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Italian orange cake recipe

Italian orange cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cakes with fruit
  • Citrus cakes
  • Orange cake

A Mediterranean cake that combines sweet Italian oranges with extra virgin olive oil. It is great for brunch in the winter but is really perfect at any time of the day.

27 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 250g sugar
  • juice and zest of 3 organic oranges, grated
  • 40ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 to 3 peeled oranges, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons apricot or peach jam

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:40min ›Extra time:30min cooling › Ready in:1hr25min

  1. Butter and flour a 22cm cake tin with 5cm high sides, or butter and line with baking parchment. Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside.
  2. Using an electric whisk, mix the egg yolks with the sugar until they are doubled in volume. Continue mixing with a wooden or silicone spoon and add the orange juice, grated zest, oil and the flour and baking powder. Mix well.
  3. Beat the egg whites until they form peaks. Add a little of the beaten egg whites to the orange mixture to soften it, and then add the rest of the whites, mixing from the bottom to the top. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Place the orange slices on top.
  4. Put the cake in a cold oven and then turn on the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. After 40 minutes, check to see if the cake is done: a skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for another 10 minutes.
  5. Take the cake out of the oven and place it on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin, turn it upside-down and take off the baking parchment if it was used, and then turn it right-side up onto the rack to cool.
  6. In the meantime, heat up the jam with 1 spoonful of water and brush it on top of the cake. The jam will help tone down the bitter taste of the oranges and keep the cake from getting too dry.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (1)

I followed this recipe exactly.It turned out to be rather disappointing. I would suggest that the recipe could be improved by stating the VOLUME of orange juice rather than the number of oranges because, of course, orange size and juiciness varies hugely. My mixture (having had large oranges) was too runny. I allowed two and a half times the baking time (with foil placed over the top) to try to get it to cook through, with limited success. The cake looked wonderful, but it's texture was stodgy. Having used expensive ingredients, I did not want to bin it, so used some of it as a pudding with custard, which worked reasonably well.-14 Dec 2015

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (15.25 ounce) package orange cake mix (such as Duncan Hines® Orange Supreme)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a fluted tube pan (such as Bundt®).

Prepare cake: combine cake mix, eggs, ricotta cheese, oil, orange juice, orange zest, and orange extract in a large bowl. Mix until batter is well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Carefully invert onto a serving platter and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Prepare glaze: mix powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest together in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over the cooled cake.

What do you need to make Italian orange cake at home?

  • Whole oranges: I start with whole oranges and remove the zest using my favorite zester. Once that’s done, grab a paring knife and remove all of the pith from the oranges. If you use the white pith, your cake will have a bitter flavor in the background. I personally don’t mind a bit of that orangey flavor and usually leave a tiny bit of the pith on.
  • Eggs: we’ll fluff the eggs with the sugar in this recipe. The eggs add structure to baked goods.
  • Sugar: regular granulated or cane sugar work best for this recipe.
  • All-purpose flour: both bleached and unbleached flour will work for this recipe. I usually only keep unbleached flour on hand, so that’s what I used.
  • Flavorings: We’ll use a pinch of salt, ground nutmeg, and vanilla extract to boost the other flavors in this orange cake.
  • Leavening agent: we’re adding a tablespoon of baking powder to this cake. If it seems like a lot, keep in mind that we’re using fresh pulsed oranges in the cake batter. The cake batter will be a bit dense and requires a bit more leavening than ones that don’t have fresh fruit in them.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil adds the perfect flavor to this cake recipe.
  • Yogurt: I used regular whole milk yogurt for this recipe.

How do you make candied oranges?

Did you ever have those sugared orange fruit slices as a kid? Homemade candied oranges remind me so much of those – only these pack a more orange flavor punch!

You’ll need equal parts sugar and water to make the simple syrup. Once the sugar and water are boiling, we’ll add thinly sliced oranges to the mixture and let it simmer until the oranges soak up the liquid and the bitter pith of the oranges mellows out. Once the oranges have soaked, remove and line your pan with the slices. Keep the syrup! You can immediately use it to make cocktails, mocktails, or save it to glaze the cakes candied orange slices before serving.

Olive Oil Orange Cake

I have very simple tastes when it comes to sweets I make myself at home. Perhaps it is because I do not often have the patience to spend hours putting together elaborate desserts, but when I am in the mood to bake something, it can usually be put together quickly and without too many fancy ingredients. I like desserts that can be enjoyed at breakfast as well as after dinner and probably most of all, I love a good fruit flavored olive oil cake. Heck, I think I just plain love olive oil and would put it in my morning coffee if I could get away with it, but that’s another story altogether. This is one of my favorite cakes to make as there are just a handful of ingredients and it has a lovely fresh, orange flavor.

I first tasted an amazing orange flavored olive oil cake when we dined in Panzano at Dario Cecchini’s butcher shop. When you order coffee after lunch, it comes with a square of moist orange flavored olive oil cake that is really delicious. I knew after the first taste of Dario’s cake that I would have to duplicate the recipe at home and started to look online for something similar. Most of the olive oil cake recipes I found used the zest from many oranges but didn’t use the pulp or juice which just didn’t make sense to me. I remember long ago making an orange flavored quick bread where I threw the entire orange into a food processor and used that mix of juice, pulp and skin to flavor the bread with so I decided to simply play around in the kitchen and see if I could get the flavor and texture I was looking for. I was very lucky that I came up with a winner on my first try, but this cake has everything I was looking for. It is sweetly flavored with orange without being too bitter which can happen if you use too much of the zest, the olive oil kept it very moist, and the 4 eggs I added helped to keep the cake light so it didn’t become too dense which can be a problem in some olive oil cake recipes. Just do not use extra virgin olive oil for this cake as the flavor of the oil can be too much for the orange flavoring. A basic, simple olive oil works best for this cake.


Beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in sugar and continue to mix until mixture is thick and lemon- colored. Use an electric beater if possible, and beat at high speed for about 5 minutes. Stir in orange rind and juice.

Sift flour with baking powder 3 times and fold into batter. Pour buttered and floured 9" springform pan. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool in pan.

Pour Orange-Rum Topping over cooled cake and chill until serving time. Remove from pan. Decorate with oranges, cherries, and whipped cream rosettes.

Orange-Rum Topping: Soften gelatin in cold water. Stir in hot milk and sugar. Cook over low heat until mixture is hot. Do not let boil.

Gradually pour over egg yolks, stirring constantly. Add the rum. Set in bowl of cracked ice and stir constantly until cool and beginning to set. Fold in orange sections and whipped cream.

Sicilian Orange Almond Cake

All sicilians love desserts and cakes. Citrus fruits and almonds are widely grown and of course largely consumed in sicily, which is an island in the mediterranean region. I actually ate up a large chunk of this cake the first time i made it. So if you are the one who loves hot freshly baked cakes, you will love this delicious tea-time cake flavoured with orange and almonds. The use of orange squash gives a concentrated orange flavour to the cake. It is not totally essential but very helpful if you use it.

  • ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Fresh Orange Curd
  • 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting
  • ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (optional)
  • Glazed Pecan Halves (optional)
  • Boxwood Garland (optional)

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla beat until blended.

Combine flour and soda add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread 3/4 cup chilled Fresh Orange Curd between layers spread remaining Fresh Orange Curd on top of cake. (The Fresh Orange Curd layer on top of cake will be very thick.) If desired, loosely cover cake, and chill 8 hours. (Chilling the cake with the curd between the layers helps keep the layers in place and makes it much easier to spread the frosting.) Spread 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake, reserving remaining frosting for another use. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted coconut over top of cake, if desired. Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around top edge of cake, if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Arrange Boxwood Garland around bottom edge of cake before serving, if desired.

Note: Cake may be frosted with Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting immediately after adding the Fresh Orange Curd, but the cake layers will not be as steady.

Orange rice cake (torta di riso al profumo d ’arancio)

Rice is sometimes used in cake recipes in Italy and this is certainly true in the northern regions, where it is cultivated and plentiful. This cake is extremely nutritious and filling - perfect as a teatime snack for children home from school, or even for breakfast!



Skill level


  • 1.7 litres milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • ½ lemon, rind peeled
  • 200 g sugar
  • 300 g arborio rice
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 50 ml orange liqueur
  • 40 g raisins
  • 1 orange, zested, plus extra zest, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 24 cm loose-bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Place the milk, vanilla pod, pieces of lemon rind and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rice and simmer over a medium to low heat for about 20–25 minutes, until the rice is al dente and has absorbed the milk but still has a creamy consistency. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Discard the lemon rind.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and liqueur until creamy. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Add the egg yolk mixture to the cooled rice, and then fold in the stiffened egg whites, followed by the raisins and orange zest. Pour in the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Orange and Almond Cake

&ldquoA very unusual cake from the Middle East with a moist, dense consistency that makes an utterly delicious dessert. It will not rise very much, and you may wonder if it will ever bake firm. Don&rsquot worry, it will.&rdquo

Editor's note: this recipe, which James Beard first published in The New James Beard (Knopf, 1981), is believed to be inspired by James Beard Award winner Claudia Roden's recipe for Orange and Almond Cake from her influential cookbook A Book of Middle Eastern Food (Knopf, 1968).


  • 2 large oranges (preferably seedless navels)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • GARNISH: Thin slices of peeled orange sprinkled with confectioners&rsquo sugar and a touch of cinnamon, or fresh raspberries. Serve with whipped cream.


Wash the oranges and boil them in water to cover, without peeling, until very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool, cut into quarters, and remove the seeds, if any. Process the oranges to a fairly fine purée in a blender or food processor or by putting them through a meat grinder. Don&rsquot make it too fine. The little bits of skin, which will not be at all bitter after the long boiling, are pleasant to bite on.

Beat the eggs in a bowl until thick, then add the ground almonds, salt, sugar, baking powder, and orange purée, and mix well. Line a deep 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper. Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake in a 400ºF oven for 1 hour or longer, until firm to the touch when pressed with the tip of your finger.

Remove the pan to a rack, allow the cake to cool, then turn it out of the pan onto a serving dish. Serve garnished with orange slices or berries, and whipped cream.

A Boiled Orange is the secret to this moist Italian Orange Almond Cake August 17, 2016

Trust the Italians to take an ingredient and transform it so that it doesn’t just flavour the dish, it is the dish. This orange and almond cake doesn’t get an orangey flavour from a little zest. It actually uses a boiled orange to provide not only the essence of orange, but the moistness that makes this cake even better a few days after baking.

Boiling an orange for an hour might seem like a lot of work, but trust me when I tell you that the transformation is worth the effort. Give me your lumpy ugly oranges, your last-of-the-seasons, your huddled summer masses, and I promise you they will be become the most amazing sweet pulped base you could possibly imagine. After trying the results for the first time, I couldn’t believe the taste! Somehow, this is ‘orangier’ than, well, an orange. It’s almost difficult to imagine that this flavour is created without adding any extra sugar or adding anything artificial. But here it is. The perfect Italian answer to “What do we do with all these oranges?”. Best served with a piping hot espresso, naturally.


  • 1 large orange weighing approximately 350 g (or 2 smaller ones)
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 250 g ground almonds
  • 250 g granulated sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • butter and flour/breadcrumbs or matzo meal for the tin


Wash the orange(s), put it in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for an hour and a half or until it is extremely soft when pricked with a fork. Remove the orange from the pan, let it cool, then cut it open and remove any pips. Turn the orange into a pulp by pressing it through a sieve or by using an immersion blender. If you try a spoonful at this stage, you can taste the change in state that the orange undergoes – it will be sweetened and perfectly moist.

Prepare a cake tin – ideally with a loose base – by rubbing it with butter and then dusting it with flour. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the pulped orange, beat again, then add the almonds, sugar and baking powder and beat again until you have a thick, even batter. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for between 40 – 60 minutes. Have a look at the cake after 40 minutes it should be golden and set firm. Try testing with a wooden skewer- it should come out almost clean, as opposed to very sticky with a clingy batter. If the cake does need another 10 mins, pop some aluminium foil over the top of it so it doesn’t get too brown.

Let it cool in the tin before turning it onto a plate and dusting with a little icing sugar, if you like.


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