Have you seen this old-world Olive Oil Cake from Sauveur? It was first published back in January 2015. Even the name Olive Oil Cake sounds intriguingly old-world, doesn’t it? While a number of olive oil cakes are finished with a nice dusting of powdered sugar, this cake is finished with a sprinkling of sea salt. I like salt and orange together.
A number of these Italian Olive Oil Cakes give the cake a light dusting of powdered sugar – which is pretty. I had even considered changing up this recipe to utilize the powdered sugar method rather than the sea salt. I liked the idea of garnishing the sugar-dusted cake with fresh fruit. Yet there was something about the simple, unadorned cake that appealed to me.
Served with some strong coffee, it just felt oh so right. Not only is this “old-world” cake fitting as an evening dessert; but as a breakfast cake – not too sweet. And how often can we eat cake in the morning or at mid-day without feeling guilty?
Orange-Scented Italian Olive Oil Cake
2⅓ cups sugar
Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
2½ cups flour, plus more for pan
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
Sea salt, for garnish
Trim about ½” from the tops and bottoms of oranges; quarter oranges lengthwise. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; add oranges. Bring water back to a boil; drain. Repeat boiling process twice more with fresh water. Put oranges, 1 cup sugar, and 4 cups water into a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and orange rind can be easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10″ round cake pan with butter and dust with flour; line pan bottom with parchment paper cut to fit. Set pan aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. Remove orange quarters from syrup, remove and discard any seeds, and put oranges into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until oranges form a chunky purée, 10 to 12 pulses. Add remaining sugar, reserved flour mixture, vanilla, and eggs and process until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add olive oil; process until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk orange juice and confectioners’ sugar to make a thin glaze. Remove cake from pan and transfer to a cake stand or plate. Using a pastry brush, brush orange glaze over top and sides of cake; sprinkle with sea salt and let cool completely.