Olive Oil Orange Cake

Olive Oil Orange Cake – A super soft and moist cake that’s made with olive oil!! Orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier add tons of AMAZING orange flavor to this easy, no-mixer cake that’s unique, refined, and INCREDIBLE!!

Olive Oil Orange Cake - A super soft and moist cake that's made with olive oil!! Orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier add tons of AMAZING orange flavor to this easy, no-mixer cake that's unique, refined, and INCREDIBLE!!

This easy, one-bowl, no-mixer cake is a huge eye-opening kind of cake for me. After blogging for nearly 10 years and making hundreds of cakes, this was my first ever cake made with olive oil.

But it won’t be my last because it was supremely soft, tender, and exceedingly moist without being too heavy or dense.

You can literally almost see the moistness oozing from the cake but it doesn’t taste greasy and it stays moist for days. I still had leftover cake that I forgot about in the back of my cupboard and a week later, the was just as good as the first day, and even more moist. I don’t know how that’s possible but it happened. I cannot say enough amazing things about this cake. A personal fave of mine for sure.

Can You Taste The Olive Oil?

I have always preferred oil in cake rather than butter. Oil is 100% fat whereas butter is about 80% fat. That extra 20% of fat simply keeps oil-based cakes softer and moister than butter cakes. You can’t argue with science.

MY OTHER RECIPES

But I personally wouldn’t have known it was specifically olive oil based on taste alone.

Olive oil has quite a distinct flavor in comparison to canola or vegetable oil and I went into the cake thinking I’d be able to taste the olive oil specifically and prominently but it wasn’t like that. Very subtly yes but not distinctly.

Olive Oil Orange Cake - A super soft and moist cake that's made with olive oil!! Orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier add tons of AMAZING orange flavor to this easy, no-mixer cake that's unique, refined, and INCREDIBLE!!

What Kind Of Olive Oil To Use?

I used Trader Joe’s Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil and while I’m sure the flavor of the cake will change depending on the exact brand and type of oil used, I recommend a quality extra-virgin olive oil here.

Something you’d dip bread in, cook chicken in, or use in a homemade salad dressing.

Orange – 3 Ways

What I tasted more than anything was the orange flavor.

The cake has orange flavor incorporated three ways: orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier liqueur. I realize it’s a bit of a pricier liqueur but I highly recommend it here.

Olive Oil Orange Cake - A super soft and moist cake that's made with olive oil!! Orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier add tons of AMAZING orange flavor to this easy, no-mixer cake that's unique, refined, and INCREDIBLE!!

Do I Have To Use Gran Marnier

You only use 1/4 cup in the entire cake which doesn’t sound like much but it’s also something I wouldn’t skip. It adds a luxurious flavor that was so elegant tasting.

If you don’t drink alcohol for whatever the reason, I cannot say how the cake will taste or turn out if you, for example, just use 1/4 cup water in its place or use an extra 1/4 cup orange juice <— that worries me more because of the extra acidity in the OJ coupled with the baking soda/powder and I’m not sure what will happen.

My thoughts are that during baking, the potency of the actual alcohol bakes off and what you’re left with is simply the flavor. Again, it’s only 1/4 cup divided between a cake that will easily feed 8 to 10 so each person is maybe getting 1/2 teaspoon. Cough syrup has more.

Olive Oil Orange Cake - A super soft and moist cake that's made with olive oil!! Orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier add tons of AMAZING orange flavor to this easy, no-mixer cake that's unique, refined, and INCREDIBLE!!

How Does The Cake Taste

The cake itself if not overly sweet by any means. It would be the perfect cake to serve after a fancier dinner party with equally rich or luxurious food.

I liken the cake to cakes served in fancy restaurants. They are never sugar bombs – even the chocolate ones. They are more refined and tend to have unique flavor pairings that you don’t encounter often.

I dusted the cake with confectioners’ sugar rather than making a glaze or frosting and it was perfect. I almost made a glaze with confectioners’ sugar and Gran Marnier and may try that next time but simply dusting the cake with confectioners’ sugar was so fast and easy.

I cannot wait to make this cake again especially in the winter for holiday parties and events. It is a talking piece kind of cake rather than just another chocolate cake that we’ve all had a zillion times. Unique and different in the best possible way.

I gave half the cake to some ladies at my daughter’s school and they loved it. Every time I’ve since encountered them, they are all still thanking me for this cake.

Other favorite orange dessert recipes:

  • Orange Poke Cake with Honey-Orange Glaze – BOLD orange flavor in this EASY, 100% scratch, no mixer poke cake!! Orange juice, orange extract, and orange zest make this cake the BEST way ever to get your Vitamin C!!
  • Orange Crush Poke Cake – Bold Orange Crush flavor in this easy cake that’s super moist and light! The kid in all of us will love this orange tie-dyed cake!
  • The Best Glazed Orange Sweet Rolls – The softest, lightest, and most irresistible rolls ever! Try them and you’ll be a believer, too!
  • Orange PushUp Smoothie  – A smoothie that tastes just like an old-fashioned Push-Up! Sweet, creamy, and will make you feel like a kid again!

Olive Oil Orange Cake - A super soft and moist cake that's made with olive oil!! Orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier add tons of AMAZING orange flavor to this easy, no-mixer cake that's unique, refined, and INCREDIBLE!!

Olive Oil Orange Cake

Olive Oil Orange Cake – A super soft and moist cake that’s made with olive oil!! Orange zest, orange juice, and Gran Marnier add tons of AMAZING orange flavor to this easy, no-mixer cake that’s unique, refined, and INCREDIBLE!!

5
5 / 5 ()
Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange freshly squeezed juice
  • 1/4 cup Gran Marnier
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F, add a circle of parchment paper to the base of a 9-inch springform pan, and spray the parchment paper and the sides of the pan very well with cooking spray; set aside. Do not make this cake in a regular 9-inch cake pan. Most are only about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep and this cake rises to about 2 1/2 to 3 inches on the sides and nearly 4 inches in the center. It will overflow in a regular 9-inch pan.
  2. To a large bowl, add the olive oil, eggs, and whisk well to emulsify and incorporate.
  3. Add the milk, orange zest, orange juice (I was able to get sufficient zest and juice from one large orange), Gran Marnier, and whisk to incorporate.
  4. Add the sugar and whisk to incorporate.
  5. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and whisk until just incorporated; don’t overmix. The batter in on the thin side; this is normal.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, place pan on a baking sheet as insurance against a leaky springform pan, and bake for about 70 to 75 minutes. Start checking after 60 minutes since all ovens vary. Cake will be golden browned and domed in the center when done, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow cake to cool in the springform pan for about 1 hour before releasing it and allowing the cake to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  7. Dust with confectioners’ sugar prior to serving. Cake will keep airtight at room temp for 1 week.

Adapted from Food 52

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  1. This cake bakes in a fairly cool oven for a long duration, low and slow. Don’t be alarmed if a small circular patch on the top of the cake appears to be burning early on in the baking process. Ultimately it doesn’t darken much more and when the cake is done, the cake is approximately the same color as the initial dark patch. This may or may not happen to you and possibly is just what happens in my oven, but I am pointing it out as nothing to worry about.
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30 comments on “Olive Oil Orange Cake”

  1. Seeing this cake gives me that late summer/early fall vibe– the texture looks incredible and it sounds delicious (especially with Gran Marnier in it)!

    • This cake could do well in many seasons….winter because of the citrus and the booze aspect for holiday parties. Or spring/summer because it’s light and bright looking. Honestly, and I make a lot of cakes, I *loved* this cake. A total personal favorite!

  2. Sign me up for a slice! Olive oil cakes are so delicious. I love the texture!

    Rating: 5
  3. Would it be possible to exchange the olive oil for coconut oil with no problem?

  4. Do you think it would work with gluten free flour?

  5. This looks very tasty. I have never used olive oil in a dessert recipe.

    Rating: 5
  6. Hello!Wonderful recipes!I`m from Europe. I`m subscribed to you, I have difficulty with the American quantities of products, can you in grams to postUS Customarry- MetricThank you so much!Greeting! Maria

    Rating: 5
  7. Is the nutritional information for the whole cake or one serving. 4611 is an awful lot of calories I’m hoping that’s an error

  8. Love how the crumb is more dense rather super light/airy like many cakes. Looks like an amazing texture due to the high amount of liquid ingredients in the cake! :)

  9. Hi Averie, Do You you think I could halve the ingredients, if so what would be the approx cooking time? Cheers Lesley

  10. Oh my, you had me at Grand Marnier! Everything tastes a little better with this liqueur in it. And the colour of that cake is phenomenal. Have to save this recipe for later. Thanks for sharing!

    E || OH LA LATKES

  11. Is their another pan one could use?

  12. My family isn’t a huge fan of orange flavor, so I used lemoncello, lemon juice, and lemon zest! This was very good and very easy!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and glad this worked out great with lemon! I actually was tempted to make this cake exactly how you did, and went with the orange, but may give it a whirl now too as a lemon version!

  13. I love olive oil cakes! Probably because they’re healthier so I have the excuse to eat more of them :p This cake sounds like a perfect Chinese New Year treat and I can’t wait to make it next year with mandarin oranges! In the meantime, I’m going to try this with the large packet of Meyer lemons in my fridge :)

  14. This sounds wonderful. I’ve made one similar with olive oil but you boil the whole oranges skin and all then whiz the lot in the food processor. It’s a fantastic cake too.

  15. This recipe is a must tried. I was craving for orange cake but I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand so I decided to bake it with what I have. I used avocado oil instead of olive oil, I didn’t have the grand Marnier so I substituted it for orange juice(frozen orange juice to be exact) and I had the other ingredients.i followed up all your instructions.The cake turned super moist and delicious. I’m pretty sure the grand Marnier would give it the extra touching flavor but oh well I couldn’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it .

    Rating: 5
  16. I thought this cake had great orange flavor and it was very moist. My springform is just too leaky and I haven’t bought another one yet, so I used my 10″ cake pan. Its about the same volume as a 9″ springform but it makes a shorter cake that was done in about 55-60 minutes. I also had the brown spot in the middle of the cake and I’m guessing it has to do with the alcohol used. By the way, for those who don’t want to buy a full bottle of Grand Marnier, it comes in what I call “airplane bottles”; little 50ml bottles that are exactly 1/4 cup.

    Rating: 5
    • That is a great tip about the airplane bottles, I never thought of that! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this cake and thanks for the five star review. Glad it worked well in the pan that you have and that you didn’t have to go out and buy a springform.

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