Dreamy Orange Olive Oil Pound Cake



I grew up eating my grandmother’s pound cake recipe that included the traditional butter, sugar, flour and eggs. She served thin slices with homemade whipped cream and strawberries in the summertime. Her recipe is the nostalgic version of pound cake.

And then there’s my recent discovery of olive oil pound cakes.

In case you missed it, I posted an Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake recipe a couple weeks ago which was divine. Since enjoying that cake at just about every meal (I may have lied to a nurse about eating pound cake for breakfast this week), I’ve been dreaming about pound cakes using olive oil instead of butter. I’ve also been getting texts and emails from friends asking when I’ll be making the next pound cake.

This orange olive oil pound cake is less dense, fluffy in texture and rich with orange flavor. The kosher salt in the batter gives the crust an tiny bite of sweet and salty. If you’re thoughtful enough, this contrast between cake and crust will make you wonder which part of the cake you’ll dream about more.

*Disclaimer: I’ve shared the pound cake with friends and coworkers to avoid turning into a pound cake. 

Orange Olive Oil Cake, from leitesculinaria.com

  • Nonstick baking spray, with flour
  • 4 to 5 large navel oranges
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups mild, fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above, and crank up the heat to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt or tube pan with baking spray and set aside.

2. Finely grate the zest of 3 oranges and then squeeze the juice from 4 of them. You should have 1 1/2 cups orange juice; if not, squeeze the 5th orange.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and continue to beat until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Switch to low speed and alternate adding the flour mixture and the oil, starting and ending with the flour and beating until just a few wisps of flour remain. Pour in the orange juice and zest and whirl for a few seconds to bring the batter together.

5. Gently scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1 1/4 hours. Check the cake occasionally and if the top begins to brown a touch too much, loosely cover it with foil. When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.

6. Turn the cake out onto the wire rack and let it cool completely. (We know. Resist the temptation.) Place the cake on a covered cake stand and let it sit overnight. (Seriously. This dense, moist, fruity cake only gets better with age. Don’t even think about taking a bite until the day after you make it—or even the day after that.) Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.





  1. Can you share the brand of olive oil you used? They have such highly different flavor a. Rosemary wander

    Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse typos Rosemary


    • Hi Rosemary. I’m not too picky with olive oils (as much as I should be). I’ve been using the 6.99 bottles from Whole Foods lately.

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