An elegant cake that is perfect for breakfast, snacking or dessert
We love to bake with olive oil. In part this is because growing up, our parents very rarely used butter in their cooking or baked goods. This was not because butter is not delicious, but because of our mom’s dietary restrictions and the underlying philosophy that despite the fact that butter may makes things better, olive oil makes them best. The other reason that we love baking with olive oil is that sometimes we find ourselves out of butter, but we can’t remember a day when we looked around our kitchens and discovered we were all out of olive oil. Lucky, for sure.
This is not the first olive oil cake that we have posted, and it surely won’t be the last. We’ve already shared a lemon olive oil cake with you that is light and scrumptious (and which was baked for a very special event). We find that citrus and olive oil complement each other beautifully, and so here we have combined the zest and juice of oranges with the sharp tang of cranberries. Married together, these flavours bring out the fruity notes of the olive oil and enhance its rich yet subtle flavour profile. Also, we don’t really talk like that but we’ve been watching a lot of cooking shows on The Food Network, so we thought we would give it a try. The truth is, oranges are in season, we’ve got bags of frozen cranberries in the freezer and we like ’em both.
Cakes made with olive oil are particularly delicious; the oil lends a beautiful colour, flavour and texture to these baked goods. Because the olive oil is such a prominent ingredient, it is important to use the best quality olive oil you can find. Because of the controversies surrounding the purity of olive oil, it is a good idea to do your research and try to find local distributors you know you can trust. You may end up paying a little bit more for your oil, but remember, pure olive oil is liquid gold, and you get what you pay for.
You can use either fresh or frozen cranberries for this cake. We tend to use frozen cranberries because we like to stock up when they are readily available in the grocery store and freeze them for future use.
Prior to zesting the oranges for the recipe, be sure to wash them thoroughly, and use organic oranges if possible. We like to use a citrus zester to remove the zest from our oranges. This little gadget is easy to use and ensures that you don’t get any of the white pith, which can be somewhat bitter, removed along with the zest. The problem with the zester is that you can end up with long strips of zest. Use a knife to chop them up more finely. Alternatively you can use a box grater, if yours has a side with very small holes.
Mia Kouppa: Orange and cranberry olive oil cake
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 12 ounce bag cranberries (frozen is fine)
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the orange zest with the sugar and use your fingers to rub the two together. This will help release the fragrant oils from the zest and will give the sugar a nice, light orange hue.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs together with the sugar and zest. Beat for a few minutes and then slowly pour in the olive oil and then the orange juice.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture, leave behind about 1/4 cup of the flour. Add the cranberries to this 1/4 cup of flour and toss to coat. Once the flour in the mixing bowl has been well incorporated with the wet ingredients, add in the flour coated cranberries. Mix only until incorporated; do not over mix because doing so might crush your cranberries. Alternatively, you can add and mix in the cranberries by hand using a rubber spatula.
- Grease a bundt pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Pour in the batter and then use a knife to swirl the batter a bit, in order to help distribute the cranberries evenly.
- Bake on the middle rack of your oven for approximately 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool almost completely before removing it from the bundt pan. Enjoy.