blood orange olive oil cake

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect olive oil cake for some time now. I was hoping for one that would use olive oil alone for fat, and resist the temptation of butter, you know, better than I ever have. I was hoping for it to bake in a loaf pan, as rustic everyday cakes should, have a slight crunch at the edges, like a beloved one at a nearby coffee shop does. And above all else, I wanted it to be plain, simple, maybe a little zest for flavor but more less, about the olive oil which needs little in the way of a supporting cast.

blood orange segments

Well, I found most of those things, but I was tempted as most of us are in wintry areas by the startling red-rust-maroons of blood oranges and they landed up in the mix, too. Melissa Clark is convincing like that. Who is she? Well, take a walk over to your cookbooks shelf, if you will. Recognize any of these? Then you already know her. This woman has worked on more cookbooks than I can count on all of my fingers and toes (kindly, Jacob lets me borrow his from time to time, or he did until we did this to him) and has been writing the Good Appetite column for the New York Times for several years. So, when I learned that she was writing her own book, with her own recipes, under her name only, I was delighted. Her stories are brief but warm and her book seems like a natural fit for anyone who enjoys reading food blogs.

blood oranges, some red

the debris

But I know, you’re just here for the cake. And you should be, as it meets all of the aforementioned olive oil requirements, but gets a little pretty-pretty boost from blood oranges. Oranges and olive oil are wonderful together; they both have bitter undertones and fruity finishes and in this cake, you taste both things with each bite. The cake has a wonderful rainy afternoon quality; the crumb of a great pound cake but multiple times more moist. It keeps like a charm; I confess to only remembering to photograph it three days later and I hardly could tell that a day had passed. A day after that, I swore, it was even better. And a day after that, well, it went the way of all great cakes.

olive oil
it was still good
blood orange olive oil cake, bye-bye

One year ago: Ginger Fried Rice
Two years ago: Whole Lemon Tart which I have been meaning to tell you, is perfect again. And you should make it, you really should.
Three years ago: Matzo Ball Soup
Four years ago: Miniature Soft Pretzels and Sour Cream Bran Muffins

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from A Good Appetite

Butter for greasing pan
3 blood oranges
1 cup (200 grams or 7 ounces) sugar
Scant 1/2 cup (118 ml) buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (156 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups (219 grams or 7 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Honey-blood orange compote, for serving (optional, below)
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.

Supreme an orange: Cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Break up segments with your fingers to about 1/4-inch pieces.

Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup; you’ll will have about 1/4 cup. Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs and olive oil.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet ones. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up. Serve with whipped cream and honey-blood orange compote (below), if desired.

Honey-Blood Orange Compote: Supreme 3 more blood oranges according to directions above. Drizzle in 1 to 2 teaspoons honey. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently.

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407 comments on blood orange olive oil cake

  1. olive oil cakes have such an earthy, distinct taste that i truly can’t get enough of. and blood oranges? after food52’s instructional orange slicing video, i just may have to bake this. thanks!

      1. Jeanne Liotta

        Just made this and it’s true—a perfect crumb! This cake deserves a better pan and presentation though—it is so moist and delicate in flavor and is much more than a quick bread in a loaf pan

  2. epic

    mmm, blood oranges. love. will have to make this as soon as i get home from my business trip. may go straight to the grocery store and pick up enough for this cake and my once-a-year blood orange sorbet.

  3. Does the quality of the olive oil make a difference in this cake? Or is it like liquor, where you don’t need to invest in something fancy because most of it gets cooked off?

  4. I might make this tomorrow but with regular oranges. We recently moved into a house with two orange trees, just in time for orange season to begin, so I am continually on the hunt for recipes in which to use them. This sounds perfect!

  5. Jennifer

    The bedhead is (was?) defintely something our children have (had?) in common. Bravo to you for your courage in the face of the first haircut; he looks at least as delicious as before…

    1. Uyen

      Brian, I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times and have been considering using Meyer lemons instead. My guess is that you’d need at least 5 Meyer lemons, maybe 6 or 7 to be on the safe side. I plan to try it soon!

  6. siescierto

    I used to live in Spain, they had a super easy olive oil loaf cake there, all made from the same measure of the plain yogurt cup. With just one egg, a packet of gelatin, sugar, flour, the yogurt and the oil. It was delicious and took less than 4 minutes to make. A great thing is they cut up apples and threw those in as well. This looks like the same idea but with baking soda and baking powder taking over the gelatin packet’s job. It looks delicious, I might add the apple slices!

  7. Wow! This recipe looks exactly like what I’d look for in an olive oil cake, too. I think I’ll try something along the same lines, subbing in whole wheat pastry flour and using meyer lemon and rosemary in lieu of the blood oranges.

  8. adie

    be still my heart- I can’t wait. And blood oranges have such a lovely sweetnes and sooooo much flavor- what a great combination. Thank you thank you!

  9. Deb, I have been looking for something to do with blood oranges, since my mother (who lives in Miami) loves them so much. I will definitely surprise her with this one!!! I’ve known what to do with them. Also never thought to make a cake with olive oil. I cook with it all the time, but in a cake? WOW. LOVE.

  10. I absolutely love how moist olive oil cakes are. Do you have a specific olive oil you recommend? I have been using ROI, but at nearly $30 a bottle it gets pricey. Would love a suggestion for a less expensive, but equally good olive oil for cake.

    1. deb

      Olive oil choice — It’s completely up to you. Like everything else in cooking, people in magazines, on TV, in fancy restaurant kitchens and other places where they’re not buying their own ingredients will swear that if you do not use the very best, your dish will not be the very best. I hardly buy it. I keep two olive oils around. The 365 store brand (or some equivalent quality) for cooking and a fancier one for dressings or “finishing” (places where it is kept more or less raw). I believe that the delicacy of a very fancy olive oil is lost when it is heated. I do not fry eggs in $40 olive oils. But this is just my take. In your kitchen and on your dime, use whatever you’re comfortable with. But you have my word that this is a wonderful cake with or without the best olive oil money can buy.

      Sugar and other ingredients — It’s not an overly sweet cake, by any means. I think that the olive oil imparts a little bitterness, and so a little more sugar than normal is required. Nobody has mentioned this, but I did (and gulped) when I read it, and that’s that this cake uses more fat than your average loaf cake, which usually gets by with 1 stick of butter or a 1/2 cup oil. I was convinced that this cake would taste greasy but it doesn’t, not even a little. My current hunch is that olive oil isn’t quite as (sorry I cannot think of a better term) lubricating as butter or other cooking oils, which is why if you’ve ever swapped olive oil for butter in a cake or muffin at a 1:1 level, it may have tasted a little dry.

  11. Diane

    Thank you for posting this recipe (as always)!!! Now, this is going to sound crazy, but…I actually have blood orange olive oil. lol yes, it’s olive oil (I believe extra virgin) infused with blood oranges. I picked it up from a Manhattan restaurant called the Fig and Olive. It’s very strong to cook with so I hardly ever use it, but I’m wondering…do you think it would work in this recipe? Killing two birds with one stone and all that? :)

  12. This cake looks wonderful. I tried an orange-olive oil cake once (by John Barricelli), but would love to give this one a spin. I like that orange pieces are folded in, rather than just juice/zest. Even though I’ve noticed olive oil cakes have quite a bit of sugar, I suppose it’s a decent trade off for not having any butter.

  13. i’ve tried two olive oil cakes in the past w/o much luck. I’ve had such wonderful success with your recipes that I’m hoping the third times the charm! Even if it doesn’t work out for me I’ll be happy just eating the blood orange compote by the spoonful. Blood oranges are hands down my absolute favorite citrus and possible my favorite fruit all together! YUM!

  14. Lila

    i have the same question as brian about meyer lemons! i have like, eleventy billion pounds of them from costco. and also if we went that route does the quantity of sugar need to be adjusted to make up for the extra tartness of the fruit? (also more generally deb, you’re a star!)

  15. I love Olive Oil cake but never made myself. We have this great Greek Place around the corner that makes an awesome one that i usually get a slice from when i have a craving. But this recipe looks fabulous. And blood oranges YUM love them, so much more exciting to eat than a regular orange.

  16. I am an olive oil cake addict, and always on the quest for the perfect version.
    I liked Melissa’s cake and am really enjoying her book.

    My favorite o.o. cake has been at Maialino in Gramercy Park… I keep dreaming about it and I asked the chef for the recipe. They wrote the ingredients down, but not the measurements!!! Grand Marinier and a ton of olive oil. I like Colavita because it’s mild and not expensive.

  17. Blood oranges! Yum! I recently had champagne with blood orange juice and slices of blood oranges in it and it was so good! I didn’t even care about the champagne, I just wanted to eat all the blood oranges alone… This cake sounds so juicy and moist I can’t wait to try it.

  18. Meredith

    Fabulous! I agree with Kendra, and you knew somehow: I have a blood orange glut because I cannot control myself when I see them on sale. I am addicted to their color. I’ve already made fabulous marmalade and juiced dozens and I still have several pounds to get through before they turn into blushing paperweights–this is perfect!

  19. dbelle

    This recipe looks delish and i love your writing style- question though: i’m always trying to make things dairy free- and when i run into recipes like this one I normally drool over the picture and forget about it a minute later but lets say i want to try this one- can you think of any non dairy sub’s for yogurt/buttermilk? applesauce maybe? leave it out altogether?

    i know it won’t be exactly as good, but….?

  20. Where I come from (Mediterranian coast of Spain) butter is rarely used for cakes, even muffins are done with olive oil! This reminds me I should ask my grandma for the recipe of her olive oil cake. In the meantime, I may do yours :)

  21. anne

    Surely you meant *butter* a 9×5 loaf pan? Sorry, I’ve been doing a lot of proofreading lately. I have been looking for an excuse to buy some blood oranges…

  22. My mum gave me her sacred Tunisian Orange Olive Oil Cake recipe, which is simply amazing. I regret asking for her recipe, my boyfriend won’t stop making me make them! I’ll be willing to try yours ;)

  23. This is indeed very close to what we’ve been baking in Spain for quite a long time. You use a yogurt pot (125grams) as measure, and it’s one of the recipes children learn first (or at least used to) because it’s easy. 1 yogurt, 1 measure olive oil, 2 measures sugar, 3 measures flour, 3 eggs, one pack baking powder (Spanish baking powder is different, no need for baking soda), mix all, pour in buttered / floured tin, bake at 170C 30-35 mins.

    Variation: use a lemon yogurt, and add grated zest of lemon.

    For dbelle: you can use non dairy yogurt instead, but not applesauce. Use soy yogurt, or soy milk. If you add a citric juice to the soy milk and let sit for 5 minutes it’ll thicken up like buttermilk.

  24. Another Deb

    You must try the chocolate rosemary olive oil cake from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain. It was my first foray into olive oil cakes and I’m now addicted to it!

  25. Katherine

    Hi Deb, there is a recipe for a fantastic Sephardic Passover cake – orange and almond cake that uses no dairy products by Batia Slater here:
    I have made it many times and it always turns out moist and delicious. I always use olive oil to make it. Depending on the oven you use, you may need to bake it at a lower temperature for longer to avoid the top burning.

  26. I love the feel of this cake.
    I’ve been working on an olive oil cake too, but haven’t enjoyed the results yet. Kim Boyce’s Olive Oil, Rosemary and Chocolate Cake from Good to the Grain seems like it could be good, but I used wholemeal spelt flour and I think she probably meant me to use white spelt flour, as the cake ended up a little dry.
    I’ve also been thinking of trying the combination of vanilla bean and olive oil, inspired by my favourite Pierre Herme macaron.
    Blood orange and olive oil? Well that sounds very promising. I’ll have to wait until winter here in Australia to get good blood oranges, though, but it’s definitely something to look forward to!

  27. I love Melissa Clark, too! She is so talented and her recipes very approachable. It seems without fail, every week I end up printing out her NYT column.

    I try to cook as locally and seasonally as possible but in the winter I make exceptions on the local part for citrus. It’s often just what I need to get me through the NYC mid-winter doldrums. Looks lovely!

  28. Blood oranges are so fun to bake with. I have trouble finding them in my local grocery store sometimes though, but when I do find them I’m so happy! I must try this cake!!

  29. Meaghan

    Yay for Melissa Clarke! This is one of my all-time favourite cakes. I originally made it just because I loved her description of a “whimsical, undulating cake stand.”

    Regarding the amount of oil, I can attest that you do NOT want to lower it. I sent the recipe to my mother a few years ago, and she cut it by about 1/3 because she thought it seemed high; the cake was far too dry after that c

  30. “I was hoping for one that would use olive oil alone for fat, and resist the temptation of butter, you know, better than I ever have.”

    There’s nothing wrong w/ butter! Really. Now, sugar, on the other hand–there’s your bad guy.

    This cake looks very tasty, though. And those blood oranges are stunning.

  31. I have a pile of blood oranges in my fruit basket right now that I think are WAY to sour to eat on their own. This will be a great use for them! Do you think I should kick the sugar up a bit because my blood oranges are basically red lemons?

  32. I’ve been waiting for an olive oil cake to “speak” to me, and this is the one! I rarely bake with butter, and love the idea of using olive oil in baked goods… but have been hesitant to sub in the latter due to its strong flavor. This blood orange cake sounds bright and delicious. I can’t wait to make (and devour) it!

  33. I discovered a love for olive oil-based cakes and quick breads last year, and I’m always looking for new recipes. Shall most definitely have to try this one, and, as Brian thought, with meyer lemons.

  34. I have some of the books Melissa Clark worked on, love them, and I am excited to hear she has her own coming out, thanks for the heads up. Blood oranges, brilliant addition to olive oil cake.


  35. Kailee

    Oh, yum. I love anything with citrus! I have four gorgeous Ruby Red grapefruits sitting on my kitchen counter right now, I might have to try this with a grapefruit compote! And I also love this type of cake! Nothing fancy, and every ingredient usually on hand.

    Thanks, Deb!

  36. The texture of this cake looks divine! A lot of olive oil cakes I’ve seen remind me more of a cornbread texture, this resembles something more like a pound cake to me. The blood oranges are a great touch! What beautiful colors!

  37. Michael

    Thanks so much for putting weights in the recipe as well as volumes! I’m a kind of “bake by weight” crusader – the kind of hard case who rewrites recipes with the weights.

  38. I wish I could leave work right now, to go home and make this! To try to make it slightly more heart-healthy, I am going to make it with whole wheat pastry flour and one less egg yolk. I hope it works!

  39. Claire

    I have an orange-essence infused olive oil that I would love to try in this! The only thing is, I’m not whether the result would be too citrus-y if I followed the rest of the directions as is. The orange olive oil I have really has a strongly citrus flavor. Perhaps I could just leave out the blood orange juice, replace it with some other liquid, and follow the rest of the directions exactly? Or perhaps I’ll just use 1/3 cup of my orange olive oil, and 1/3 cup regular extra virgin olive oil. Any thoughts?

  40. Nicole

    @88 – I’ve made this cake with grapefruit, and it’s delicious. The grapefruit + olive oil combination gives the cake a nice back of the throat bitterness that you don’t often get in desserts.

  41. I just segmented my first orange the other day (I normally peel them or cut them opposite of segmenting the proper way)…perhaps I’ll have to give this a try!

  42. I made olive oil cake once, but I really wasn’t able to stomach the overtly olive oil taste. I really don’t get why everyone’s ga ga about olive oil cakes and I’m not. Not being a part of the olive oil cake gang makes me feel like I’m missing out on something.

  43. Matthew

    Can you show a picture of a slice with the blood orange segments? I am intereted in seeing if it keeps it’s color and form at all (think cranberry, in cranberry bread) or does it melt away.

  44. gail

    I made this when Melissa published it in the Times. Delicious…and great for my lactose intolerant son. But you didn’t put the orange segments in your cake!

  45. NS

    Woke up, saw this, had all the ingredients, and a little over an hour later had an amazing cake out of the oven. I bet this would be amazing with Meyer lemons and rosemary. Deb, what’s the best way to store this?

  46. jamie

    This has been a staple in my kitchen since I saw the recipe in the NYTimes. Last week I halved the recipe and made 4 mini-bundt cakes for a small dinner party, and it was perfect! The blood orange compote is so gorgeous.

  47. Melissa

    Just looked at your Flickr set… large pictures, close up shots… and I don’t think you put the supremed orange chunks inside the batter. Amy up there in Comment 63 asked you about this and you responded that the pieces were too small. I call shenanigans. Every other picture of this cake online has bits of blood orange showing inside the finished cake. So my take is: you didn’t add them and yet, for some reason, left the instruction in the recipe to add them. I don’t get it. You could have either remade it and waited to post or you could have posted the recipe revised. I’ve always loved you, Deb, but now I don’t know what to think. Shenanigans.

    1. deb

      Hi Melissa and others who are concerned that there’s an elaborate orange segment ruse going on here — Yes, they’re in there. One of the reasons that they’re not very visible is that 1/4-inch segments are quite small (I actually chopped mine with a knife, mistakenly) and because as I mention in the commentary on this photo, I got a batch of blood oranges that weren’t very red. I saved the darkest, prettiest ones for the compote; the lighter ones in the cake. Now, for those of you still not convinced, those dark marks you see along the side of the cake in the second to last photo are indeed blood orange segments. I have an additional photo of the batter which I didn’t use which I would submit as evidence to the court, but I will have to do so later as I’m batting off a toddler eager to be read Dr. Seuss right now… [Updated, now uploaded. Toddler is entertaining himself with drawer of knives, phew.]

      On a bigger note, I hope everyone understands when they come here that I only show you recipes as I make them. Literally, I’m shooting photos and taking notes as I cook. Any discrepancies I explain in detail. My goal here — the reason I do this everyday — is to get you to make what I’m making, because I know you might love it too. Were I to put up smoke or mirrors, or to spin wild tales about things that happened, you’d only end up less pleased with your results. And less pleased with this site. And less trusting of what you find here. See what I’m getting at?

  48. Candace

    To the writers who asked about using olive oil with orange, I just tried it using O olive oil with blood orange, and it is terrific. Not sure if it changes the taste, as I haven’t made this with plain olive oil. Also added chocolate chunks (because I can’t help myself), and it is a wonderful combination — no surprise there. Just ate a slice warm — chocolate a little melty — my kind of comfort food. Expect it will be even better fully cooled and flavors blooming.

    To the orange chunk police, it is probably a matter of how small the pieces are. Deb calls for 1/4″ — that’s pretty small, and since you pull them apart by hand, they are also a bit smushed up. They don’t particularly show in my cake, but they are there, honest. It is not an ingredient in other orange olive oil cakes, so I wondered about it, but it is a nice touch.

    And finally, to Stacey, who mentioned Maialino’s cake, the recipe was published in July 2010 Food and Wine. Substantially more milk and olive oil, regular oranges, and Grand Marnier.

  49. I have had more luck with using cheaper olive oils in the past when baking cakes… just that the expensive ones seem to taste more olivey which can fight with the cake flavours a little in my opinion. I am wondering if this is the case when making orange cake though. Clearly I need to give it a try!

  50. Melissa

    I very much appreciate the response Deb and, yes, the extra photograph. I was very startled to think that the photos you posted were not representative of the recipe instructions and I felt (probably unnecessarily) compelled to say something.

    I apologize for being the supreme police. I will take you at your word from now on.

    *Bows out*

    1. deb

      Hi Melissa — I respond to about 40 comments a day and every so often, my exasperation with whatever is going on with me that day (in this case, a no-nap toddler and the fact that I’m pretty sure I fractured my pinky toe about an hour before reading new comments rushing to get some brownies out of the oven, ow) seeps through and I sound cranky. I sound cranky today and I am sorry if I unintentionally took it out on your comment. Those segments are not particularly clear in the cake photos so the confusion is understandable.

      Folks who want to make this without dairy — Soymilk, soy yogurt, apple sauce are coming to mind. I even wonder if extra orange juice would do the trick. Having dairy in olive oil cakes is not that common, and I understand the desire to remove it.

  51. MATH

    This recipe is very similar to one that Suzanne Goin published in Sunday Suppers at Lucques, for an olive oil cake topped with a tangerine caramel sauce and creme fraiche. I’ve made it a few times with blood oranges instead of tangerines, but found that whlie the blood oranges are delicious and gorgeous, the flavor of the olive oil is actually better complimented by tangerines. It will be interesting to see how this compares.

  52. This looks awesome. I LOVE the combination of citrus and olive oil — I made an olive oil bread with orange and lemon zest (similar to your olive oil muffins) a couple of months ago, and it was the perfect breakfast for the day that it lasted (

    Considering how much I love oranges and also pretty red things, it’s surprising that I’ve never had blood oranges other than in a mimosa. Time to change that I think!

  53. Amanda Jean

    This cake reminds me of one time, in my youth, when I made a chocolate cake. It called for oil and, being a good little Italian who had never baked before, I used olive oil instead of canola. My parents were not fans, but I liked it so much better! Now I know that I was really just a baking prodigy and I am not alone in my preference of oil over butter, at least in this case.

    That aside, I am making this tonight. Yum!

  54. Sara

    I want to make this…but without any dairy. Any thoughts about substituting soymilk for the buttermilk in this? (I know that your recipes suffer for my attempts to continually fit them in to my strictly kosher lifestyle, but I’ve become very dependent on your blog for ideas!)

  55. Nadia

    Gorgeous looking recipe, must try. I admit I’ve had mixed results with cakes that use olive oil (as opposed to corn oil, or the even lighter alternatives, grapeseed and rapeseed oil). Jamie Oliver’s Torta di Nada, which uses a combination of olive oil and butter is terrific, though I reduced the butter quantity by a third. Another lemon cake recipe combining olive oil with ground almonds, which I pulled off the Net and adjusted, was also delicious but heavy. Conclusion: tread carefully with olive oil in cakes. It makes for wonderful, flavoursome moisture, but people may have to adjust the quantity to taste (and digestion).

  56. I will try the cake at some point–did you point us to an olive oil cake before? sorry, my own little guys are distracting–but I had to snort at the click to Melissa Clark’s works. Anyone who can write cookbooks with Paula Deen AND one on how to fit in your skinny black dress MUST be a cooking genius! That is total command in the kitchen, to be able to do both. Love it. Seriously, no snark. That’s very cool.

  57. Lauren

    Help! I just made this cake and it didn’t turn out right!!! It doesn’t look like your cake at all! It isn’t dense like a pound cake and it’s GREEN! All the orange pieces are at the bottom (where are they in your cake?) and it stuck to the pan. My son said it looks like zucchini bread or really old moldy cornbread! I’m sure I followed the recipe right. I did use Wal-Mart brand olive oil. Could that be it? Actually, it doesn’t taste bad if you can just get past the way it looks!

  58. Laurie

    I made it and it has a gorgeous dark crispy crust. The loaf didn’t rise as many loaf bread/cakes do and now that it is cooling it is sinking a bit. I made this as a gift and I’m afraid they’ll cut into a slimy underdone mess! I used new baking soda and baking powder and I’m wondering why this didn’t rise up in the center. I made the compote but it was runny so I strained the oranges and reduced the juice and honey to make it a bit more syrupy. I also added some golden raisins, a bit of ginger just because…..

  59. Maya

    I look forward to trying this cake. Blood oranges just hit our local (northern) supermarket.
    @ dbelle – I have to, so I routinely substitute out dairy. I use soy yogurt in place of yogurt/buttermilk. Soy yogurt is not as delicious to eat straight (as cow yogurt is), but in baking it is ok.

  60. Decoy’s Dame

    This cake is DEE-lish! We read about it in Melissa’s article. I, too, wanted a dairy-free cake. Decoy suggested using cocoanut milk, which turned out to be the perfect substitute. There’s no taste of cocoanut at all! I simply mixed up the milk in the can, measured it, and — like magic — the perfect cake. This recipe used just over half of the can; I poured it into a plastic container and froze it. Also, I lined my ancient non-stick loaf pan with parchment paper — thus, no buttering of the pan or paper at all. This site is amazing. Decoy read about you in The Forward and has been making notes for Passover desserts. Thank you, Deb!

  61. Even though olive oil and blood oranges sound strange in a cake, I totally trust you. You’ve never steered us wrong. For those who haven’t tried it, the recipe Everyday Chocolate Cake is fabulous–it’s another simple loaf cake, but a chocolate version.

  62. If you used scented olive oils it’s even better. The Filling Station in NYC has blood orange olive oil and lemon olive oil (among others) that are great for cakes AND salad. They also sell some black truffle salt that is out of this world!

  63. jen

    Ever since you mentioned the olive oil cake at your local cafe I’ve had a couple of recipes that I have wanted to try. Now I don’t have to bother, and can use yours instead!

  64. Amelia

    Where can you find blood oranges in NY (Long Island, specifically)? I LOVE the flavor and have looked with no results, even at Trader Joe’s. Any ideas?

    1. deb

      Blood oranges — I didn’t get into this in the post (I should have) but you absolutely do not need blood oranges to make this cake. Any orange will do. Personally, I don’t find anything particularly special about the taste of blood oranges. They taste like mild oranges. But they’re stunning. I always buy them when I can, because I like seeing them with a mix of orange segments. But I don’t buy them predominantly for taste.

      Olive oils — I already mentioned in an earlier comment (#27) my feeling about what olive oils you use (in short, whatever you’ve got is just fine). I just wanted to kind, gently remind folks that I steer as clear of any mentions of brands here in the content of the site as possible. When someone leaves a comment that says “You’ve got to try this brand, ____ “, as I mention in the Comment Guidelines, I have no way of knowing whether that person works for the company, does PR for the company or is just someone who likes their stuff. If I leave it in, it opens a floodgate for hundreds of other “Or this brand ___ !” comments, which would be a dull read for everyone. Thanks.

  65. I have a recipe for an olive oil pound cake that I save for birthdays. I grew up on pound cakes made with a whopping amount of sugar and butter so I didn’t know how the substitution of butter would work in my olive oil pound cake. I was hoping it would flop – but it couldn’t be anything further from a flop!

    It’s a fantastic idea for those of us who would like our cake – and to eat it too! It’s very light in taste but so moist and just mmmm!

  66. I’ve never tried an olive oil cake, and it sure seems like I’m missing out. And Lol at the way people are all “you didn’t put the oranges in, you’re lying”! You sure have some dedicated readers [which I would actually love to have ;)]

  67. Emily

    Ahhhh….Just with this post you made my ENTIRE DAY about three times more exciting. Why? Because, a) I looove a good plain cake, esp one with olive oil because that just sounds weird and cool. b) I remembered that blood oranges exist. What could be a better revelation on a stupid old Wednesday?

  68. Ariella

    OK, I just now made this. It is DELICIOUS. Not too sweet and with wonderful little “blasts” of orange every other bite. I will unquestionably make this again.

    First, I used mineolas because there were no blood oranges in my neck of the woods. Second I used a 9″ round cake pan and reduced the bake time to 40 minutes because I couldn’t find my loaf pan. And third, make SURE you butter/flour your pan – mine stuck to the bottom and I lost the delicious crusty bottom of the cake (and by “lost” I mean “picked off the bottom with a spoon and ate furtively while the cake cooled on the counter”).

  69. I’m ashamed to say I have never had a blood orange. I’m eating an orange right now….but no blood.

    I have made olive oil pound cake though and it was DELICIOUS. So this combo must be amazing. I’m buying some oranges soon……

  70. chit

    Been looking for a buttercake like cake …and this one is great cuz it will use olive oil…but can the blood orange be substituted with say…orange juice without the zest? Thankx.

  71. I was looking everywhere for a recipe how to make a very moist cake that I remember from my childhood. I was advised to add some oil alongside the butter. It made a huge difference. Since you are using only oil. I am sure your version also does the trick but I wonder if you don’t miss the taste of butter in this cake. From bloody oranges, the other day, I made a wonderful mascarpone tart.

  72. Tamara

    Thanks for posting this. I’d been looking for an Olive Oil Cake and all the recipes I was finding had corn meal ( weird). So can’t wait to try this one!

  73. Mind reader!!!! I was just browsing your everyday cakes in search of the perfect thing to take to a casual dinner party…. I was set on lemon yogurt anything cake, but now I know it has to be this. Thank you!!!

  74. Alissa

    WEIRD: I bought blood oranges to make this cake this past Sunday! Get out of my brainz!

    This cookbook is one of the best I’ve bought recently. Everything is solid, well thought-out, and forward thinking enough to keep me interested (that granola! HOLY CRAP). Love love love Melissa Clark.

  75. Prin

    A few weeks about my boyfriend and I went to my fav italian resturant and were treated to olive oil cake as a complimentary dessert, it stuck with me because the flavors were so…distinct in each bite you got something new. I was super excited when I saw this post and tried it tonight. I used what I had on hand, the zest of two lemons and 2 limes, juice of two lemons and one lime, Yoplait vanilla yogurt and good quaility extra virgin oilve oil. I added a twist by crushing up frozen raspberries adding a little honey and putting them in the middle of the cake, final product is divine. Thanks Deb!

  76. Ilene

    Blood oranges and cake? Oh my. This is so delicious and it converts well to being gluten free. My 3-year-old and I have been on a huge blood orange kick this winter — he’s going to love this cake, too. Thanks!

  77. I usually use blood oranges and a bit ofshiraz to make a sorbet, because oh my goodness the color is unbeatable. But there’s no reason I know not serve that sorbet on an orangey cake, too!

  78. Emma

    Deb, you might hear this all the time, but I just LOVE you! I grew up eating things from boxes and your recipes are so yum and accessible. I also love how you write. Your tone of voice is wonderful. I feel like I’m there with you. I’m a little anal about directions and you always tell me everything that I need to know. You were with me when I made cookies from scratch for the first time. I am so excited to keep cooking. I am so so ready for your cookbook! Thank you! You are beyond amazing! By the way, what on earth is scant?

  79. stef

    Yup… definitely a tad cranky. Let’s see, long hard winter in a small apt. with an active toddler while writing/photographing/cooking for a fantastic blog and researching/writing/re-writing/editing a cookbook. Does that cover just part of the list?
    Uh huh – I think you can be excused! We can just think of it as a little bit of pepper in the blog sauce.
    Hope your vacation in a tropical paradise is soon! You deserve it. Thank you for all your hard work.

  80. Kathy

    This worked great! I had a little less olive oil than I thought, so I had to top off with melted butter. Durn. Didn’t seem to bother the cake. I also have a too-small loaf pan, so I ended up with one very enthusiastic cake and three bonus muffins. Nothing wrong with that.

    Do you think leftovers will freeze well? (I live by myself, and there’s only so much pawning-off of baked goods I can do…also, I want to save some for myself for later.)

  81. I actually have a blood orange olive oil and it’s pretty potent. Typically we use it as a dressing for fruit salads, but I wonder if I can use it as a substitute for an orange or two – or all of them – in this recipe? Might have to try it just to see what happens.

  82. Karen

    If anyone tries substituting with Meyer lemons, please post your results! I would love to know what quantities you used and how it turned out. Thanks!

  83. Rohan

    What a gorgeous loaf. Does the deep red of the blood oranges not affect the colour of the finished cake? It looks marvellously golden all the way through–do the other ingredients mute the dark red of the citrus?

  84. This is an amzing idea! I just finished making blood orange panna cotta and am still obsessed with the flavor. Blood orange is so unique, tastes a little bit sweet, tart, acidic, but with an underlying earthy component. That underlying earthiness seems like the perfect complement to olive oil cake. It is also what keeps my interest in blood oranges. I can’t wait to try this!

  85. Julia

    I read this yesterday, went home last night and promptly made this cake (I also love blood oranges for their appearance more than for their flavor. I actually buy them to add to freshly squeezed orange juice for an amazing color to the OJ). It is very moist but not greasy. Another winner :)

  86. I’m so behind the times. I have never known about olive oil in pastries. I was even put off a little at first, but when you described it I started to crave it too. I can’t wait to try out your recipe.

  87. KateZ

    Mmmmmmmm. I have this exact same recipe clipped from the times (although it is wrinkled and has olive oil smudges on it now…) hanging in my cupboard. It really is perfect in every way.

    I have been playing with the idea of using lemon and some sort of herb (basil? rosemary?) when the blood oranges go out of season. Or maybe peaches and basil in the summer?

  88. I just made this this evening.
    Oh. dear. God.
    This is so good I can hardly stand it.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have redeemed olive oil cakes for me. (The last time I made one, it was super greasy and overpoweringly olive-y.)
    And the blood oranges? So totally perfect.

  89. I made this two years ago when it was first published in the New York Times and LOVED it, made it again about a month ago and was disappointed. For some reason my blood oranges were very bitter this time and tasted more like grapefruits than blood oranges. Twas sad. Maybe I was a little early in buying them. I have Melissa Clark’s book, too, and Kate’s Impossibly Fudgy Brownies with Chili and Sea Salt ROCK (fyi).

  90. Laura

    I made this tonight and it turned out excellently (even with the caveat that I didn’t have a full 1/2 of olive oil on hand and had to make up the volume with some canola).

  91. Lesley

    I tried it with Meyer Lemons! Delicious! I used 3 good sized and very juicy lemons and followed everything else as written. Thanks for a great recipe. Can’t wait to share with my family this weekend!

  92. Katharine

    Just made this, and it is DIVINE–oh god. I added a half tsp of ground cardamom, on a hunch, and what? yes. And made a syrup by boiling the peels with sugar for a while. I’m saving it for pancakes, but it’d sure be nice drizzled on top of the cake itself, I bet.

  93. Ann L

    Just made this, loved it.
    I was a little nervous it would be boring because I’m a put-all-the-toppings-on-my-sundae kinda girl, but here simple doesn’t mean dull.
    I had not enough blood oranges, so I supplemented with oj from my fridge. The cake didn’t seem to mind.

  94. Grace

    As soon as I read this, I knew I would make it to take to a hostess this weekend. I made it yesterday to make sure it was as lovely as it looked. I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup, and it was still fine with my kids. I used a good olive oil that I use for dipping bread, and I think the flavor was a bit too strong. Would a weaker OO be better, or would you dilute the OO with, perhaps, 1/3 c. canola (with no flavor)? I’m making it again tomorrow.

  95. Natalie

    Made this two days ago and it came out wonderful! Moist and flavorful…I used two mango oranges and a lemon (couldn’t find blood oranges) and then topped it with an almond meal/white sugar/ lemon zest mixture which lent itself to a beautiful crunch on top.

  96. I am new to your blog but have been seduced immediately!
    I have guests this weekend and an enthusiastic husband and stepson, so thought I needed two in case one is demolished by the time this evening is over… One in a pie dish and one a loaf….. pie dish cooked in 45 mins and loaf is still in. My kitchen smells divine! I have never tried an olive oil cake before but it clicked with me at once. I am excited to mine your archives now to see what I have been missing!

  97. Shan

    Hi Deb,

    Just wanted to say thanks for another great recipe. I made this last night as a dessert for a girls’ night dinner, and we had one lactose-intolerant guest. This was a nice change for her, and everyone else was in love with it, too. I did sub applesauce for yogurt and it was fine. Also, I was able to make this with my 2 year”helper” – so not so intensive that it required a nap time to be made.

    Thanks for all of your work, you are much appreciated by everyone who has to eat my food!

  98. Tara

    So i’m finally delurking, but i love your blog and find myself talking about it at dinner parties, in the work lunchroom, and at home incessantly (you even got my husband started on a baking kick!). I made this last night, and it is fantastic. But a separate question — when i mixed the sugar with the orange zest, I couldn’t get over how beautiful it looked. Any other suggestions for uses of zest-flavored sugar?!

  99. Gita

    Okay I am a real fan of your blog, but dont comment much. I made this cake yesterday with navel oranges. That what I had on hand. I am always under whelmed with olive oil cakes – find them often dry and flavorless. But this one came out very moist and flavorful. I especially love that little bites of orange segments. But I do feel a slight bitter after taste that I suspect comes from the oranges – doesn’t bother me though.

  100. And the cakes are sublime.
    Earthy, moist, occasionally sharp and sweet with that sugar crust of yumminess that is the prize! Definitely going in the recipe card box. Thanks!

  101. Sarah

    Just made this and it turned out beautifully. I did, however, use regular oranges (if you can call home-grown oranges smuggled in from Greece “normal”) and a very flavourful Greek olive oil.

    Also, I was distracted by a tantruming-two-year-old and neglected to add the eggs. When I mixed them in at the very end, I was sure I’d overmixed the batter. But all was forgiven.

    Thanks, Deb!

  102. Jennifer

    Deb, sometimes I want to write a song about you and your a. mazing. recipes. Like this one. I just finished a slice straight from the oven (well, I let it cool enough to not burn) and it is SO GOOD I actually thought “OMG.” (And I kind of hate when people say “OMG.”)

    (I did have to use two blood oranges to get 1/4 cup of juice. Just in case anyone else is making a grocery list for this.)

  103. Can’t wait to try this. Blood oranges are one of my favorite fruit.
    Any thoughts on whether I could replace some of the flour with polenta or cornmeal? It doesn’t seem like the cake would miss the protein / gluten from the flour…

    1. deb

      Shaun — When I swap with polenta/cornmeal, I usually start with 1/3 to be safe. You can always nudge it up in following batches if you feel the cake can handle it. I’d love to hear how it goes.

  104. I made this this morning and it is really very good and has a nice balance of flavors. Instead of using the traditional method to supreme the oranges, I halved them and cut the sections out using a grapefruit knife and spoon – it worked perfectly! I also added some crushed lavender buds and vanilla extract into the batter which turned out lovely and understated as I had hoped. Thank you!

  105. sk

    This cake turned out lovely! Rich flavour but not too sweet… I’d almost consider it more of a tea/breakfast cake. To fancy it up for a dinner party I cut the cake loaf into thirds and filled it with homemade blood-orange curd. ‘Twas a hit.

  106. LittleDeb

    I made this with great success. I had to use vanilla yogurt, as it was what I had in my fridge and I didn’t want to waste time by going to the store, the cake was calling me. I also omitted the orange segments from the cake itself. The crumb, flavor, and aroma were wonderful. I had just made meyer lemon curd and plopped some of that on top of my slice, scooped the blood orange segments on that and topped with some whipped cream. OH MY!! Then for breakfast I toasted a slice and schmeared some butter over it. Heavenly. Next I want to try this with a more savory edge. I’m thinking tarragon, or roasted red pepper, or rosemary and garlic,,,(all with reduce sugar). Hmm the gears are working!

  107. Maureen

    I made this for company last night and we all devoured it. It tastes like Italy and made me homesick. My husband is always skeptical about olive oil cakes but managed to consume two slices. The texture is heavenly, moist and rich, and it’s sweet enough yet has a tart bite from the blood oranges. It’s also beautiful with the flecks of color in each slice. It is a wonderful treat that I’ll be making again.

  108. erin

    i have watched an instructional video and browsed some how-tos, but i still feel i might have butchered the process of segmenting an orange (and the oranges, too, in the process :) ). any guidance as to how many cups 2 blood orange segments would equal? thanks!

  109. Judy

    I have had great success with so many of your recipes and was looking forward to making this cake. I can’t figure out what went wrong, but the texture was heavy and almost gooey in the middle even though I baked it longer than the recipe called for and the knife inserted into the cake came out clean at the end. I’m so disappointed. Wish I knew how to correct my mistake. Thank you, Deb, for a beautiful website!

  110. adie

    I did make it. and I looooved it. I put my orange pieces in sooner and they were broken up in tiny bits. The zest and the sugar was a great idea—the entire cake was infused with that lovely orange essence. I served this with a casual meal for some friends- they all loved it as well. Also, I had some left overs for breakfast. Yup. Breakfast. And it was fabulous. ;) I will make this again and again. To Judy above- mine cooked a bit longer as well and the cake was super moist, though it wasn’t gooey. Hope you give it another try-

    segmenting an orange—you will end up w/ small pieces as you lose just a wee bit of orange that kind of sticks to the membrane- a sharp knife is an absolute must to cleanly slicle as close to the membrane as possible to get that little segment out.

  111. Betsy

    Another delicious recipe – your blog never fails! The texture of this cake was perfect, and I really loved the orange compote topping. I think I will follow the wise recommendations of previous reviewers and toast up a slice for breakfast tomorrow :) I had to bake mine for ~5 min longer than recommended, but the cake was cooked completely and wasn’t overdone.

  112. This was a hit for me over the weekend! I had to settle w some plain jane oranges but threw in some grated lemon peal and was so pleased with this satisfying cake. It was simple to make and even though more bitter then I dreamed (hey, can’t say you didn’t warn me) so gratifying.

  113. Debby

    I made this on Saturday for a birthday cake and it is excellent! It is rather tedious to make the oranges “supreme” but the time is worth it. My cake also baked longer than the recommended 55 mins because it was not done in the middle either (almost ten more minutes of careful watching).

  114. Kitz

    Ok, I made this over the weekend. It’s incredibly moist but truthfully I could have used a little more oomph flavor wise. I bet with a bit more orange or zest and a little cream cheese frosting it would make a great birthday cake as Debby said above. Will try again!

  115. Jen

    I made this last night, and ate it for breakfast this morning. Yum! The bottom stuck to the pan, though. I can never get this kind of cake to unmold properly – what am I doing wrong?

    1. deb

      Jen — If you consistently have trouble with loaf recipes, you might start lining the bottom with a fitted rectangle of parchment as an insurance policy. I buttered this pan because I was out of it, but I also swear by some of those butter-flour nonstick sprays like Baker’s Joy. I do not care what is in it (I prefer not to think about it), all I know is that I spray up the inside of a baking pan and nothing sticks, ever.

  116. Karen in UK

    Oh me, oh my! This is my first visit to your site and truly, I am smitten! You really make me want to get back into cooking properly again. I love the pics and design, love the look of the cake, love all the info, love the tone of your readers’ responses and especially of yours. I didn’t think you sounded cranky at all – it came across as exasperation with a very generous dollop of humour!

    Quality indeed. I shall be back :-)

  117. David Hoffman

    The cake turned out very well, so thanks for the recipe. I think I might try it with ruby red grapefruit next time…
    After making this recipe, however, I have question for you: I made a double recipe using buttermilk instead of yogurt and split it between two loaf pans. The batter was pretty liquid–more the consistency of waffle batter than the other sweet breads I bake (i.e., banana bread, cranberry nut bread), and as a result, all the orange sections settled into the bottom quarter of the cake before the batter started to set in the oven. After 50 minutes at 350F, the cakes had risen nicely and browned on top, but I had to cover the tops with foil and bake an extra 15 minutes to set them completely. Have you had that experience? I guess I’ll probably add a bit more flour next time I make this recipe.
    Also, just a suggestion: if anyone have trouble finding blood oranges, look for the Cara Cara variety of navel oranges — they have a similar taste and are much darker than a conventional orange. They’re all over the place in northern California this time of year, so hopefully y’all can find them in NYC too.


    1. deb

      Hi David — Great notes, actually. I found the batter thin as well which is exactly why pieces would sink. I think that because my pieces were so tiny (I actually chopped them before realizing I was supposed to tear them apart with my fingers, which would have led to heavier chunks) the sinking wasn’t noticeable in the end. (I’d have warned you guys! Sinking, boo.) Mine got very nicely brown which I considered pretty but I can imagine if it needed, say, 5 more minutes than it did that it could have gotten too brown and would have needed to be tented. Also, some ovens just brown better than others.

      My hunch is that the segments are not entirely necessary to make this cake work, especially since there is juice and zest in it and the segments can be used for compote. They definitely contribute to a stronger orange flavor, but I also have made orange cakes with just zest and juice that pop with flavor. So, if the sinking bits are that annoying, maybe try it without and see if you miss them. Hope this helps.

  118. I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and have been meaning to make some of the recipes you post, but this one caught my eye when we needed a dessert for a valentines dinner we were having with friends. it turned out great and was a big hit. loved the crumb of the cake, the subtle orange and floral (ala the olive oil) flavor and the compote suggestion was also a great finishing touch.


  119. Brenda

    Wowzers…I ate 2 pieces tonight. I love the slight crunch on the top and sides! Absolutely delicious! I love the olive oil taste: used Whole Foods 365 Italian olive oil. Wonderful!

  120. Noelle

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It came out perfectly and was a great after dinner treat… on that note, I love your blog! It never fails me when I need to make something delicious! Again, thank you! :)

  121. Noelle

    Also, how do you think a little bit of rum would go with this (my philosophy is that boos make everything better, but I could be wrong)? haha!

  122. Rebecca Tien

    Sounds great! I’ve been a little obsessed with an orange-olive oil cake recipe that I found in Saveur magazine that’s topped with sea salt. Now that there are gorgeous blood oranges available, I’ll have to try your version with them. Ooh and the compote. By the way, love your site. A friend just turned me onto it for baby food, but I’m distracted now by the adult food. It’s all wonderful, thank you.

  123. David Hoffman

    Thanks for the follow-up, Deb (and sorry for the typos in my earlier post–they drive me crazy!). I just noticed that in my hurry to get the cakes into the oven, I actually omitted the orange zest entirely. Doh! The cake was still nicely perfumed with orange from the juice, and from the large pieces of orange (even if they were all in the bottom part of the cake!). I’m sure it will better the second time, with the zest and either a bit less liquid or a bit more flour to thicken the batter.

  124. Wow olive oil sweets make quite an impression, I wonder what other typically savoury ingredients chefs can make popular in the sweet arena. They got me hooked on salty desserts and who is too blame for chilli chocolate? Cheer great piece inspiring, maybe a sponge based version

  125. Linzi

    This was my first recipe from this wonderful site. I was forced to substitute oranges and tangelo’s for the blood oranges (Vegas produce is not great.) Overall everybody loved the cake. Crispy on top, and really moist. With awesome flavors. I was wondering if there was a way to make this come out just a little lighter/fluffier. Any ideas?
    It was really an easy recipe to follow, and for a beginner like me it was perfect. The only problem I had was “supreming” the oranges. It took forever because truly I had no idea what I was doing! Need to search for instructions on youtube.

  126. Kim

    I can’t wait to try this cake in the morning! Reading the comments is always so fun, and enlightening on so many levels. One tip I can share that I picked up from a friend is this: when you add any fruit or heavy ingredients to a batter…before you add them roll them in the dry ingredients til they are coated, set aside, then fold them into the batter when it’s time. Coating them first prevents them from sinking. I’ll see if it works with this recipe. Regardless, this recipe sounds scrumptious.

  127. Casey

    I made these today in cupcake form for an orange-lover’s birthday. Notes for those who would cupcake these: I baked at 350 for about 20 minutes but I’d recommend less; maybe start checking at 15 or even 12 minute and go from there, because mine came out a bit overdone (not burned, just a tad dry, and nothing a little compote & whipped cream couldn’t or didn’t fix). I went ahead and filled the cups most of the way, like probably 5/6ths or even a bit more, and it was just fine, they did not rise too much. Also, I tried with and without cupcake liners and I’d really recommend leaving them out; less sticking and prettier, more even browning.
    The little orange pieces reminded me of baked treats with whole cranberries or tart raspberries inside; I can’t imagine the cake would have been as good without them. I also didn’t seem to have the sinking orange pieces problem others did; perhaps it’s because I used full-fat yogurt rather than buttermilk and thus had a slightly dryer batter? Or maybe the cupcake size made the batter solidify faster in the oven, giving less time for pieces to quicksand their way down? In any case, they were delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  128. Made it. Loved it. I didn’t have honey or whipping cream so we had to skip the compote and whipped cream. Next time I’ll add a few more orange pieces since they were such a nice surprise while eating it (although with compote this is probably overkill!). Thanks for the great recipe!

  129. This cake lasts beautifully! Survived a full 5 days and was as moist and fresh at the end as on day one. The flavor seems to develop over the first day into a more orange/cake and less olive oil taste. Just great!

  130. Kate

    I baked this on Monday and am so pleased with it. The recipe came together like a dream – I used greek yogurt thinned out with some of the juice and plain old Trader Jo’s olive oil. The cake came out moist and delicately flavored with a crispy crunchy crust. And it really is better on the second or third day, the small end piece I have left is still fresh after four days. I also finally learned how to supreme an orange – the blood orange segments looked like little jewls before they got all crushed up in the batter, so pretty. Deb, your recipes never fail me.

  131. I have 3 or 4 blood oranges sitting on the counter right now. Is this one of those times when I should be using a super high quality olive oil (which is probably not the olive oil I already have)?

  132. Caroline J. Beck

    I just tried this with a blood orange olive oil from The Olive Oil Source. It really intensified the flavor of the cake. and it’s not too bitter. Thanks for the great recipe, Deb.

  133. Dianne

    This cake is delicious even though mine did not result in the fine textured loaf in your photos. I did drain some of the juice from the orange segment pieces, but wonder if they were still too wet for the amount of dry ingredients. Any ideas?

  134. Adrianne

    Thanks for this recipe! I just learned that I am dairy and sugar-cane intollerant, so I was excited to see your post for an olive oil cake, knowing that there were only 3 ingredients I had to swap. I replaced the butter with coconut oil to grease the pan, and replaced the buttermilk with an extra-thick rice milk that I made, and replaced the cane sugar with coconut palm sugar (which gave it a texture similar to cooking with brown sugar). In spite of cooking this a little too long, it was very moist in the center, the substitutions worked beautifully and I felt “normal” to be able to eat something so yummy!

  135. I made this cake last night and I don’t know what I did wrong but it turned a gray color the next day and has a terrible aftertaste. I followed the directions exactly and used yogurt and olive oil from Trader Joe’s along with blood oranges. I was so disappointed as I have read all the reviews and everyone loved it. I don’t think I will try it again. It was a nice pink color when I put it in the oven, and looked like the picture when I took it out, but the next day it turned gray and tasted terrible. I was so disappointed.

  136. Jess in DC

    Great recipe! I made the cake last night (with my regular old Trader Joe olive oil) and it turned out wonderfully – solid crumb, mild orange flavor. I’m going to make another one on Monday, and I’m planning to see if either cardamom or nutmeg would give it a little extra ooomph. I had some trouble trying to supreme the blood oranges – maybe the ones we get on the east coast are too small, but I generally ended up removing as much of the white membrane as I could and then chopping up what was left. And they didn’t sink!

  137. Made this wonderful cake yesterday to have for dinner with friends. It was a huge hit even with the kids. It was so rich and soft. I had to use regular navel oranges since they were available and abundant. I didn’t make the compote since I have several jars of homemade marmalade that didn’t quite stand up like they should. The results were still fantastic. And I’ll be adding this one to the recipe book. A definite keeper! Thanks ;)

  138. epic

    finally after 2 weeks of business travel, i was able to make this cake! in the end, glad i had to wait since it gave me time to read all the comments, and the cake came out perfect! used trader joe’s blood oranges and star brand olive oil. made a batch of blood orange sorbet as well, and now need to go back to the store because i didn’t leave myself any oranges to eat plain. hope you are having a great vacation!

  139. I have been wanting to try an olive oil cake for a couple months now, and love blood oranges. This sounds like great time to give it a try. Can’t wait! Thanks for the post.

  140. I made this over the weekend, substituting maracuyá (sour passion fruit) for the blood oranges, and adjusting for altitude (halving leavening ingredients, decreasing sugar by 1 tbsp and adding a scant 1/4 C more flour). It was heavenly! The olive oil gave it such a unique texture and taste. Great cake for altitude, especially with buttermilk, because it does not dry out or over rise. Worked great in my limited kitchen in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

  141. Mylene Aurore

    Thanks so much for posting this – what a beautiful cake!
    It was my first time trying an olive oil cake. I subbed clementines and lemon juice. And dark chocolate chips… It turned out really well. I think my favourite part of it is the delicately crisp-crumbly crust. Wow. This one’s a keeper!

  142. Linda

    Hi Deb! I love this recipe like all of your recipes I just didn’t get how many oranges you need to make this cake, 3 ? 4? or maybe 5?

  143. Linda

    ok Sorry. maybe I got it now! the supreme orange part is the direction for grating the zest from 2 oranges. at first i thought them to be 2 different procedures to do. so as far as i understand now, we need the zest of 2 oranges and the juice of half an orange right? thanks in andvance!!!

  144. Kim

    I made the cake on the 15th….followed the recipe exactly…although I baked it for 60 minutes. One thing I would change next time I make it is…I would let the cake rest and cool in the loaf pan til it was completely cooled. The recipe said let it sit 5 minutes then flip and transfer…well I did this, and the cake was too hot still and too heavy and it damaged the sides of the cake…other than that..the cake was delicious, and the fruit compote is a must I think. The cake is not overly sweet. Whole family loved it.

  145. Kim

    p.s. I covered the cut up blood oranges with the cake’s dry ingredients before folding them into the batter, and it worked…the oranges did not sink to the bottom of the cake but stayed evenly distributed throughout.

  146. karen

    Mine turned out great. I gave up on trying to supreme the oranges, I just chopped them up. Mine were very dark and made beautiful purple splotches throughout. I didn’t have a lot of sinking. Thanks for a delicious unusual cake!

  147. dlynn

    Made this cake with gluten-free flours (combination of brown rice, chestnut, teff, tapioca, amaranth and millet flours), and it turned out wonderfully. Added one tsp extra baking powder and 1/2 tsp xanthan gum; otherwise, followed the recipe exactly.

  148. Deb,

    Just wanted you to know, I tried this recipe this evening and replaced 1/3 of the flour with cornmeal (by weight; I used a scale). It came out very good… with a nice little crunch. (My boyfriend said, “this is good cake… I gotta keep you!”) I don’t know that I’d recommend using more than 1/3 cornmeal.

    Blood oranges are scarce now here, so I used a combo of blood orange and Cara Cara oranges.

  149. Kerrie

    I made it this weekend and it turned out great! It was definitely more moist than yours looks and the visible orange segments were scattered perfectly throughout the loaf. My husband has become a huge fan of yours because every recipe I make turns out to be so delicious!

  150. Mari

    I made this with blood orange whipped cream- it was fantastic!! Just add the juice of one blood orange to 1/4 c sugar and 1c heavy cream and whip!

  151. susan

    Fabulously moist loaf cake with great flavor that was not overly assertive. Served with honeyed greek yogurt, pistachios and added rosewater to blood orange segments to create perfect desert to pair with chicken olive tagine with couscous. Will make again!

  152. Claire

    Thank you for this recipe! I rarely eat (or bake with) blood oranges, and this olive oil cake ended up being the first of two blood orange-related cakes I baked last week! The cake was delicious, as was the compote. Thank you!

  153. ValSo

    Hello Deb!
    I’ve been looking for blood oranges ever since I read your recipe, and finally found them today. And what a cake! It’s soft and lovely, and perfect. My oven being slightly over-powerful though, only 45 minutes were enough to have it ready. Thank you for this one. It’ll remain with me for years.

  154. I’ve never heard of olive oil cake, but it sounds like it would make it super moist. In any case, the pictures look so delicious I licked my screen twice, so I figure I should probably try it.

  155. Yvonne Lizee

    What about using Blood Orange Olive oil? I recently sampled this and loved it! I wonder would you use the same amount of blood oranges or reduce?

  156. Richelle

    Made this cake today and it is indeed lovely. Only added half a vanillabean (scraped) to the batter and made a glaze of fresh orange juice with sugar. Really had to UP THE AMOUNT OF FLOUR, THOUGH, with at least half a cup. And I used the juice that had escaped from the oranges while cutting them to measure the amount needed and that was already 1/4 cup. No additional juice needed. I know what a batter with olive oil should look like as here in Andalucia it is used more often than not in cakes and magdalenas and it originally looked more like thin soup than a coherent thick pancake batter as I thought it should be as otherwise the orange pieces would all sink to the bottom. Cake turned out very light with airy holes in it and indeed, not greasy at all and not very sweet.

  157. sonia

    I just wanted to report that I made it successfully with meyer lemons (which are falling off of trees and rolling down the streets here in no Cal). I substituted four 2.5 inch lemons and didn’t adjust the sugar since they weren’t too tart and I don’t like overly-sweet, and the cake was inhaled before I could say ‘compote’.

  158. Kim

    I’ve now made this twice in a week! Amazing. So light and delicious!Instead of serving with a compote and whipped cream, I made a glaze with blood orange juice, lemon juice, and confectioner’s sugar. Mmmmm….

  159. Mel B

    My goddaughter’s school did a citrus fundraiser a few weeks ago and since my enormous box of oranges arrived in my tiny apartment I’ve been looking for interesting things to do with them. This cake was perfect! I doubled it and made two, and put one out in the kitchen at my office where it was gone in two hours. Later I found one of my coworkers stirring the leftover compote into her yogurt, which she said was delicious.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  160. I made this last night and arranged a few segments of blood orange over the top for a visual element before baking. It’s absolutely lovely! My favorite kind of dessert: not too sweet and fruity.

    I didn’t make the blood-orange-honey compote, so I reduced some orange juice over the stovetop and poured it over the cake as it cooled to infuse it with more orange flavor. Next time, I’ll be trying the compote!

  161. Julie

    I made this last week (first time ever ‘supreming’ an orange) and, I can’t wait to make it again! The top has just a perfect amount of crustyness, but the inside is moist and delicious. The cake is great on its own, but the compote and whipped cream are a delicious (and really elegant) addition!

  162. Vanessa

    I made this tonight for the family. It was a big hit but I feel like it wasn’t “orangey” enough for me even though I squeezed the juice of one orange over the cake while it was warm and a glazed it with an orange juice and powdered sugar glaze. I was too lazy to make the compote and that may be where I went wrong. I bet that extra bit of fruit would have made the difference for me. Other than that, the cake was wonderfully moist and the crumb was perfect.

  163. tana

    aloha from the big island!

    this cake is fabulous. sublime texture and sophisticated flavor.

    i increased the amount to fit in an extra deep 8×8 cake pan. i also added additional blood orange segments, cut into larger pieces than suggested so they didn’t get lost. before baking, i sprinkled the top with additional orange zest mixed with a couple tablespoons of sugar, which gave the finished cake a beautiful crackly-sweet top. i used the buttermilk option, and substituted butter for 1/3 of the olive oil because, well, i just have this thing about butter in baked goods.

    i took it on a “goddess” sailing trip (all women) to share, and it was perfect…a big hit. (it paired well with our pink champagne.)

  164. tana

    …oh yes, and i decreased the sugar by 1/4, as i do with most baked goods. (i find the flavor is better with less sweetness.)

  165. Emma

    This cake is the bomb. I made it last weekend, and the only thing I changed was to substitute about 3/4 cups spelt flour in with the rest of the flour. The texture was incredible – not too dense, with a lovely crumb. And the flavor was wonderful, very sophisticated indeed. Needless to say, that little loaf didn’t last long.
    I’m already envisioning making this with lemons and raspberries. Supreming the oranges was a helluva chore in my opinion, but well worth the effort.

  166. Liz

    I made this cake today and it was phenomenal. It converted well with gluten free flours with just under 2 tsp of xanthan gum. The accompanying compote is not to be missed as well – delicious!

  167. Update*
    Out of the oven, cut thickly, topped with the honey orange compote (with a few stray blackberries as well) and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Devoured by our family and guests. The crust was perfectly crusty, the crumb moist and light, the flavor subtly sweet and sophisticated. I loved the compote with it’s hint of honey. Thank you for another recipe I can count on!

  168. Amy

    Deb– I want to make this cake to take to a friends house on Friday evening. I recently bought some blood orange infused olive oil. Do you think this will work with the recipe or will it be too much?

    1. deb

      Blood orange infused olive oil — Many, many people have asked about this. Many others have reported back that they used it and felt it added to the recipe. Personally, I don’t buy flavored olive oils. They’re expensive and I personally don’t find the flavors as spot on or fresh as they would be if you’d either infused your own before using it . I mention this in comment #27 but I don’t believe in baking with very expensive, delicate olive oils, either. I see them as “finishing” oils, with a rich flavor that can be lost over the long baking time. But as I said, several people have commented that they used a specialized oil and were very happy with the results, so it might just be me being a curmudgeon about these things.

  169. elana

    very excited to have found your recipe…i’m making it for a potluck tomorrow. i have a dairy-allergic kid, but i saw some substitutions in the comments so i’ll try those.

    my question is about storage…can i make the cake today and then leave it out until tomorrow night? i never know what to do with that!

  170. ryan

    I just made a DELICIOUS variation on this already much loved cake tonight – Meyer Lemon instead of Blood Orange. I’ve already made it once, to the letter, but I liked the more concentrated sweetness of the Meyer Lemons a little better. I also used a 1/2 cup of Liberté LEMON (Super Fatty Whole Milk) yogurt instead of Plain. A successful aberration!

  171. I made this as well. Even though I follow your blog, somehow I didn’t realize until I made it that I “saw it here” first. Must have been something subconscious! I posted about mine just yesterday, and my sister-in-law (who also reads your blog) wondered why there are no visible bits of orange in your cake, while there are in mine. I can only think you much more finely broke up the orange pieces, almost into the hundreds of miniscule teardrop pieces that form an orange piece? I had exactly three oranges, so I didn’t make the compote, but I bet it would be great.

  172. Susie

    I made this this weekend and it was entirely perfect. We tried with and without the compote and I have to say, the compote was the perfect added something. The cake somehow became this delicious echo of the first taste from the oranges and honey. I am tempted to try the cake with other citruses, but have a feeling it will always be best with blood oranges. Thanks very much for this recipe.

  173. I’m currently baking this cake right now. By the taste of the batter in the bowl (shame on me, I know) it’s delicious! I was tempted to make them into cupcakes but decided not to at the last minute! I only had 3 oranges so I cannot make the compote, unfortunately, but the next time I make it I’ll be sure to pick up more. Thanks again, Deb!

  174. Deb and Dave (#217) – phew! I was so glad to read Dave’s comments. I made one cake, not two, but like Dave’s my batter was very wet and many of the orange segments sunk to the bottom, making the texture very much like an undercooked pineapple upside down cake. I probably should have put foil on the bottom and continued to bake the cake some more, but the top of the cake was absolutely the perfect shade of golden brown that I used a knife instead to slice the bottom half of the cake off. I know that’s a little weird, but the top half of the cake was awesome and I’m glad I didn’t overbake it. Oh yes, and instead of the honey/blood orange compote, I’ve seen people drizzle this with chocolate frosting, which I’m pretty sure would be amazing.

  175. I adapted this recipe for Ruby Red grapefruits, and it turned out fabulous!!! I have no idea how the blood orange variation tastes, but it’d be pretty hard to beat the Ruby Red. The compote and fresh whipped cream just elevate it to another level. I’d been looking for a tried and true recipe to use for my yearly supply of grapefruit, and this is it! Thanks!

    Blogged the adapted recipe here:

  176. Neera

    This was amazing! Mine did stick some to the bottom of pan so next time i’ll line with parchment first. Thanks for yet another great recipe Deb!

  177. I want to make this for my husbands birthday, as he is not the biggest sweet fan. I know he loves anything with olive oil in it. Do you think this would work in a bundt pan? Should I double the recipe? To make it a bit fancier? Also, it is October, so not really orange season, any good fruit substitute ideas?

  178. Linda R

    Have you ever used Blood Orange Olive Oil in this recipe? I ran across a wonderful little shop called Heavenly Vinegars and Olive Oils and one of my favorite flavors is Blood Orange. It truly is heavenly. I am wondering if you use this flavored oil and blood oranges if the flavor would be too strong. Please let me know if you or anyone else has tried it because I have a bottle of it and am dying to try baking with it. Hope to hear from someone. I found your site by accident and love it.
    Happy baking.

  179. The first time I made this, I made it exactly as the recipe is written, with the yogurt, instead of the buttermilk. It didn’t come cleanly out of loaf pan (picture a pile of delicious, crunchy brown crust, and fluffy orange interior in a lump on the cooling rack), but i figured that I either didn’t let it cool enough, or I should have floured the pan in addition to buttering it. There are 5 adults in my household, and between us, the demolished cake was gone by the end of the evening. No serving, just a lot of “Oops, this piece just fell into my mouth!”.
    This morning I tried again with Meyer lemons. I didn’t have the same problem with it sticking to the pan. It’s very good, but the blood orange is better. Also, I wanted to tell you that this exact recipe is in the Jan 2012 Martha Stewart Living. Including the compote. I was disappointed that they didn’t attribute it to you or A Good Appetite.

  180. Sandy

    I came here to say the same thing – as soon as I saw it in Martha Stewart Living I said, hey, wait a minute! But I think it is in the February 2012 issue, not the January 2012 issue.

  181. Elizabeth

    I popped onto your site to look for vegetable recipes, and ended up making cake (with fruit– that counts as healthy, right?). It is DELICIOUS! I put a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary in the batter and baked it with a sprig of rosemary on top, which turned out yummy and complex with the olive oil and the blood oranges. Thanks so much Deb for the incredible recipes! You make my belly so happy.

  182. Mary K.

    I two-thirds’ed this to fit a 7.5 x 3.5 pan with great success. Baking sprayed and floured the pan and the cake came out cleanly. I used nonfat greek yogurt thinned out with water since that’s what I had, left the citrus segments a little chunkier, and had no problems with them sinking. The batter looked really wet going into the oven — enough that I considered adding more flour — but baked up as promised: fragrant, crisp-crusted, delicious. Stayed fresh for 3 days. This cake is a winner!

  183. Holly

    I was about to spend $8 on creme cake for my newspaper students last night, when I saw blood oranges at the grocery store and remembered how much I loved this recipe last year. Since I had a busy night, I made mini-muffins and cooked it for 25 minutes (and a couple mini loaves with left over batter.) My high school students were a little unsure about the concept of blood oranges (“Are those cherries in there?” “I thought that was grapefruit.”) but everything disappeared quickly. I like to think olive oil is healthy this time of year – aren’t fats good for dry skin? And there’s vitamin C, right? I figure it’s probably a more nutritious breakfast than the cream cake, at least.

  184. Katie M.

    Thank you for including the weights of the ingredients to use. I am finding this really helpful! BTW, our family has tried the Meyer Lemon Fresh Cranberry Scones and the Crispy, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and LOVE them!!
    Katie M.

  185. Betty888

    I made this for a dinner party last night and it was wonderful. I made it the day before to let the flavors meld a bit. Unfortunately I could not find blood oranges for the baking part so used mineolas. I will probably add a bit more zest in the future for a stronger orange flavor but it was very tasty. I did manage to grab a few blood oranges for the compote which was super easy to make. The addition of the compote and the whipped cream elevated the cake to the awesome level. I will definitely make this again. THX! Beth

  186. Nida

    Made this last weekend, I couldnt find nay blood oranges so some Organic Valencia oranges had to do. Save for an orange zessting (thumb zesting) accident, it was all very good. the cake was lovely, the pieces of oranges in it were lovely and the compote i could just eat without the cake. As always, your recipe was foolproof and amazing! Thank you!

  187. Kat

    Just popped this in the oven
    Am so excited to eat this cake however I’m worried that my segments are too large. I didn’t realize you weren’t supposed to see them :S
    Ahhh well it will still taste good.
    Thank you so much for your recipe

  188. Kathryn

    Deb, I’ve been a huge fan of your site for about a year and am finally delurking. I made this cake a few days ago and am finishing it for breakfast… yum! I flagged this recipe to make a few months ago, and after I first tried olive oil cake at a local restaurant, I knew I had to make this. Yours is better!

    I may have to add chocolate chips next time. They will probably detract from this awesome cake but my boyfriend is like Alex, and thinks everything is better with chocolate (or peanut butter).

  189. I made this cake yesterday for my book club – we were discussing “Blood, Bones, and Butter”, and Gabrielle Hamilton often has an olive oil cake with blood oranges on her menu at Prune. Everyone raved about it, and I’m snacking on the leftovers this morning. (I doubled the recipe). Thanks again for a no fail recipe.

  190. Mel

    Absolutely great recipe. I tried two substitutions, the first was home made creme fraiche for the yogurt/buttermilk, and the second was a yuzu marmalade to serve with the cake.

  191. Lovely recipe.. it’s baking in the oven right now! I did not have any yogurt and I squeezed every last bit of juice out of the oranges after supreming the wedges(actually used all three) and it came out to a juicy 1/3 cup even.. in which case for moisture retention, I added 3 tbs of cream cheese. And added just the most delicate drop of Mexican vanilla for fragrance… And as for the steps.. I worked my way from dry to wet using a big old food processor and it came out lovely and creamy and gently hand-folded the supremed slices into the batter at the end. I ended up using a 10″ round cake pan, as I have a really annoying and small convection oven and it just works better in this case. When done, the slices did sink to the bottom of the pan, but sort of created and “upside-down” cake.. good.. but maybe unnecessary.. Also, the cake isn’t terribly moist, it’s very dense and the orange flavour doesn’t scream at you. Overall a good cake and my husband loves it! I finished it with a simple chocolate ganache instead of compote.

    On olive oil cakes.. my husband is from Rome.. yes, that Rome, in Italy, and when we visit his family, I can tell you that we ONLY use olive oil in our cakes; I have never seen his mother even buy butter(actually only for pie crusts). You can replace the butter in any recipe with olive oil, but just using slightly less oil than you would butter.. much healthier, by the way.. and everything tastes distinctly Italian and lovely!

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Perhaps more people will be motivated to use more olive oil in their baking!

  192. Alice

    I’m going to try this with Blood Orange infused Olive oil I purchased at a store in Chicago last time I visited!!!

  193. CarolJ

    The cake was a hit at my book club meeting this afternoon – many compliments and requests for the recipe. Only adaptation was using navel oranges. I made the cake three days ahead, refrigerating it (well-wrapped) for about half the time. It was perfect.

  194. Alice

    Hi Deb, I’m from Italy, I’m vegetarian, and first of all i want to say you that I love your website and I really think that your recipes are amazing!
    This cake is in the oven now, smells so good and I can’t wait to taste it this evening!
    Thank you and have a good day!!!

  195. Alexa

    I can die happy now. OMG. I just pulled this out of the oven and am already raving about it to anyone who will listen and planning when I can make it again!! (I’m thinking your “It’s Tuesday” excuse might fit the bill) This cake is moist and sweet with a delicate, yet crisp crust on the top. I could only find naval oranges at the supermarket (Where are the blood oranges?! Geez..) but I can only imagine how heavenly it would be with blood oranges. I shall find some soon! Thank you thank you thank you for an incredible cake recipe! (coming from someone who is not the biggest fan of cake (unless it involves cheese :)))

  196. While at your talk at Power House Books you mentioned this cake as being you all time favorite (if I heard correctly) so I knew I had to make it. But when I went to my local store they had no blood oranges. Maybe the season has passed? Not sure. Any way I used a grapefruit and a mandarin instead and it came out really nicely. Very moist with a tart punch. My husband devoured it. You can see what I did here:

    1. deb

      sandra — Whoops! I can’t remember which one (was it grapefruit?) but although I adore this cake, it’s not my favorite. There’s a grapefruit olive oil pound cake in the book that I think I was discussing at the time. I also went on for a bit about the book’s whole lemon bars.

  197. Elise

    Baked this cake last night (thank you so much for the recipe!) and WOW, this was absolutely amazing! I prepared the compote with a heaped teaspoon of thyme honey per orange, and half a teaspoon of chunky orange jam, and the aroma of the compote was really really beautiful. Who would have thought that such a simple combination would make such a successful and tasty garnish to the cake!! Served with creme fraiche. Gorgeous! Thank you very much!! Will definitely make this again! I have just discovered your site and will be making more and more of your recipes!

  198. Nick

    Just made this cake, for the umpteenth time, today but was out of buttermilk and plain yogurt. Substituted in some labneh and it came out and tastes just as good as ever.

  199. June

    Just found your site; love it! I was searching for blood orange recipes and this cake sounds sooo good. I’m gonna try it twice, once with blood oranges and once with Meyer lemons. Here in the Gulf Coast area of Texas my Meyer lemons are almost gone (very soft), and my blood oranges are getting perfect and sweet. (Did you know that the longer they stay on the tree, the redder and sweeter they get?)

  200. Louise

    Made this cake for my mom’s birthday, and tried it with 3/4 cup whole wheat flour substituted. It was delicious! It got rave reviews from kids and adults. My two year old cousin, in fact, snuck into the kitchen and finished off the last two slices while no one was watching! Thank you for the recipe! I will definitely make it again!

  201. Johanna

    So good and easy, even with all the steps. This was just my daughter’s first birthday cake along with a flourless chocolate cake (I couldn’t stop myself). To my surprise, this humble little loaf was nearly everyone’s favorite.
    Thanks for another great recipe!

  202. Kelly

    I just made this and it’s really good. I could imagine serving this for a decadent brunch.

    I used regular oranges for this recipe and the same amount of sugar, so I probably ended up with a sweeter cake. However, it was delicious with regular oranges.

  203. Hi Deb, My mistake. I wasn’t sure whether I’d heard right about it being your favorite – maybe it was your favorite of the other speaker (whose name I’ve forgotten – forgive me), but this was definitely worth making – and I remember the whole lemon-lemon bar discussion, which is such a good idea and I also made! Thanks!

  204. Oh wow, I had exactly 3 blood oranges sitting on my counter and a few girlfriends coming over for a quick dinner and it didn’t even need the compote, a dollop of whipped cream and this was the perfect cap to the weeknight dinner and paired wonderfully with the wine. Thank you for always having foolproof recipes when I need them :D

  205. Helena

    This recipe is brilliant. Over the past eighteen months or so I have made it with blood oranges, normal oranges, lemons and most recently with grapefruit. All fabulous. This recipe is a ‘go to’ for me! Thank you Deb.

  206. Just made this with oranges!! Also didn’t have baking powder, so replaced it with 3/4 baking soda + 1 tbs vinegar… And it still worked like a breeze. Wonderful recipe :)

  207. I made all kinds of mistakes and substitutions — couldn’t find blood oranges so I used cara cara oranges; refused to “supreme” (it’s one of my recipe deal-breakers, so I just broke into segments and roughly chopped); and I was so busy when the timer went off at 50 min. I left it in there for who knows how much longer than it should have been. I totally skipped the compote.

    And still, this was a glorious, citrusy, moist and lovely cake. Given my bumbling, it’s apparently foolproof. Brought it out at a wine tasting and it got demolished.

  208. Chiara

    I really didn’t like supreming the oranges but well worth the effort!! I also got supreme happy and didnt realize until I was done that only two of the three oranges were supposed to be done that way. I was still able to get tge 1/4 cup of juice from the bottom of the bowl with the orange segments. I did use all the segments & it tasted awesome & wasn’t overwhelming. Added the compote& it was a hit with the family. It’s a smitten week because I made the bacon-mapke buscuits from the cookbook – divine! Making the cranberry-orange rolls tomorrow. Thanks for sharing these recipes& tips!!

  209. Laura

    Made this for a friend’s birthday yesterday and everyone _loved_ it. Loved. It. Completely demolished. Plates licked clean. Thank you!

  210. Jayaymeye

    I made this and added fresh rosemary (~1 1/2 T) and chopped up some blood orange peel (minus the pith) in a food processor with 1/3 of the sugar. I’m so excited about this combination! Made it in 2 6-inch cake pans for my birthday cake. I plan to serve it with a rosemary infused Italian meringue buttercream with homemade apricot jam. CAN’T WAIT!

  211. shoshana

    This cake took an extra 35 minutes to bake in my oven. I also had to turn the temperature up to 375. Every time I checked on it (starting at minute number 48) the toothpick had tons of wet batter on it from the center. The cake was baking perfectly around the edges. I’m thinking it is my loaf pan and not the recipe….does anyone know about cakes not baking in the middle? I just bought this loaf pan by nordicware…..Deb – what kind of loaf pan do you use? I’m concerned about using one with a non-stick coating (because it leaches into your food blah blah blah), but maybe if there was one that conducted heat properly i would compensate for the coating by lining with parchment anyway (?). Please help!

    the taste of the cake is good. however the inside is still really way too moist and un-even in texture throughout (..because of the wet batter/suspect faulty loaf pan issues). i added about a quarter cup of semi sweet chocolate chips which didn’t hurt anyone ;) next time i want to try this cake with butter instead of oilve oil – maybe the oil is what ruined it for me :(

  212. Sadie

    I just made the compote with a orange sponge cake with chocolate genache, I highly recommended it! Since we hardly ever have honey, I used brown rice syrup.
    Thanks so much Deb!

  213. Emily

    First try on a recipe of this kind and it is amazing! I changed it to cupcakes, added chocolate chips to a few (also yum!) and baked for about 25 minutes. Thanks for sharing. Delicious!!!

  214. Kat

    After getting blood oranges in our CSA box for the third week in a row, I decided it was finally time to seek out a recipe that used them in so e context. (Kinda tired of peeling and eating them at work. They’re so delicious, but also so very messy!) I had every ingredient on hand, so this was a no-brainer.

    Both my boyfriend and I absolutely loved this. It came out perfectly, and was so easy to throw together — except for supreming the oranges, because I’m just horrible at doing that to begin with! I went the yogurt route, and I felt that enhanced the tang without the cake tasting too rich or milky. It baked for exactly 50 minutes and came out perfectly moist. My birthday is coming up next month, and since there’s usually a slew of oranges available year-round in Southern California, I’ll definitely make this for a cake!

    I also had heavy whipping cream leftover from making a quiche. 1 cup cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract whipped up with the hand mixer. Perfect addition.

  215. Jared

    I substituted ruby red grapefruits because I had a hard time finding blood oranges and it turned out amazing. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

  216. bethan

    It is amazing how many comments you get. Wow.
    I made this tonight, it turned out so deliciously yummy, I’m going to make it again on Tuesday, in muffin form. What I did want to say is that I think the olive oil can go down to half a cup – it doesn’t taste or feel too oily, but it’s *so* moist … Just for kicks, I’ll probably drop it to half a cup and sub applesauce for the buttermilk, to see if I can make it for my dairy-allergy friends. Thank you!

  217. Katherine

    THis cake takes a really long time to finish baking in my oven but it is sooo gooooood that it makes people with headaches linger at my parties so they get some.

  218. Teresa

    Anyone have thoughts on whether poppyseeds would be a nice addition to this, or, make it too much? I’m dying to make a poppyseed cake and I have blood oranges (it’s winter in Oz!) so…

  219. Maria

    I made this with the juice of a little over the 1/4 cup of blood orange and I didn’t find it to be very orange-y. The orangeyness of it was very faint. Maybe I didn’t get enough zest off the oranges for the sugar? Or maybe more blood orange juice?

  220. Alex

    I made this tonight for the second time since the first go round was such a hit!

    One change I made this time was to omit all but one segment of orange. The first time I made it they were actually my least favorite part of the cake – still yum, but I think it was a texture thing I didn’t quite love but others in my family did. Since today is Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday, I decided to make this as our version of King Cake ( and instead of hiding a plastic baby in the batter, I “hid” one orange segment. Whoever gets the slice with it in it tonight will be the lucky one in more ways than one! :).

  221. Bracha

    I tried making this cake three times this week. The first time i sprayed the pan liberally with pam, let it cool for 5 minutes as instructed, loosened the edges with a knife, but when i tried to remove the cake from the pan the the cake split in half with the bottom half completely sticking to the pan. i tried a second time last night this time buttering and flouring the pan. again the bottom stuck. Both of these version i was able to scrape out the bottom wrapped them tightly and now they are in my freezer, however i was trying to make this cake for a bake sale so… i tried a third time. this time i buttered the pan, lined the bottom with parchment paper, buttered again, and floured. IT CAME OUT!!! only 11 blood oranges later. :) i topped the cake with a blood orange juice glaze (such a beautiful pink color) and candied blood orange slices like i saw on another site. it sold immediately at the bake sale this morning, though i have yet to taste it. good thing i have two extras in my freezer. :)

  222. Kelley

    I made this cake over the weekend with lemon zest/juice and a lovely orange olive oil I got for Christmas. I left out the fruit segments in the batter because I don’t like their texture. The cake baked for 45 minutes and was a tad overdone so if you leave out the fruit, reduce the bake time to 40 minutes. I topped it with lemon curd and sliced strawberries, and there were no leftovers. The cake was moist and fruity with a pronounced olive flavor. I’ll make this again.

  223. Bracha

    I made three of these cakes last week (see comment above) and i am so happy. because although i was making it for a bake sale, i ended up with two extras to keep at home. 1 went right in the freezer for another occasion, but the other one was devoured. it was enjoyed by kids and adults alike. it has a complex flavor that the adults for the adults to savor, but was simple enough for kids to enjoy. And now that i made it three time i know the recipe by heart and will definitely be able to make it again ;). check out my photos @counselorinthekitchen on instagram.

  224. Ashley

    I just made this today for guests, and everyone raved about it. The inside was super moist, and the outside formed this crispy, chewy caramelized crust that we were all fighting over. I did make one change, but it was just to substitute a combination of cara cara oranges and grapefruit for the blood oranges (my market didn’t have them). Same amounts of all ingredients. A definite keeper!

  225. Patty

    Deb, I’m always looking for ways to use the bounty from our blood orange tree, and this was a truly delicious option. I have a wheat allergy, and am happy to report that KAF’s Measure For Measure GF flour worked very well; even the wheat eaters enjoyed it. Because of the comments that mentioned the fruit sinking, I made sure to drain any accumulated juice before stirring it in. It’s wonderful with whipped cream and the compote, but I think it will also be good toasted and topped with vanilla ice cream. Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

  226. Stacey

    I made this yesterday twice. First time I didn’t drain my oranges and it was too wet and never cooked through. Tossed it and tried again. Drained my fruit and used slightly less oil than specified. I also used the juice from the drained fruit and mixed with sugar to make a glaze. Was very good and family enjoyed.

  227. Uyen

    I’ve made this half a dozen times now, and it’s become a staple recipe when blood oranges are available. I’ve tried other blood orange olive oil cakes before, but they’ve all been disappointing — until this one. Do it, people! Life’s too short! Eat as many blood oranges in as many forms as possible!

  228. Britton Rogers

    Love this recipe! Made a few changes based on what I had available. Used vanilla Greek yogurt in Lou of the buttermilk, Meyer lemons instead of the blood oranges and omitted the citrus segments in the actual cake. Made a glaze out of powdered sugar and a little bit of the juice and zest from one of the lemons to drizzle over after it came out of oven. FANTASTIC! Easy to follow recipe with great results every time.

  229. Stacey

    I’ve made this twice now and to rave reviews. I’ve substituted gluten free flour (the Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose) and I was amazed at how well it worked…the oil and the citrus are amazing at keeping the cake from drying out (as usually will happen to GF baked goods), even for a few days after. I made it out of season, so I substituted ruby red grapefruit for the orange, and it was perfect. Highly recommended!

  230. This. Is. So. Good.

    I split the loaf to give some citrusy sunshine to a friend on a rainy day, and her half is already gone! She shared the love with her roommate. It’s the cake that keeps on giving:) I am already planning on making it again!

  231. Connie

    If I have blood orange olive oil, will I still need actual blood oranges? What is the best way to modify the recipe using blood orange olive oil.

    1. deb

      A bunch of people have commented that they used blood orange olive oil here; you could try a partial swap, I suppose, as I know it is a pricy ingredient. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think it would adequately replace the flavor of real oranges. That said, with your eyes closed, most people probably won’t know the difference between blood and another orange variety here, i.e. doesn’t have to be blood oranges, they’re mostly prettier.

  232. Emily Woodward

    I absolutely love this recipe. I made this with regular oranges and extra zest. I left out the orange chunks in the batter, and I brushed it with an orange syrup out of the oven. So delicious! Thanks for having the best recipes!

  233. AthuRo

    I made this cake yesterday, and I should say, I love it. Totally love this recipe. The cake turned out moist, not too sweet and DELICIOUS!

  234. Needed a quick celebration cake that I wanted to keep on the less total sugar bomb side, and this cake chose me and it was what I wanted before I even knew I needed it. 10 stars!

  235. SANGE

    The recipe worked beautifully for cupcakes – I ended up with 12 perfectly sized cupcakes and two bonus cakes I baked in ramekins. I used the lower baking powder suggestion, half the sugar, two tablespoons of honey, and threw in a tablespoon of Grand Marnier because why not? I was nervous about the supremed oranges staying too wet and preventing the batter from baking, but no problems at all.

    My husband ate 5 right out of the muffin pan.

  236. Elizabeth Lincoln

    Sorry, this cake didn’t work for me. I greased my pan very heavily- a pan that never sticks- and yup, you guessed it- cake stuck badly to the pan, leaving a mess when I turned it out. I also find the cake oily, and I followed the recipe carefully.
    So wanted to love this cake, as your photos and the many rave comments were tempting…
    I’ll stick with my tried and true Barefoot Contessa orange pound cake and try subbing in blood oranges.

  237. Julia Ross

    This was a snap to put together, and a huge hit for a February dinner party.

    I changed nothing, and the texture/flavor was great. One thing I might do differently next time is to zest a third blood orange into the sugar, just to amplify the flavor a touch.

    I used 2 7x2inch paper loaf pans, each filled 1.5-2inches, and I baked at 350 for 35 mins, checked, then gave them another 8.

  238. Elizabeth Greene

    Meh. I made this yesterday. I have baked other olive oil & orange/citrus cakes, but I don’t care for this one. The cake is actually GREEN– not just yellowish, but GREEN! Very unattractive. It tastes OK, but the flavor of the blood oranges did not come through particularly well. I’m going to stick with Nigella Lawson’s clementine cake and other citrus/olive oil recipes that have more citrus flavor.

  239. Suzanne Rosen MD

    This is a great, easy to put together cake, and feels healthy made with olive oil. Works with blood orange, grapefruit, or just some berries. Good whipping cream shines here.

  240. Fiona

    This cake has gotten me through the first week of self quarantine – it tastes like summer and sunshine and everything good. I’m absurd so doubled the zest and doubled the orange chunks cos I have crappy olive oil and too many oranges and it was out of this world. Thanks for providing such joy!

  241. I found this recipe after our meager blood orange crop was done but our neighbor was giving out lemons so I thought I’d try it. It being the time of the coronavirus I used the whole wheat flour I had on hand, nonetheless it was moist and delicious and the whole family loved it. I used 2 1/2 large lemons, but think I’d use 3 and a bit of zest when I make it next.

  242. Heather

    Fifty-five minutes seems to have been too long for mine–it looks too dark and maybe a teeny bit burnt on top. Hope it still tastes good!

    1. Heather

      Even if a little too dark, it was very good. I used regular oranges and forgot to add the zest (after doing all the work of zesting) so I imagine the flavour was more mild than the full blood-orange version, but I liked it. To hide the dark colour I served it with whipped cream and some stewed blueberries. Recommend!

  243. Mary H

    I was all out of apples for Mom’s Apple cake and my citrus supply was limited to a lemon, a clementine and a tin of mandarins. Not quite as elegant as blood oranges but I figured it was worth a try. I also added a couple of teaspoons of vanilla as I was missing the required quantity of zest and figured it would supplement the overall flavor.

    It all worked out perfectly. So, if anyone else has pandemic pantry shortages, please be assured that well drained mandarins from a tin will work in this recipe. Needs must in these challenging times…

    Sorry if this substitution is making your toenails curl, Deb! I promise to try the original as written when normal life resumes.

  244. francesca

    This is a classic I always mix and match. I live in Italy and it is bergamot season, I blitzed a mix of bergamot and passion fruit, strained and added to the wet. It is absolutely phenomenal. For the compote I used the zest of lemons, oranges and bergamots with a hint of sea salt and all the juices with honey. Fantastic. The compote was more of a sweet and tangy layer of sticky juice, and almost got used for spirits instead. Fantastic recipe and a wonderful cookbook as well.

  245. Smitten Baker

    I am a very inexperienced baker and this was easy and turned out awesome. There is just a slight hint of blood orange/bitterness in the cake. Yum! I recommend eating/sharing this after the cake cools down, ideally the day after baking.

  246. Sara

    This one is still in heavy rotation every winter. It’s one of those not-too-sweet not-too-rich cakes we can justify having for breakfast.

  247. Laurel

    I just made this in the midst of a snowstorm and cold snap, which was perfect. I had to sub 1/3 c white sugar for light brown sugar, and used store-brand olive oil, but the taste and texture are amazing. The batter was pink, but the finished cake is yellow, as pictured.
    Processing the oranges was incredibly finicky but the end result was well worth it!

  248. Marie

    I just made this cake and it turned out so well ! I used to try your recipes in the past and I don’t know why I stopped. I’m happy to have found you again. This blood orange cake is so flavourful and delicate while very easy to make. I’ll make it again! Thank You!

  249. Fiona

    Made this today with normal oranges and it was delightful, light, flavoursome and not too sweet. It seemed like too much liquid for the flour but turned out beautifully. I didn’t have a loaf tin and made it in a round one instead which also worked. Love your work smittenkitchen!

  250. Ann Moore

    I loved how moist the first few slices were. Even though I followed the baking instructions, the middle is undercooked. I’m putting it back in the oven even though I have never tried to do this before. I would love to know what you recommend if you only discover days afterwards that the middle is undercooked.

  251. JB

    I was stuck at work on a cold, dreary, rainy spring day, longing for something cozy yet bright, and wishing I was in my kitchen baking. Thinking about dessert with no real vision other than quick and easy, my first stop was the Smitten Kitchen recipe cake list, where my eyes landed on the blood orange olive oil cake. My search stopped there because I knew I already had all the ingredients and dessert without a trip to the market was a win-win on this particular blustery Friday afternoon. I rushed home from work and immediately gathered what I needed. My husband walked into the kitchen and picked up on my vibe. I set him to work zesting oranges. I made the recipe as written using vanilla Greek yogurt because that’s all I had. The cake smelled amazing from start to finish. I served it still a tiny bit warm with homemade whipped cream flavored with a tinch of fiori di sicilia and it was everything I had been daydreaming about and more. So simple. So delicious. Divine. I woke up this morning still thinking about this beauty and wondering, “Can I have a slice of leftover cake with my coffee? Should I?” The answer is, “Yes. Yes, I can.” And I did. And I lived happily ever after.

  252. Katelyn

    Made this beautiful cake with some adjustments based on my available ingredients this past weekend and it was so good! I used plain non-dairy yogurt, and one lemon and one naval orange (that was mislabeled as a blood orange haha) for juice and skipped the pieces in the batter. Instead of the compote, i drizzled slices with warmed strawberry rhubarb jam. It tasted so summery and wonderful. I did buy blood orange to make again this week closer to the recipe as written! Thank you for a lovely cake!