Capezzana Olive Oil and Orange Cakes

Capezzana Olive Oil and Orange Cakes

I found this recipe in Nancy Silverton’s book who got it from the famous Italian olive oil production company – “Capezzana’s”. Apparently, it was old and cherished family recipe. The recipe calls for a lot of extra-virgin olive oil, and I mean – A LOT. But the only thing Nancy – I’m quoting her – “dared to change” was the size of the pan she used, or, to be correct – the pans, since she baked the cake batter in small tartlet pans instead of two 9” round pans. Nancy loved the crust and wanted to increase the crust to crumb ratio. Well, if she didn’t dare to change anything, I thought I probably shouldn’t do it either; and with a sigh measured out 1½ cups of very good organic Italian extra-virgin olive oil (sigh… not cheap). I dared, though, to add the salt, a whole teaspoon; it seemed like a necessary ingredient (maybe it was supposed to be mentioned there but somehow it got lost during the publishing process of the book :) The little cakes turned out nice. I understand now Nancy’s affection to the crust – it’s crackly, and sugary and, wonderful; inside, on the other hand, is very tender. If the cakes are made in advance the crust can lose some of its lovely crispiness (humidity is a significant contributing factor to this); simply place the cakes back to the 350F oven for about 10 minutes to return the crust its once lost great quality.

Adapted from the “Pastries from the La Brea Bakery”

Makes 12 4-inch round cakes or 2 9-inch cakes

Ingredients:

  • Grated zest of 3 oranges
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp unbleached pastry flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups extra-virgin olive oil (the better the olive oil, the better the cake)
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs

Preparation:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat the tart or tartlet pans with olive oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, rub together the orange zest and sugar until the sugar is moist and fragrant. In a sieve, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Sift over the sugar. Whisk to combine the dry ingredients, then make a well in the center. In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the oil, milk, and eggs, whisk to combine, then pour into the well in the dry ingredients and slowly draw in the flour mixture, whisking until incorporated. The mixture should be fairly smooth before you draw in more flour. Mix well.

Pour the butter into the prepared molds using ½-cup measuring cup as a ladle. The molds should be three-quarters full. Place the molds on a large baking sheet, half an inch apart.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until nicely browned and firm to the touch.

Capezzana Olive Oil and Orange Cakes

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27 Responses to “Capezzana Olive Oil and Orange Cakes”

  1. The cakes look wonderful! Olive oil cake has been on my to-do list for a while. Like the idea of increasing the crust-crumb ratio.

  2. Gorgeous! I have played around with olive oil in my cakes lately too. Love the flavor it adds. These cakes look simply elegant and delicious!

  3. I think I’ll try these, they look so beautiful in the photos…

  4. Olive oil is a great thing to use in baked goods, it usually gives an unique texture. You little cakes came out so delicious looking and I love the pictures!

  5. I think that you are definitely favoured by the pastry gods. Everything you make turns out so perfect. Oh, I can imagine the pinch you must feel for using so much of an expensive and prized ingredient. But hey, if it really changes the quality, then it is justified right? Life’s just too short for bad cakes!

  6. they look like cute little cookies…but they’re cakes! i love it! i’ll bet they just melt right on your tongue. :)

  7. I love how golden they look, and how simple the recipe seems. Must try this some time.

  8. What a gorgeous colour!
    Give me Olive Oil over Butter any day.

    Fantastic post.

  9. What beautiful cakes! I am tempted to try these since I love any sweet that uses olive oil in the recipe. I have to say though, that it would be extremely hard for me to use my best olive oil. I usually have about 5 different oils around and scrutinize (or should I say agonize) over which one to use in whatever I’m making. My favorite for baking is Nicolas Alziarri. It is such a delicious, smooth oil. I’ve always purchased it in Paris, but I am running low and just priced it at William-Sonoma–$42/liter.

  10. I love this book! What a great recipe to try out!

  11. this look really nice. I love baking with oil rather than butter. Although olive oil can be quite expensive. I love italian recipes.

  12. These cookies look rich yet the ingredients don’t tell you that. It worked – what a great deception.

  13. Vera, these little gems look absolutely beautiful. I am such a cake lover and am very intrigued by the combination. You always delight me when I come by for a visit, what a treat.

  14. I think these would be perfect in the morning with coffee or for afternoon tea. They are beautiful and sound delicious, especially the crackly and sugary crust..yum!

  15. Linda, thank you very much!

    Meeta, thank you. Great olive oil adds a lot of great flavor, can’t disagree with that.

    Morgana, thank you. You’ll make me very happy if you give them a try :)

    Rita, thanks so much. I loved their texture, too :)

    Christy, this probably explains it all :) And you are right – you get what you pay for.

    Grace, thank you. They are cakes-cookies :) And they do melt in your mouth. You are so observant.

    Y, thank you very much. There’s probably nothing easier:)

    Graeme, thank you very much! A compliment from a professional photographer (and a very talented one) means a lot!

    Eileen, thank you. You’ve got an impressive collection of oil! I can only imagine the cost of the one that is your favorite :) Don’t use it here, though; enjoy it as is…

    Melody, thank you. I love this book, too.

    Natalie, thank you. I’m totally in love with Italian
    cuisine.

    Giz, they are quite rich :)

    Kim, thank you very much for your words. You are too kind.

    Camille, thank you very much! They are good any time :) I loved their crust.

  16. Your little cakes look so beautiful and so delicious!!

    I think i try to make them.

    Congratulations!!

    Ana

  17. You make them sound sooo good and the pics are goergeous! You’re right olive oil is quite expensive but it’s so healthy. I always add 1/2 tsp of salt when making cookies so I’m all for adding salt to these cuties.

  18. Ana, thank yo very much! I’ll be glad if you try these.

    Lore, thanks a lot!

  19. The name alone makes me want to fall in love, so romantic. These look like lovely cookies to have with tea, and I like how you described the texture…I bet these taste so delicious warm! :)

  20. Hi Vera! How are you? These look very pretty!
    Did you serve them with an accompaniment of some sort? They look and sound as if they would be wonderful with a zabaglione or a gelato!
    The orange zest and olive oil hmmnn what a wonderful combo together!

  21. Sophie, thank you. I liked them warm as well, you are right :)

    Laurie, hi! I’m pretty well, thanks for asking :) And thank you for the compliment.
    Some of these were eaten with lemon-basil sorbet, and some on their own with espresso (I drink too much of it :), the rest were given away.

  22. these looks so delicious!!

  23. Amy, thank you very much!

  24. Once I read your post about this cake, I simply would like to try!

    A quick question if you don’t mind letting me know if it’s possible for me to use this recipe and bake this cake with a non-stick bundt pan?

    Thanks so much for posting!

  25. Adelina, sorry for the late reply! I’ve been sick lately and obviously missed your comment :(

    Sometimes, there’s a problem with unmolding a cake from a bundt pan. These cakes are quite delicate in texture. So, I wouldn’t recommend the bundt pan. But a large size tart pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan would be great here. Or you can use 2 regular 9-inch round cake pans with parchment-lined bottoms, butter the parchment as well.
    I hope it will help.

  26. I noticed your post really had the hens clucking so i tested it out.
    Very nice, thank you.
    No problem with the cake releasing from a bundt pan and popped out of canele molds easily too.

    Take a look:http://phillymarketcafe.blogspot.com/2009/01/more-olive-oil-cakes.html

    http://phillymarketcafe.blogspot.com/2009/01/more-olive-oil-cakes.html

  27. Gorgeous! I have played around with olive oil in my cakes lately too. Love the flavor it adds. These cakes look simply elegant and delicious!

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