I’ve made this cake more than five times in a single week while testing this recipe and I did not get tired of it, which happens very rarely in the process of developing a recipe. Initially, there were no oranges involved—this was supposed to be a simple cardamom olive oil cake—but I’ve had a bunch of oranges to on hand so I decided to incorporate them in this scenario.
For personal reasons, I am usually quite hesitant about eating orange peels: It reminds me of this panettone I used to eat as a child, that always had a bunch of orange peel chunks in there. They were never candied or anything, just little squares of bitter orange peel thrown in the dough that took the joy of eating a panettone away from me. With that said, I decided to give the orange peels another chance with a quick test and I’m so happy I did. I candied some thinly sliced oranges in a cardamom sugar syrup and placed them a the bottom of the baking pan, poured the cake batter on top, and baked them together. The orange taste worked so well with the olive oil and cardamom in there I had to keep it. I like to serve this cake with a tiny drizzle of olive oil on top and some tangy yogurt on the side.
- Prep time 25 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- Serves 6
- For the candied orange:
cardamom pods, crushed or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
oranges, thinly sliced
- For the cake:
plus, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
freshly squeezed orange juice
plus, 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Start by washing the oranges, then cut 3-5 mm or 0.15-0.20 inch thin slices crosswise. A sharp knife is key here! If you cut some thicker slices by mistake, save them for another dish. In a saucepan on medium heat, combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water and 2 crushed cardamom pods. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium low, add the sliced oranges to the saucepan and let them simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the orange slices are simmering, preheat the oven at 175°C or 345°F. 3. Beat 2 eggs, 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt using a whisk or an electric mixer, until the mixture becomes pale, light and fluffy. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in the egg mixture, while constantly mixing everything together. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, orange juice, cardamom, and baking soda to the mixture mix them in using a spatula. 4. In a separate bowl, whisk the baking powder and flour together. Sift them in the egg mixture, then gently fold the dry ingredients using a spatula.
- Brush a 20 cm or 8 inch diameter springform pan with oil, then line the bottom and the sides of the pan with parchment paper. Next, arrange all the syrupy orange slices on the bottom and on the sides of the pan. Gently pour the cake batter in the pan, over the orange slices, then pop it in the oven. Place another tray underneath the springform pan to catch any potential sugar syrup drops. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester or a skewer comes out clean, once inserted in the middle of the cake.
- Allow the cake to cool off for at least 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Brush some of the remaining orange cardamom syrup on top of the cake. I also like to drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil directly on the cake slices, right before serving them.