22, 2021
This cake was amazing. Upon serving it two family members immediately requested it for their birthday cake. The only thing I changed was I always have Italian candied oranges so I used those and I used Grand Marnier instead of Cointreau because that is what I had.
Virginia J. March 4, 2021
Woah this uses nearly half a bottle of Cointreau! I do love a boozy cake though, and I have plenty of blood oranges to use up!
Virginia J. March 5, 2021
I made this in a bundt pan and would do it again, but change a few things: I would reduce the amount of oil by at least 1/4c, or maybe even replace it with a little more flour. I'd use cake flour and cream the sugar & eggs. If I had the time, I'd slowly emulsify the olive oil into the batter mayo-style where you drizzle it in to keep the texture light. Other than that, it was good, not too sweet. The oil helped it both slide out of the bundt pan and also give the edges an almost-fried taste 😋