Orange and Olive Oil Cake

Have you ever tried a cake with loads of freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest, along with a healthy dose of extra mild, or rich and fruity olive oil? If not, then you are in for a delightful surprise! 

Orange & Olive Oil Cake

Orange and Olive Oil Cake is a harmony of sweet and citrus. It’s fragrant, moist, has lovely tender crumbs, and is utterly delicious.

Your excitement for this cake gets activated instantly once it starts to fill your home with its sweet-smelling and inviting aroma that works like a charm and puts you in your happy place.

What ingredients do you need for this cake?

Get hold of a sweet orange variety if you can, like Navel or Cara Cara. 

Navel and Cara Cara oranges

Use either extra light/extra mild olive oil or the fruity kind. The ones I’ve used are in the photo below.


You will also need non-stick baking spray for the loaf pans.  And when your cake is done and your wait is over, finish it off with a dusting of icing/confectioner’s sugar. This cake does not need any frosting or glaze because it’s delicious as it is, but the icing sugar makes it more visually appealing and fun. 

Make it ahead

The cake tastes even better the next day. You will be rewarded greatly if you’ll make it ahead and allow the flavours to come through in a day or two.

Moist, tender, fragrant, and delicious
Dust with icing/confectioner's sugar

What cake pan should you use?

Use two light coloured 9 x 5-inch Loaf pans – OR – a 12-cup Bundt pan. Lightly grease the pans with non-stick baking spray.

Light coloured 9 x 5-inch Loaf pans

I have made this cake a few times in the past and I have always been amazed how this unassuming cake can be such a crowd pleaser. 

 The recipe is based on Manila Spoon’s version of Portuguese Style Orange and Olive Oil Cake, and it has become a hit in our home the first time I made it!

For this recipe, I folded in nearly a cup of dried cranberries, and it gave the cake added sweetness. 

Also, the slight difference in the amount of orange juice I used on two separate occasions, which was 1 cup while the other was 1 1/4 cup, did not ruin the cake. They both worked great, and I had no issues with it.

I thought it might be useful to point that out in case you end up with 1 1/4 cup of orange juice instead of 1 cup.  So, go ahead and use all of it.

It's a keeper!

I hope you take advantage of the oranges while these are in season and give this scrumptious cake a go.

How To Make Orange & Olive Oil Cake

Orange and Olive Oil Cake

Save your sweet oranges and make this cake with loads of fresh orange juice and zest, along with a healthy dose of extra mild, or fruity olive oil. It’s fragrant, moist, has lovely tender crumbs, and utterly delicious.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 2 Loaf Pans


  • 1 cup orange juice from 4 large oranges *Note 1
  • zest of 4 oranges *Note 2
  • 3 cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder *Note 3
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups white granulated sugar*
  • 1 cup extra light/extra mild olive oil, or the fruity kind
  • ¾ - 1 cup dried cranberries, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 177 C or 350 F. Lightly grease 2 light coloured 9x5-inch Loaf pans.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer (you may also use a handheld mixer), beat the eggs on medium speed. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until the mixture thickens and the color turns pale, about 4 minutes.
  • Note: Add flour mixture in three additions alternating with the olive oil.
    On low speed, beat the flour mixture and the olive oil alternately. Make sure to begin and end with the flour mixture while you pour in the olive oil in between.
  • Pour the orange juice into the mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure an even mix. Add the orange zest and beat until just incorporated. Fold in the dried cranberries, if using.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly into prepared loaf pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. If using a Bundt pan, bake for 55-60 minutes *Note 4. If you notice the cake is turning brown too quickly, then cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Transfer the cake pans onto a cooling rack and leave to cool for 20 minutes. Take the cake out and gently place it on the rack. Allow to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar before serving, if preferred *Note 5.


Note 1 If you end up with 1 1/4 cup of orange juice instead of 1 cup, that's okay,  you may use all of it.
Note 2 Use a microplane or grater to finely grate the rind or peel of the oranges before you juice them. 
Note 3 Add 2 tsp baking powder, if using a Bundt pan.
Note 4 Observe the baking time recommended by Manila Spoon, if using a Bundt pan.
Note 5 Give the cake a day or two to develop its flavours before you enjoy your first bite!
* The total time indicated in the recipe includes the cooling period of 20 minutes.  
*Do not be surprised with the amount of sugar - it is a big cake. That is only enough to make a wonderful tasting cake, not an overly sweet one.