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Orange Glazed/Orange Zest Olive Oil Cake (Gluten Free)

I’ve long been fascinated with the idea of olive oil cakes. After all, since when does the oil in the cake get the star treatment? And while I generally prefer to spend a bit more time refining a recipe before sharing, but here goes. I posted a pic of this orange cake and got a lot of requests for the recipe. Since so many of us are baking more than ever these days, I figured I’d share it as soon as possible.

A few things to keep in mind:
  • When I first made the glaze for this recipe, I did it as almost a thick, somewhat almost sheen that you might find on an orange torte in the old-school Hungarian way my aunts do. But that was complicated, so I simplified and turned the glaze into more of an upside down cake treat.
  • This is not a cake that keeps for too long. Between the olive oil and the almond flour, it gets somewhat soggy quickly. The taste is like a delicious and not so sweet muffin and it’s best eaten within a few hours of baking it, but it will last for a few days in the fridge or freezer. Also worth noting, when eaten about 1/2 hour after you take it out of the oven the combination of almost crisp crust and orangey upside down glaze is really yum.
  • One last thought- I baked this beauty in the convection oven, instead of my older oven. I highly recommend using a convection oven when using less stable ingredients (or in general) since it really creates such a beautiful top layer and crust.

And without further ado, all of the orangey goodness, now in easy cake form:

Ingredients:
  • Zest of one small orange + 1 tbsp.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup golden sugar + 1 tbsp. (regular sugar is fine, but don’t use brown sugar since it will weigh down the cake)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup orange juice + 1 tbsp.
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups almond flour +1 tbsp.

For the upside down glaze:

The remaining tablespoons of sugar, orange juice and orange zest

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Zest the orange and then squeeze enough fresh orange juice and set aside both separately
  • Combine sugar with the orange zest. It will very slightly begin the candying process which adds a nice texture.
  • In a smallish bowl, combine the almond flour with the baking soda
  • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until very slightly frothy, then fold in the orange juice. Keep mixing and stir in the olive oil.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the solid and keep mixing (you can use a whisk or even a fork, there’s nothing fancy about this cake) until you don’t have any lumps.
  • Coat a 9″ x 9″ baking pan with just the slightest amount of olive oil or your favorite baking spray. Then very gently sprinkle some almond flour at the bottom of the pan. You’re going for texture here more than anything, not taste. Then sprinkle the remaining zest and sugar combo. You can add more sugar if you prefer a bit of a crunch or more official glaze. Pour the batter into the pan gently, the goal is to cover the ingredients and not disturb them.
  • Bake at 350° for about half hour to forty minutes depending on your oven. Test for doneness. For the cake to have the glazed effect, wait at least 1/2 hour before disturbing, or better yet wait until it’s cooled to serve. Flip over and serve bottom side up. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You don’t have to use golden sugar for this one, but I didn’t want to use maple syrup since this cake has the potential to be on the heavy side. I’m a fan of golden sugar since it also adds a lovely color and lighter taste and texture than brown sugar does. Also, I avoid white sugar. Here’s a post I wrote up on golden sugar.
  • You can use slightly more baking powder if you prefer a fluffier cake, but you might end up with that metallic taste. I would not advise more than 3/4 tsp total.