Celebrating Olive Oil with an Italian Orchard Cake Recipe

Celebrating Olive Oil with an Italian Orchard Cake Recipe
This feature was brought to you in collaboration with Pompeian.
We've talked before at length about olive oil (pairings, using, enjoying), but have you ever considered where your olive oil comes from - assuming you got the good stuff?

I think in today's society, with our plethora of box mixes and overly processed foods, we sometimes forget that several steps had to happen before food makes it to the dinner table. That's why I am just in love with Pompeian's new Tree to Bottle feature. When you pick up a bottle of oil from Pompeian’s new Varietals Collection, the bottle comes with a code to tell you where the bottle came from. It's ingenious!

When I input the code on the back of my bottle, the website told me more about the Arbequina olive (flavors of green apple and spicy almond) featured on the label. My olives were bottled in the Chilean countryside, harvested sometime in Fall/Winter of 2012. It even had a photo of the Masserra Mill used to process the olives. So fun!
I'd like to take a moment to celebrate and be thankful for the wonderful olive oil that we enjoy. My mom used to make a lot of cakes, and one of my favorites was her olive oil cake recipe. I make it in a loaf pan instead of a traditional cake pan. It includes not just olive oil but orange zest and juice, the perfect pairing in this wonderfully balanced cake. I've added my own tweaks over the years; now I call it an Italian Orchard cake. It's perfect with the Arbequina oil, which adds a fruity/nutty flavor.

Italian Orchard Cake

This treat is fabulous to serve at a brunch setting with a cup of tea or something sparkling; alternatively, it would also be delightful in the afternoon with a glass of white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, or of course, as your final dinner course.
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus extra 3 tablespoons for topping
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Pompeian Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large orange, heavily zested and then juiced
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the inside of your loaf pan with the butter to prevent sticking.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a medium-sized bowl until well blended. Add in olive oil, vanilla, orange juice, and 1/2 of your zest. Mix thoroughly.
Put the other 1/2 of orange zest and 3 tablespoons of sugar into a small cup and stir together. Set aside.
In another medium-sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a fork to stir ingredients, then slowly add the dry mixture into the wet ingredients, ensuring you incorporate the dry ingredients fully before adding more. Do not mix at high speed or overmix.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 25 minutes. Pull the cake out of the oven briefly to top with the orange zest/sugar mixture on top and then back for a further 10 minutes. Allow cake to cool about 10 minutes before serving with butter and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

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pompeianThis feature was brought to you in collaboration with Pompeian.
The new Pompeian Varietals Collection offers a premium line of mono-varietals extra virgin olive oils, with a twist - you can scan the label and follow your olive oils from tree to bottle.

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is the founder and creator of Plum Deluxe. He authors our award-winning weekly email newsletter, The Blend and curates our popular organic tea of the month club.
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