Orange and Olive Oil Cake

The first time I made this cake, one of the resident artists proclaimed it to be the best cake-eating experience of her life. But so much more importantly than the fact that it is exquisitely delicious, YOU ONLY NEED ONE BOWL TO MAKE THIS CAKE! It’s now become my go-to dessert. I make some variation of it two or three times a month. It’s satisfying, unfussy, and fast. You decide you want cake, and you’re eating it within the hour.

I’ve included several variations on the theme below the basic recipe.

Makes: 1 cake


  • 1½ cups flour (I recommend whole wheat pastry flour, but choose your own adventure)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup orange juice (fresh is best)
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375 °F. Place a piece of parchment in a 9-inch round cake pan (a springform works well) so the bottom and most of the sides are covered. Lightly coat parchment with a splash of olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, thoroughly mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Crack eggs directly into the flour mixture, breaking the yolks with the spoon. Add orange juice, olive oil, and zest (if using) and mix until there are no more dry bits of flour.
  • Pour batter into the parchment-lined pan, and bake on the middle rack in the oven for about 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick to be sure the cake is cooked all the way through. There should be no wet batter sticking to the toothpick. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan. Gently peel away parchment, and let it finish cooling, ideally on a wire rack.
  • Grapefruit and Blueberry: sub grapefruit juice for the orange juice, sprinkle a generous handful of blueberries over batter in pan before baking
  • Lemon and Rosemary: sub lemon juice for orange juice, add 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary to batter
  • Lemon and Yogurt: sub 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup yogurt for orange juice
  • Vanilla Buttermilk: sub buttermilk for orange juice, add 1 tablespoon vanilla extra to batter
  • Chai Spice: replace half of orange juice with cooled chai tea, add 1.5 tablespoons chai spice mix to batter
  • Berries and Cream: sprinkle two handfuls of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, chopped strawberries, etc) over batter in pan before baking. Frost with homemade whipped cream.
  • Chocolate and Orange Cake: frost with chocolate ganache and decorate with roasted citrus slices for a special occasion