I’ve been a big fan of olive oil cakes for many years. I love the color and the texture, as well as the subtle flavor. This version kicks it up a notch by turning the classic into an upside-down fruit cake.
The addition of the cardamom with the candied oranges is sublime, and the finished cake is absolutely gorgeous — especially if you can get blood oranges, which are in season at the moment.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 crushed cardamom pods (or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom)
- 3 oranges, very thinly sliced
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (really good) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp finely-grated orange zest
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1. Scrub the oranges, then with a very sharp knife, cut thin slices (.15 inches) crosswise.
2. In a saucepan on medium heat, combine the candied orange ingredients — sugar, water, and cardamom. Bring to a boil, turn heat to medium low, add sliced oranges and let simmer for 15 min. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the batter, beat eggs, sugar, and salt using a whisk or an electric mixer, until the mixture becomes pale, light, and fluffy.
4. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in the egg mixture, mixing well.
5. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, orange juice, cardamom, and baking soda to the mixture and mix well.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk the baking powder and flour together. Sift them into the egg mixture, then gently fold in the dry ingredients.
7. Brush an 8-inch 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 of the pan, overlapping as necessary. Reserve the remaining syrup.*
8. Gently pour the cake batter over the orange slices and bake. Place a rimmed cookie sheet under the springform pan to catch any syrup that may seep out.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the sides of the pan. Flip the cake onto your serving platter and brush syrup on top of the orange slices. Drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil directly on the cake slices just before serving.
Please! Do not discard the leftover orange and cardamom simple syrup. It is amazing in cocktails, especially an Old Fashioned.
Questions? Text to Craig at 202-217-0996 or email Savor@metroweekly.com.
Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member’s Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!