Home Cookin’: Portuguese Orange-Olive Oil Cake

This cake was moist and delicious. It was sort of a cross between pound cake and angel food cake.  We loved it and served it with a Santa Cruz classic Marianne’s Ice Cream (bittersweet chocolate ice cream) for Mother’s Day.

Portuguese Orange-Olive Oil Cake Recipe
by David Leite
from The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast
(Clarkson Potter, 2009)
Serves 10 to 12

TIPS from LeitesCulinaria.com: Make sure to use a light-colored Bundt pan. A dark one will turn out a cake that sticks and is unpleasantly brown. Since this cake only gets better with age, don’t even think about taking a bite until the day after you make it, or even the day after that.

My TIP: My mom said that when she made this recipe the cake was a dry and almost cornmeal-like cake. When I made it I cut all of the ingredient portions in half and made it with a dark-colored Bundt pan.  It turned out a bit moist. We served it with bittersweet chocolate ice cream with orange zest on top.


Nonstick baking spray with flour
4 to 5 large navel oranges
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
5 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups mild extra-virgin olive oil
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above, and crank up the heat to 350°F (175°C). Coat a 12-cup Bundt or tube pan with baking spray and set aside.

2. Finely grate the zest of 3 of the oranges, then squeeze 4 of them. You should have 1 1/2 cups of juice; if not, squeeze the 5th orange. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until well-combined, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and continue beating until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and oil, starting and ending with the flour, and beat until just a few wisps of flour remain. Pour in the orange juice and zest and whirl for a few seconds to bring the batter together.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1 1/4 hours. If the top is browning too much as the cake bakes, cover lightly with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.

6. Turn the cake out onto the rack and cool completely, then place it in a covered cake stand and let it sit overnight. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.

Youtube video of this Recipe being prepared: http://leitesculinaria.com/20321/recipes-portuguese-orange-olive-oil-cake.html

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