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We ate this cake

About a million years ago, by which I mean last Thanksgiving, I mentioned on Twitter that my cousins had made an olive oil cake for our mothers’ birthday dinner. Our mothers are identical twins, born in the third week of November, which means that our family’s Thanksgiving comes with an extra bonus meal: The Twins’ Birthday. Anyway, I mentioned this cake, and someone - maybe one of you reading today? - asked if I might share the recipe. I said that I would do my best to get it from my cousin Katie, its keeper, which I did, and after bringing it home and accidentally burying it in a stack of papers on my desk for three months, which I’m told promotes ripening, or something, I am elated to bring it to you today. It’s a wonderful cake.

I first tasted it last May at another family birthday meal, this time in honor of Katie. It was her 30th birthday, and in our family, 30th birthdays require a lot of festivities - mine involved a surprise weekend in San Francisco with Brandon, my cousins, The Twins, and friends, ending with a baggage handler stealing my mother’s gift out of my suitcase and me crying myself to sleep; memories! - so a bunch of us decided to plan a whopper for Katie. She’s usually a planner of surprises and does not receive them very easily, but I think we did alright. Nine of us took her to a family friend’s home in the very small town of Boonville, California, for a weekend of eating and wine-tasting. One night, we dressed up and went to the Boonville Hotel for dinner, and that’s where we ate this cake.

We had called ahead to request a special dessert, because one member of our party is dairy intolerant, and so the chef made a recipe from his mother, an orange, almond, and olive oil cake. As birthday cakes go, it was unassuming, even rustic: a single layer, pale gold and coarse-crumbed, dusted with powdered sugar. But its flavor was something else: big, gutsy, rich with toasted nuts, and saturated, absolutely saturated, with the perfume of citrus. We liked it so much that my aunt asked for the recipe. We made it last November, and then I made it again a few days ago, for you. (But I forgot the powdered sugar on top. I’m so sorry. Please use your imagination.)

In the days since I rescued the recipe from its untimely burial on my desk, I’ve done a little looking around, and it seems that it may have originally been published in The Boston Globe, although I can’t find the date or the article. There’s also a similar cake in the book Breakfast Lunch Tea, by Rose Carrarini. Wherever it comes from, the concept is weird and brilliant: you start with whole citrus fruits - the original recipe calls for two small oranges and one lemon, but I prefer the flavor when I use one small to medium orange and one lemon - and you boil them in water for thirty minutes, until they’re soft. Then you remove the seeds from the orange, if there are any, and discard the pulp from the lemon, and you whizz the rest - the lemon rind and the entire orange - in the food processor. Not only does this process yield a coarse paste that infuses the cake with both moisture and flavor, but it also makes your house smell like you’ve spent tons of money on designer air freshener. You mix this paste into a base of eggs and sugar and flour and leavening, and then you stir in ground toasted almonds and olive oil, which add even more fragrance and flavor, if that’s even possible, and aside from the baking part, you’re done.

I’d never had a cake like this one before, either in flavor or in method, and though I don’t sit around and keep score on this kind of stuff, it might be the most sophisticated everyday cake I know. Privately, I think of it as a marmalade cake, and that’s what I’ve decided to call it. I know I’m supposed to call it an orange, almond, and olive oil cake, but then everyone gets excited about the olive oil angle, and honestly, if you’re looking for an olive oil cake, this is not its purest incarnation. This cake is about citrus, all-out, the kick and spice and gentle bitterness you find in a jar of good marmalade. Its ingredients lean toward Italy, but in my mind, it’s more like something Jeeves might bring, what ho!, with your afternoon tea. Either way, I should tell you, too, that it keeps amazingly. It even tastes better with age. You could steal slices from it for an entire week, and I strongly advise you to do so.

Marmalade Cake
Adapted from the Boonville Hotel

You could make this cake with store-bought roasted almonds, but I like to buy them raw and toast them myself. That way, I can control how deeply they’re toasted, and they also taste fresher. If you’re short on time, you can toast them a day or two ahead. You might also want to plan ahead for preparing the citrus fruits, since boiling and cooling them takes time. (And remember to use organic oranges and lemons, since you’ll be eating the rind.) Once you’ve got the nuts and fruits ready, this cake is quick to make.

1 small to medium orange
1 lemon
6 ounces raw almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
4 large eggs, ideally at room temperature
½ tsp. table salt
1 ½ cups sugar
2/3 cup olive oil
Confectioners’ sugar, for serving

First, get to work on the citrus. Put the orange and the lemon in a saucepan, and cover with water. (They’ll want to float. Don’t worry about it.) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, and cool.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and set a rack in the middle position. Put the almonds on an ungreased sheet pan, and bake until they look golden and smell warm and toasty, 10 to 15 minutes. (I tend to get nervous about burning them, and consequently, I always try to pull them out of the oven too soon. Don’t do that. Let them really toast.) Set aside to cool completely. When the almonds are cool, pulse them in a food processor until finely ground, the texture of coarse sand. Set aside.

Set the oven to 350°F, and grease a 9-inch round springform pan.

When the citrus is cool, cut the lemon in half, and scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the orange in half, and discard the seeds. Put the lemon rind and orange halves in the food processor – there’s no need to wash it after grinding the almonds – and process to chop finely, almost to a coarse paste.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

Combine the eggs and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat until foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Fold in the flour mixture. Add the citrus, almonds, and olive oil, and beat on low speed to just incorporate. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan. Before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Note: This cake tastes even better on the second - or even third - day, as the flavors meld and mellow. Store it at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


Blogger heroin_e said...

i tried making a cake like this once, off a nigella lawson recipe, but it turned out coarse and pasty and just generally...not quite there. it involved a whole orange, too. possibly the almonds weren't ground finely enough.

the idea still sounds totally delicious though, and maybe this will work...when i get around to trying it!

2:22 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Snooky doodle said...

i made a cake very similar to this one and it tasted really good. have to try this one now :)

2:23 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Gemma said...

Just stopped by to copy out your blueberry pancake recipe and I was delighted to see a new post! I love cakes made like this. Have you tried the clementine cake in How to Eat or the chocolate orange cake in Feast? They don'd use olive oil but they do use the whole fruit - delicious. Gx

2:27 AM, February 14, 2010  
OpenID bferry said...

that video just made my day. what ho, molly! thanks for this recipe.

2:29 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Robyn said...

First met the idea of boiling the oranges via Claudia Roden's delicious orange & almond cake, which is great as a gluten free special occasion cake. A quick on line search brought up Jill Dupleix's version:


Indeed it's marmaladey - I decided to adapt the idea of boiling the fruit first when making marmalade, much less messy and discovered years later the same method in my mother's very old domestic science book - and I thought I'd come up with something new!

Looking forward to trying this version next time. Thank you.

2:35 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger deborah said...

i like your name for this cake and i've been wanting to make ALL the breakfast, lunch & tea for what seems like years. this version looks doable!

2:36 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous tobias cooks! said...

Well, by the photos pone can tell that the cake was yummy. I love simple cake recipes with citrus. Orange seems to be perfect in cakes.

2:41 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger charlie said...

Woopee - more excuses for cake. But I'm new to your blog and don't know what kind of olive oil you use. Light and timid or full-blown extra?

3:09 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Jennifer Jo said...

I now have an afternoon date with my oven. Can't wait.

3:19 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Molly, this cake sounds delicious. I love the flavor and scent of oranges in a cake. I make one of Clotilde's all the time, but that one is loaded with butter.

When I make Craig Claiborne's Linzertorte and Marcella's Carrot Cake, I use almonds that still have the skins on because their color is important to the result. Do you use raw almonds with or without the skins in this recipe?

Lovely to hear from you. I've never had a miss with one of your recipes. Thanks.

3:30 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger withlove,rosie said...

just to clarify... you put the WHOLE orange and lemon in, including the rind? I'm planning on making it and just want to make sure I understand... thanks!

3:41 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Linda said...

so very happy to see this post today!
i have been baking 2 olive oil cakes...
one from giada (almond-citrus-olive-oil-cake)
& the other, which i adore,
from jess @ sweet amandine (uses grapefruit rind as well).
i cannot wait to re-create this cake...sounds amazing!
molly, i have frozen the above mentioned cake & the texture & moistness still there...i imagine the same would be true for this beauty...

4:15 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Estela @ Weekly Bite said...

This cake sounds incredible! I can't wait to try the recipe!

4:20 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger the lacquer spoon said...

No cream and no sauce. Without luxe outfits, that's the simplest beauty :)

4:33 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous lisa said...

Nice. Adding one lemon to my grocery list! I have everything else!

A friend of mine taught me a great trick for dusting a cake with powdered sugar: lay a lacy doily over top, sprinkle the sugar, carefully pull up the doily, and you've got a pretty, lacy pattern. You could also use those fridge magnet letters to spell something, or go wherever your imagination takes you!

5:48 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger ashley english said...

how funny. i was just having a conversation on friday with olga (of sassy radish) about how much i refer back to the recipe i found on her blog for a very similar cake made by gina de palma of babbo: http://www.sassyradish.com/2009/02/olive-oil-almond-cake/.
it's divine. i layer it with my meyer lemon & lemon verbena curd and then slather the whole thing with fresh whipped cream. it's a much -requested staple, chez english.
yesterday, i made something almost identical to your recipe for a friend's spanish-themed 30th birthday, absent the olive oil: http://www.comfybelly.com/2009/06/valencia-orange-cake-made-with-almond-flour.html. it's amazing.
your cake sounds like it will make a welcome addition to my orange & almond cake repertoire!

5:51 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger zephyr said...

Oh my goodness...with some meyer lemons on hand, i'm wondering if one would work in this, or if it is too mild. They (the ones off my own little tree growing in my living room) are mild this year.

Love the top photo, 'specially.

Thanks for this...and still sending warm thoughts to you and your grandmother.

6:06 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Blair said...

Not only does this cake sound incredible but your photos are amazing! It makes me want to buy a Polaroid camera.....and bake a cake! Something tells me the latter would be easier! Thank you, as always, for sharing!

6:08 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Oh! I finally recognized Hugh Laurie - it was hard since he wasn't scowling! The cake sound delicious and it will stand in queue as a "must make."

6:12 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Jess said...

What ho! Thanks for that, and for the recipe, too. Tossing a whole orange into a food processor sounds kind of naughty. I can't wait to try it.

6:24 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous molly said...

I'm not sure I've ever seen sunshine on a plate, until here, and now.

After a particularly frosted-up birthday puff last week, my son asked for "just a nice cake, no frosting, please", which I think I've also never encountered (kid? no frosting??). Obviously you heard the call, much obliged. Now please pardon me while I put some citrus on to boil...

6:38 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Rosiecat said...

Aren't citrus desserts the best? They manage to refresh and tickle your sweet tooth all in one fell swoop--pretty impressive! But it's hard to say no to just one serving, making them just a little bit dangerous to have around...

6:39 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Caitlin said...

Hi Molly! Caitlin here (your cuz Sarah's Caitlin). Been following you out here and coming to Delancey in April, finally! But real reason to write today is: what do I do to this recipe in Boulder's high altitude? Any idea? Best to you and hope to see you soon. C

6:44 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog) said...

Love those citrus-flavored cakes. Light, tangy and less guilt, even though I'm downing a few pieces at one go. :)

6:50 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Emma C said...

Does it matter what kind of olive oil you use? Should it be extra-virgin, or is a decent-quality regular olive oil ok?

6:57 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Hande said...

lotilde made this cake (very very similar) almost exactly 6 years ago and her recipe is attributed to Trish Desine: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2004/02/flourless_orange_and_ginger_cake.php

7:12 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Laura said...

Molly, I am always on the look out for cakes like this, so I will make it asap. I have some blood oranges, so I will try it with them, how wonder what the color might be.

I love the "ripening" of the recipes, I have many of them getting more ripe by the day. Too little time.

Thanks for the recipe and for taking the time to post it. I hope the restaurant is doing great!

7:14 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Lois Reynolds Mead said...

I wonder if using a blood orange will turn it pink for Valentine's Day. Will give it a try! Thanks for the recipe.

7:18 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous DC Sarah said...

oh, molly. i feel like you read my mind. i have had citrusy, olive-oily cakes on the brain lately-perfect thing for winter, no? looking forward to trying this!

ps-finally started my own little blog. aaah!

7:29 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Xan said...

I can smell the citrus from here.

7:48 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I made an orange almond olive oil cake last weekend (for the third time). It was delicious. Such a nice combo. Good for breakfast, lunch or as an actual dessert.

8:05 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous cookingoutloud said...

Love this recipe! Thank you for posting. Have also just checked out the Claudia Roden orange cake. these are both "must makes".

8:14 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Mettch said...

this cake sounds delicious. just a few days ago i made one which sounds similar - the main ingredients were boiled oranges and almonds. however, i did not use any flour and added orange blossom water. it was wonderful, but i will certainly try this cake next time.

8:16 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Diane said...

There's a similar recipe for marmalade in "River Cafe Cookbook Green." It's crazy easy and delicious. Today I'm going to try this cake with the meyer lemons my cousin just gave me. Can't go wrong with meyer lemons . . .

8:52 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Hallie said...

In the middle of winter when fresh, colorful foods seem forever gone, the flavors of citrus in this cake sound like they would really brighten a person up! Look forward to trying it soon.

9:13 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all! Happy Valentine's Day.

heroin_e, this is definitely a coarse cake, but it shouldn't be pasty. I'm inclined to think as you do, that your almonds weren't ground finely enough. The original version of this recipe just says to chop them finely, but I take them further than that, really turning them into a rough powder.

Gemma, I haven't tried Nigella's versions. (Of her books, I only have Feast.) Thank you for the heads-up!

Charlie and Emma C, I use extra virgin olive oil for almost everything, but I don't use an expensive brand. My usual everyday olive oil is one of the 365 brand extra virgin olive oils - usually the Spanish one - from Whole Foods. For a cheaper oil, it's very big and round-flavored and fragrant. But to be perfectly honest, I don't detect much flavor from it, if any, in the final cake. So, frankly, I'd say use whatever you've got, but nothing expensive.

Hello, Victoria! I've only made this cake with skin-on almonds, and I do think the little flecks of brown from the skins give it nice color. (And I don't think I've ever seen raw almonds without skins. Can you buy them?)

withlove,rosie, yep, you've got it! After the fruits are boiled and cooled, you cut the orange in half, remove any seeds, and then plunk the entire halves into the food processor. The same goes for the lemon, only you scoop out (and discard) the pulp and seeds, so only the rind goes into the machine.

Ashley, I love the look of Olga's cake! I like that it has similar flavors to this one, but it seems more delicate. Eager to try it.

Zephyr, you could definitely try Meyer lemon here! It think it would be wonderful. And thank you for the kind words about my grandmother. She's having a tough time, and I hope she finds some peace soon.

Molly, I hope this cake isn't too "weird" for your son! I wouldn't have liked this kind of dark orange flavor as a kid, but then again, I also pined for grocery store cakes with big, crusty, piped-on rosettes of frosting. He's way ahead of me.

Caitlin, I've never done any high-altitude baking, so I'm not sure what to tell you! So sorry that I can't be more helpful. But see you soon! xo

9:53 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Our Porch in Hillsborough said...

I can't wait to try this cake - it looks so yummy. And thanks for the Jeeves & Wooster link - I just finished re-watching all episodes (Netflix!)before Christmas and had forgotten how laugh-aloud funny they are!

9:55 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Jennywenny said...

How delicious! I have tons of almond paste and my entire crisper drawer is full of kumquats, so this recipe is just what I was looking for, I'll make it for a co-workers 40th! Great timing...

10:17 AM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Luisa Nicholson said...

After your great instructions, pancakes worked fabulously! you are brilliant! Happy Valentines day to you and Brandon xxx

11:41 AM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Rosie DeQuattro said...

Thanks, Molly. I haven't made an evoo cake with whole fruits but the one I make is equally delicious. The success of the cake depends on the quality of the ingredients--i.e, good marmalade; fresh evoo; fresh-squeezed oj, etc. It never fails to impress guests (I've filled requests for the recipe countless times), and it's irresistable for snacking and/or for breakfast. Recipe is at http://www.rosiedequattro.com/2009/08/olive-oil-cake.html

12:06 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger quinn said...

Thanks for posting this - I'm one of the folks whose been hoping :)

Do you have any idea how much of the citrus concoction (volume-wise) is needed? I have an idea for a modification (limited kitchen equipment makes me be "creative") but I'd like to have a rough idea how much citrus "paste" is needed.

12:11 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

I think I'm going to put this one on my list to try! I've been working on this whole dessert thing, trying to find ones I like--just posted about this topic, actually:


I'm generally not into cake-too sweet for me usually. But this cake looks like it's got a lot more going on than just sugar!

12:15 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Mercedes said...

I believe most of the recipes for this sort of cake stem from Claudia Roden's Orange Almond Cake, which was published back in the 70's, and is actually a traditional Middle Eastern cake. I know the recipes from Nigella and others specifically attribute it to Claudia Roden.

It's common to find this cake in Turkey served with a big dollop of clotted cream (kaymak) on top.

12:31 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous my little expat kitchen said...

Anything with citrus fruit is perfect for me. Especially a cake. I will give it a try, but I better wait a while. I think I'm about to o.d. on sugar what with Valentine's Day and all.
Happy V.Day! :)

12:32 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Caitlin, for baking at Boulder's altitude, I would try decreasing the baking powder to 2 1/2 teaspoons, decreasing the sugar to 1 3/8 c, and increasing the oil by 1 or 2 tablespoons. That's just a best guess, though, based on previous high-altitude adjustments.

12:37 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Casey said...

Nigella's Clementine Cake is fabulous--she notes that it is similar to Claudia Roden's Orange-Almond Cake--and tastes even better the day after it's baked, making it a great do-ahead dessert for a dinner party.

1:16 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said...

Yum! Sounds like something that would keep a while too. Happy Valentine's Day!

2:11 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Karen said...

Deb at Smitten Kitchen had something similar (whole clementines, rinds and all, and ground almonds, but no flour or olive oil) last year, http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/clementine-cake/. I haven't tried it yet, but now I want to try them both! I do love citrus desserts...

2:24 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Ariella said...

LOve love love olive oil cake-- Gourmet did one a few years ago, different than yours, not nearly as much citrus. Can't wait to try this, Thank You!!

2:27 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous The Leftoverist said...

My incessant checking has paid off. I don't do RSS feeds because they make me feel like I HAVE to read something--like a too-full inbox. So I check here a couple times a day, hoping to be surprised.

I especially love cakes that keep. Some little nibble to look forward to every day...

4:18 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Emily said...

My version of this is also an adaptation of the Claudia Roden recipe, however in our family we like to up that bitter orange flavour even more by actually spreading the top of the cake with my Nanna's marmalade before dusting it (yes, Molly, then it really IS marmalade cake!). I think it was one of my aunts who originally tried this, not sure where she got the idea though. And I should stress that it really only works with a great home-made marmalade, not the pasty store-bought versions.

4:52 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Jen said...

damn this looks awesome. how did we eat before you? i have no idea. really.

5:28 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Karen said...

Oh, Hugh Laurie.
This cake sounds so refreshing.

7:04 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Amanda said...

Sounds amazing! And I like your name adjustment. I've used olive oil in cakes and baked goods before (not, I will admit, because the recipes called for olive oil, but simply for lack of any other oil or butter in the pantry). And for some reason I only hear "olive" and "cake" when I read "olive oil cake."

Marmalade cake, on the other hand, sounds luscious! Can't wait to try it!

7:46 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Enchanted Fig said...

Lovely! I have a bunch of homemade marmalade, I wonder how I could use that instead of the orange and lemon?

8:56 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Mindy Anders said...

Can't wait to try it. I love your blog, just started reading it the other day. Makes you feel you're in the kitchen cooking with you - very helpful! I tried your oatmeal pancakes yesterday - but I was so tired b/c I stayed up so late (blogging!) that I put 2 cups flour instead of 1/2 cup. When they looked like mounds of cookie dough in the pan, I knew I'd have to try again another day!

9:04 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Sook said...

Oh yum!

9:20 PM, February 14, 2010  
OpenID vaguelyspecific said...

wow! *must* try that oned day. sounds amazing!

9:59 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Charlotte said...

This looks similar to an almond cake that I made once. It was so good but too much cake for 2 people to eat. I love cake and I like them even more if they taste good without frosting. This could be a contender for the next birthday party.

12:19 AM, February 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the recipe Molly. Had forgotten until I read your post, but I was the one who asked you for the recipe!

2:05 AM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Spiralstyle said...

I will be trying this. I've made cakes with olive oil before and almond meal but the citrus part is intriguing.

4:33 AM, February 15, 2010  
Anonymous lisaiscooking said...

There's a similar cake in the Greyston Bakery Cookbook made with blood oranges. Same process of boiling and then pureeing. It does smell fantastic as it's prepared.

7:17 AM, February 15, 2010  
OpenID windycityvegan said...

Oh wow, I'll be making some version of this soon. Food allergies in the family mean I have to replace the eggs which may be tricky, but this looks too good to pass up! I haven't had olive oil cake in ages.

8:46 AM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Sarah Compton said...

Yum! I recently moved from sea level to 4900 feet. Baking is sometimes a challenge, but the trial and error is something that I (most times) enjoy.

Since I now live in Montana, I have been getting all homestead-y with a sourdough starter. Which has been a lot of fun- and since I don't have any pets, substitutes for that as well... only not as snugly.

8:56 AM, February 15, 2010  
Anonymous jessiev said...

oh my goodness, how can we NOT MAKE THIS CAKE? happy birthday to US!! :) thanks, molly.

10:25 AM, February 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Molly, I tried to make your chocolate mousse (last post) following to the tee your instructions but it was a big failure. When trying to melt that chocolate with the water and the brandy...the chocolate seized up and became a dull,thick big paste. While going through the recipe I was a little surprised when I read "melt the chocolate with the water..." which according to any pastry chef or baker is the biggest no-no for chocolate melting, however after reading to raving comments I decided to give it a shot. I trusted the recipe thinking that maybe it was the cocoa or the brandy that would prevent it for seizing. I doubled the recipe for a party so I had to throw away an entire pound of the very expensive Amadei chocolate I was reserving for a special occasion. I'm over it but I would like to know...can chocolate and water possibly melt together?

Karen Helle

10:49 AM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger caroline said...

Well, I really would like to want to make this cake, since your description of it is so compelling, but I keep thinking back to a horrible lemon tart I made a few years back which involved using the whole fruit. How can you convince me to make it?

11:12 AM, February 15, 2010  
OpenID Katy said...

I love the combination of almonds and citrus! I imagine this would be quite tasty with a raspberry compote. Can't wait to try it!

12:04 PM, February 15, 2010  
Anonymous Jan (Family Bites) said...

I love olive oil cakes and with lots of citrus around these days I may just have to make this. Great story!

12:57 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Kelsey B. said...

I make a similar olive oil orange cake with pine nuts from Tessa Kiros. Also, Sweet amandine made one like this too, recently. We are all on the same wavelength - citrus to beat the winter blues!

12:59 PM, February 15, 2010  
Anonymous noelle {simmer down!} said...

What a coincidence- I just made my first olive oil cake yesterday, and was a bit disappointed by it. This one sounds much gutsier, I'll have to give it a go.

2:42 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This sounds delicious!

2:44 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Inglesita said...

what timing!! only yesterday my Spanish mother in law showed me how to make a cake EXACTLY like this. Her trick is to always use oil, never butter, and get as much air into the cake as possible as separating the egg whites and whisking them up until they are light and fluffy.
Then add whatever takes you fancy - walnuts, almonds, citrus, chopped dates...
Absolutely divine.

2:49 PM, February 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this cake yesterday with a meyer lemon and an orange. It came out perfectly (!) The almonds give the cake a little rough texture. The marmaladey taste is perfect. And it is even better the next day. I'll have to wonder how it tastes on the 3rd day because it won't last that long. Thanks so much for this recipe!

3:03 PM, February 15, 2010  
OpenID biz319 said...

I have a twin sister and we pretty much celebrate the whole month of March - ours is the 19th, my daughter is the 7th (can't believe she'll be 18 this year!) and my nephews is on the 18th.

That cake looks amazing!

3:37 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Cheryl Arkison said...

There is a muffin recipe, called Sunshine muffins, that calls for blitzing a whole orange (not boiled) as part of your wet ingredients. I imagine it smells the same as when your cake is cooking.

3:50 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Meander said...

yummers! and your photos get more and more fabulous every time I stop by!!! thanks for sharing!

4:13 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger hannah | honey & jam said...

I've wanted to make an olive oil cake for ages - this one looks perfect.

5:11 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger kim said...

I am SO excited to see another post - and about this cake as I am a citrus fiend. I can't wait to make it! Thanks Molly!

5:25 PM, February 15, 2010  
OpenID maybenextweek said...

Any citrus cake is a friend of mine and this looks absolutely splendid. Thanks Molly!

6:16 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Megan Gordon said...

Ah yes...the Boonville Hotel. I LOVE Boonville with a capital "L". Did you get a chance to grab a sandwich at the general store across the way or peek into that cute kitchen-y store down the block a bit? I actually wrote about a day in Boonville on my blog recently...one of those places that, in a future life, I could see myself settling down in. Anyway, this cake looks lovely. Always happy to see a Molly post!

7:20 PM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Tara D. Coomans said...

Love your blog and digg'n your podcast!! Hav'n fun with your food!! Chow on!

1:16 AM, February 16, 2010  
Anonymous Koek! said...

I love the idea of boiling and blitzing a whole orange... Can't wait to try it! The way you described it, I felt I could smell it already.

2:02 AM, February 16, 2010  
Anonymous Q Mixalot said...

Sounds incredible like an orgeat syrup cake.
- Columbine Quillen

3:39 AM, February 16, 2010  
OpenID ivorypomegranate said...

I've never been inspired to make olive oil cake, until this recipe. I'm so interested in trying this method, pureeing a whole orange? Ah!

5:30 AM, February 16, 2010  
Anonymous Dirk L. Archibold Chester said...

I believe this must be an acquired taste. I had a sample of olive oil cookies at our local farmer's market this past weekend, and while not unpleasant, I couldn't enjoy them quite as much as sweets made with butter or some other oil. I'm sure it is much better for your health, however!

Food Lovers Heaven

6:42 AM, February 16, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe last night. It is absulately fantastic. Best cake I ever tried for years. thanks for the recipe.

7:02 AM, February 16, 2010  
Blogger Afner said...

This Blog is amazing... very neat design and pictures, plus excellent recipes with good taste and style.
I have made my own amateur blog to show the world my passion for food, maybe you'd like to see it:


Thanks and I'll be around often!

7:23 AM, February 16, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Quinn, now I wish I had measured the orange and lemon after I whizzed them in the food processor! I'm nervous about attempting a guess, but I don't know, maybe 1 cup?

Thanks for your helpful advice on high-altitude baking, Elizabeth! Much appreciated.

Karen Helle, I am so, so sorry to hear of your wasted chocolate! That's awful. I understand your wariness about melting chocolate with water (or water-based liquid), because for a long time, I too thought it was always a recipe for disaster, but then I saw an episode of Alton Brown's TV show that said otherwise. Here's the transcript from it. (Scroll down to Scene 7 for the relevant discussion and explanation.) Basically, if you try to melt chocolate with just a little bit of water-based liquid, it will seize. But - and this sounds counterintuitive, I know - if you melt it with more liquid, it won't. According to Shirley Corriher (a food scientist), you need at least 1 tablespoon of water-based liquid for every 2 ounces of chocolate in order for the chocolate not to seize. The mousse recipe I posted does meet those guidelines, so I'm not sure why it would have seized on you. I haven't tried doubling it, though, and I wonder if that's what caused the trouble. It doesn't entirely make sense to me, but maybe when you've got a lot of chocolate, even if you add a safe amount of liquid, it can be difficult to "stretch" the liquid around to coat the chocolate properly?

10:25 AM, February 16, 2010  
Anonymous Natasha said...

As Mercedes said, this cake was first published in Claudia Roden's Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1974. She reprinted it in her Book of Jewish Food in 1996, describing it as of Judeo Spanish origin. Nigella's copycat version swapped clementines for the oranges. Neither has olive oil though, just eggs for fat.

11:41 AM, February 16, 2010  
Blogger Diana said...

I'm about to give up chocolate for Lent, and just recently acquired a 9-inch springform pan.

Coincidence? I think not. I believe I am destined to make and eat this cake! One slice at a time -- for an entire week. :)

12:35 PM, February 16, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a few weeks I need to make some muffins. Hmmm...I think this cake done as cupcakes might be even better! Do you think I dare try?? Would you recommend any adjustments, or just tally-ho...?

12:57 PM, February 16, 2010  
Blogger Christi said...

Hi, Molly ~ I made the request at Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing. I can't wait to make this - I fell in love with an olive oil cake that sounds similar to this one last fall. I received your book as a hostess gift and am savoring each & every chapter. Thanks for sharing your memories and recipes and more.

2:35 PM, February 16, 2010  
Anonymous The Sharpest Knife said...

I saw Chef Michael Smith (a canadian food personality) make an olive oil cake once, though I don't recall it having any citrus in it (though this may just be my memory). I DO recall he finished it with cilantro whipped cream, which I've wanted to make ever since.

I'll have to find occasion to try this some time...

5:43 PM, February 16, 2010  
Blogger lostpastremembered said...

I had batali's olive oil cake but this is something really special with this... thanks for sharing.

6:00 AM, February 17, 2010  
Blogger Sally said...

Hi Molly - the cake looks yummy, I will probably try it. But I really wanted to congratulate you and Brandon for placing in the "Final Four" for your region in the Rachael Ray Everyday Pizza tour. Great Job! I'm hoping my son chooses U of W for grad school so I can come eat your pizza!

7:54 AM, February 17, 2010  
Blogger traveling, in huis en erbuiten.... said...

jeeves.... indeed. Nigella made a mandarin cake like you describe once, and my mother, difficult client no less, fell for it, big time. so i totally dig it. must make it again...

7:58 AM, February 17, 2010  
Blogger Shawna said...

I made this cake yesterday and it was delicious. I agree that the flavour improves with age. It may sound odd, but this cake tastes even better with a slice of cheddar cheese. Nuts and fruit always complement cheese very well.

4:15 PM, February 17, 2010  
Blogger Denise said...

It's always a nice treat to see a new post up on your blog. This cake sounds incredible, and I can't wait to try it! I'm so glad you found the recipe and shared it with us. I love anything with citrus!!

7:10 PM, February 17, 2010  
Blogger Kendall said...

Made this cake tonight and it's goooooood. Just wanted to say that. :D

8:05 PM, February 17, 2010  
OpenID vickys said...

I had an olive oil cake once and was quite..shocked with the flavours. But then again it also had white wine in it, which was definitely something new. I like the sound of the marmalade in this cake. Will definitely love to give it a go! :)

9:19 PM, February 17, 2010  
Anonymous Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home said...

Ah yes, as a few others have said, a version of this cake appears in a Claudia Roden Middle Eastern Food book, and an adapted version appears in one of Nigella Lawson's Books. I've never made either of those recipes, but your writing has convinced me to try the recipe you feature here!

11:16 PM, February 17, 2010  
Anonymous Dav said...

This looks amazing. I'm often asked to bake dairy-free cakes and whenever I've used oil they always taste deliciously moist (this also goes for using oil in dairy-laden cakes). Will definitely try this recipe.

1:28 AM, February 18, 2010  
Blogger B. said...

I made this gem yesterday and I am in love!

Thanks Molly

9:42 AM, February 19, 2010  
Anonymous my spatula said...

oh boy. this looks like a dangerous one. the kind that's made far too often, dangerous.

12:10 PM, February 19, 2010  
Anonymous The Healthy Apple said...

This is perfect for my birthday cake; I'm going to make this tnite!!! Thank you...enjoy your weekend!

12:54 PM, February 19, 2010  
Anonymous Fruit Maven said...

Hmm. I have two very interesting citrus in my fridge right now. I wonder how they would affect this since you use the entire peel. The Mandarinquat has a sweet peel and slightly tart flesh. And I have a Seville orange, which is ideal for marmalade but is REALLY sour. hmmmm...

3:30 PM, February 19, 2010  
Blogger FanOfCaffeine said...

Wow Molly, what a great cake. I made this yesterday and tried to get my family to wait until today to try it. Well half of the cake survived and just as you had written it was even better the next day. I did sub. whole wheat flour that I had ground for the all purpose and it was great. This is a new favorite and my family wants to know when I will make it again. Thanks.

11:10 PM, February 19, 2010  
Blogger Robert said...

I cannot stop making this cake. I've made it 3 times already. I used Cara Cara oranges this time around, no seeds! It is very delicious and great for breakfast. I also served it with Candied Kumquats and a drizzle of the vanilla sugar syrup for desert. I cannot say enough about this cake and the flavors.

6:42 AM, February 20, 2010  
Blogger Payal Shah said...

Molly, this cake is wonderful and delicious! I made the cake and finished the last bite of it just now! Thanks for the recipe.

7:52 AM, February 20, 2010  
Anonymous Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) said...

Gorgeous cake. I've never heard of anything quite like it, and now I'm intrigued. I can hardly wait to try it. I think it would make the perfect cake for Easter. :)

11:25 AM, February 20, 2010  
Blogger Jane said...

I just made a slightly altered version of the Gina de Palma (Babbo) version of olive oil cake yesterday, never having tasted any type of olive oil cake before. I just love the way it turned out. I confined the accompanying flavors to orange in the cake batter, and orange along with Meyer lemon in the glaze. I am a convert! The lack of butter in the cake was a welcome and interesting difference. I also loved the added texture and slight chewiness from the cornmeal. I look forward to making this type of dessert more often. It's a refreshing change!


12:38 PM, February 20, 2010  
Anonymous deborah said...

I made this right away although I used half a grapefruit since I didn't have an orange. Tangy but good.

1:36 PM, February 20, 2010  
Blogger rhian said...

I made the Nigella Lawson verion of this, as included in the Green and Blacks cookbook. The cake is finished by grating chocolate over it when come out of the oven so it melts and then sets. Maya Gold works really well for this - yum, I'm drooling just thinking about it!

3:26 PM, February 20, 2010  
Anonymous Eric said...


I'm a private chef and always looking to expand my dessert repertoire. I made this for a lunch I cooked today and it was simply amazing! Thanks for a great recipe and excellent blog.


4:47 PM, February 20, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been making Claudia Roden's flour less orange cake for years. It's a cafe standard in Australia. Instead of boiling the oranges, I quarter them, take out the seeds, cut away the pith in the centre of the quarters and then microwave them in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes. I find microwaving the oranges results in a softer, less bitter peel.

12:40 AM, February 21, 2010  
Blogger mimi charmante said...

I did a post about my favorite food bloggers this morning and borrowed a few of your photos for your part. I hope you don't mind. We really need to get over for some pizza one of these weekends!

8:16 AM, February 21, 2010  
Blogger M. said...

Ever since I felt in love with Olive Oil and Sea Salt Gelato in one of my local restaurants, I'm crazy for any dessert that uses either or combination of both ingredients. This recipe looks really interesting and fits right into that category.
I'll be trying this one soon!

1:41 PM, February 21, 2010  
Blogger Felish said...

Lovely lovely cake! As usual, I decided to make it on a whim, because I had an orange, lemon, and raw almonds just lying around begging for something to do.

Of course, well into the process I found that I had no white flour. No problem, 3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour and 1/4 c. yellow corn meal (I thought it would match up well with the almonds) worked out just fine. Whew.

Then, oven pre-heated and batter mixed...now where is that 9" springform pan? Drat, just moved and can only find the 7". So into a bundt pan it went (greased and floured), and it came out just fine.

Bonus: the house smells like I've just mopped with Orange Glo, even though I haven't gotten around to that weekend chore yet!

Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe.

2:33 PM, February 21, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My roomate made this cake and I discovered it about 2days later. It was so different that I tried it and was hooked. After another 3days it was still on the counter (I was pacing myself) when my son-in-law tried it and was also surprised that it was still so delicious and moist.
I have shared this recipe with my daughter...now I look forward to sharing it at her dinner table for desert and coffee. Wow! This is a winner!!

2:52 PM, February 21, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly, I love you, your column, your book, and your pizza place, which I've never been to.[I live in MPLS.] Come here, so I can meet you. I just made your British Flapjacks, from BA. No eggs? Wow...risky. But they tasted good from the bowl. Can't wait to see the end result. Olive Oil Cake is next.

3:00 PM, February 21, 2010  
OpenID theappetiteoflife.wordpress.com said...

Yum! Simple yet delectable! What about pairing it with some fresh berries? What do ya think?

5:34 PM, February 21, 2010  
Blogger Pavithra said...

Loved this cake !! Made it this weekend and it was a big hit at home. Took some to the office and everyone loved it. Thanks for the recipe.. hadn't baked for a long time and this recipe made me do it ... in love with baking again :)

2:55 AM, February 22, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This cake was awesome. I made it over the weekend and brought in half to work. Everyone's been mmming through Monday. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

9:04 AM, February 22, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this cake is awesome. I reduced oil to 1/2 cup and it was still moist and delicious 3 days later, I couldn't believe it. (also couldn't believe we had the self-control to spread it out over 3 days, new year's resolutions still going strong for once!)

9:53 AM, February 22, 2010  
Blogger Monica said...

The olive oil cake is a keeper.
I think I want it for my birthday-
Also- second Sunday in a row making oatmeal pancakes- oh yum
added orange zest to batter- lovely
and- made your celery root salad from BA.

8:41 PM, February 22, 2010  
Blogger Jennifer Jo said...

Molly, I made this, loved it (it's a girl thing, I've learned), and blogged about it. Thanks!

6:09 AM, February 23, 2010  
Anonymous Nell said...

This looks fantastic. I am wheat intolerant, so do you think I can use another type of flour - any suggestions would be great

12:40 PM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger Shuna Fish said...

cakes like this have recently entered my radar, mouth, repertoire, recipe box &, consequently, dessert menus.

my only extra advice would be to alter the method slightly: emulsify oil in with whipping eggs + sugar. and then adding almond 'meal' & citrus puree.

this way there's no danger in overmixing the cake batter-- an instruction primarily geared at developing gluten strands from the flour, which one mostly does not want in tender cake texture/crumb.

p.s. i adore the banner, and your photos get better and better.

3:03 PM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger cbaillie said...

It was a great cake, thanks for posting it. I used some Marcona almonds I had on hand so I'm not sure what it would have tasted like with raw toasted almonds, but it was still great.

9:03 PM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Nell, I wish I could help, but I really know very little about the properties of different non-wheat flours! Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl might be able to help you.

And Shuna, hi! Many thanks for your advice and wisdom! Hoping to come try your desserts when I'm on book tour in New York in April. I can't wait.

11:06 AM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger 'NEEN at 9 BEAN ROW said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful Molly. This is such an elegant looking cake, and sounds so dense and yet delicate at the same time.

Thanks for posting this.

2:06 PM, February 24, 2010  
Anonymous Adriane said...

Saw the recipe and made this cake yesterday to serve with coffee & tea with friends. It was perfect. And yes, it was better today than it was yesterday. I can't wait to taste it tomorrow! Thank you for an excellent recipe from this cake lover (who's not particularly fond of frosting).

5:43 PM, February 24, 2010  
Anonymous Steven Stone said...

I once tasted this delicatessen in one of my travels to Barcelona, in Spain. It was really a tasteful experience for the senses, recommended for everybody fond of cold desserts. A real pleasure. You can find more info about the restaurant at http://www.restaurantesbarcelona.com/la_clara/ , hope you all like it. Thanks for the recipe, great blog.

3:22 AM, February 25, 2010  
Anonymous heather @ chiknpastry said...

Hey Molly! great post :); that cake looks damn tasty.

hey - i'm heading to seattle next month for a long weekend. any food suggestions????!!!! what about B&B's to stay in?

7:25 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger sarah said...

Just made this yesterday and it was amazing. It was really moist and I love the texture that the almonds gave. For some reason it reminded me of poppyseeds - maybe I should sprinkle some on top next time. That might be pretty. Thanks for the recipe!

7:38 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger SK said...

I loved your story about Flapjacks in this issue of BA. Well, to be honest, I love all your stories. I couldn't find the golden syrup anywhere so I finally ordered as case of it on Amazon. Can't wait to taste it!

10:40 AM, February 25, 2010  
Anonymous rebekka said...

I feel like I have just been reading EVERYWHERE about these cakes made with whole citurs, peel and everything. I am finally convinced to bake one...

1:23 PM, February 25, 2010  
Anonymous Arielle said...

Hi Molly, love your blog! I made this cake for Valentine's day and the batter tasted delicious but after baking a really distinct (TOO distinct) bitter aftertaste developed. Could I avoid this by scooping out the pith of the lemon?

6:33 PM, February 25, 2010  
Anonymous Abha said...

I love cakes but finding a good egg less recipe is difficult. The recipe looks good. Could you suggest a suitable replacement for eggs?

7:30 PM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Larry said...

I decided to try this intriguing cake after discovering your excellent blog. I think I took your advice about not under-toasting the nuts a bit too literally. While not scorched, the deeply toasted almonds became the dominant flavor that muted the citrus. Even so, my guests enjoyed it, couldn't quite identify the flavors, but asked for seconds!

Next time, I think I will also reduce the oil to 1/2 c. or try the emulsifying trick that someone else mentioned.

9:18 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Annie Prior Ozsarac said...

I just read the chapter in your book about your dad dying, and it cut straight to the center of my being. My dad just died on December 5th (In Seattle) from brain and lung cancer, and he too loved to cook, and passed it on to me. I cried during the entire chapter. I too flew back twice in a short span of time as he lived only 6 weeks after his diagnosis. Thank you for sharing your love of food and life, and the intimate, momentous moments of your life with the world. I can't wait to read the rest of the book. -Annie Prior Ozsarac, Istanbul, Turkey.

11:55 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger Jae Young said...

I bookmarked this recipe to make it on vacation and it was DELICIOUS! We waited the three days and marveled at the increasing moisture and change in texture. Marmalade cake is definitely the better name for it! I had to use a blender, cos my friend did not have a food processor, so people had chunks of orange, but I feel it just added to the rustic flavor of it. I am sorely tempted to buy a food processor just so I can make this cake again~

9:36 AM, February 28, 2010  
Blogger Dave and Kim said...

Enjoyed this recipe and will bake this again. Who needs frosting. I even forgot the powdered sugar.

4:40 PM, February 28, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Heather @ Chiknpastry, I do have suggestions for you! You can find them here, on my "About" page (scroll down to the bottom).

Thanks, SK! Hope your golden syrup arrives soon, and that you enjoy the flapjacks!

Arielle, hmm. I'm not sure what went wrong! I've had this cake come out too bitter once, but it was because I used two oranges and one lemon, as opposed to one of each. If I were you, I would maybe try using a smaller orange and a smaller lemon. I think it would be hard to scrape out the pith, because after the fruit has been boiled, the pith is translucent and almost indistinguishable from the peel.

Abha, I wish I could help you, but I know very little about eggless baking. So sorry!

Annie, I'm so very, very sorry to hear of your dad. I know well - way too well - what you're going through, and I wish you strength, love, and peace.

6:53 PM, February 28, 2010  
Blogger Irene said...

Hi Molly,

I've been reading your blog for a while -- am a huge fan -- but have only now decided to delurk (is that what it's called? it doesn't sound so friendly, I'm afraid).

My twin sister and I celebrate our birthday near Thanksgiving too! This year it happened to fall right on the holiday, which was lovely, actually. But it made me think of one other time when it wasn't such a lovely coincidence--when my mom decided to throw a birthday party that no one was able to show up for. We understood, of course, but imagine the heartbreak of two adolescent girls.

This recipe sounds fabulous...it's on queue for my weekend baking!

Thanks for sharing. Your writing is a joy to read.

10:04 AM, March 01, 2010  
Blogger Annie Prior Ozsarac said...

Thanks, Molly, for the kind words. I did finish your book, that very night as a matter of fact, and was sad to come to the end. I also had my dad's wedding ring re-shaped, though I wear it, not my husband. What a really sweet gesture for you to have done.

We ate the Bouchons au thon and red cabbage salad for dinner tonight. Amazing combination. And I made this marmalade cake last week for a colleague, and it was a hit. Thanks again, you are the best!

10:13 AM, March 01, 2010  
Blogger Cristina said...

I made the cake this weekend and OMG delicious! and you are right once you get the nuts and fruit done it's a snap.

The only thing I want to do differently is use a full olive oil. When I when to get mine I was almost out and ended up using an extra light virgin olive oil and I think a fuller one will round out the flavor if that's even possible, it was so good. THANKS for sharing.

11:09 AM, March 01, 2010  
Blogger Charlotte Prescott said...

This sounds lovely, and far too lovely to waste on Bertie Wooster! I know that Jeeves would appreciate it, though. :)

5:46 PM, March 02, 2010  
Blogger Teresa said...

I am planning to make this cake with a blood orange, and am wondering what you think about using a lime instead of the lemon. I'm worried because there is so much less rind on a lime than on a lemon...thoughts?

8:33 PM, March 02, 2010  
Anonymous Gabi said...

A friend of mine always toasts the almonds in a pan. Does this work too or would you not recommend it because the flavor doesn't have as much time to come out?

8:33 PM, March 02, 2010  
Blogger Noelle Boosinger said...

Wow, I can't resist trying this cake recipe out! How bizarre in it's preparation (a whole orange). It sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing it.

8:33 PM, March 02, 2010  
OpenID travelingwilbury said...

Hello Molly
Nigella Lawson has a very similar cake and I think she took her inspiration from Claudia Roden. I have also made it and I agree, it's delicious! I haven't published the recipe yet.

Beautiful blog


8:16 AM, March 03, 2010  
Anonymous Dinah Grossman said...

This would be a great cake to turn into an upside-down cake, maybe with thin slices of citrus in the bottom of the pan. A few weeks back I used a Deborah Madison polenta cake recipe, and caramelized pears in a sauce pan for this--it began an obsession with cooking cake over cooked fruit.

9:20 AM, March 03, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Gabi, you could toast the almonds in a skillet on the stove, yes. I prefer to do it in the oven, because I think they toast more evenly that way, but you could do either.

Teresa, I can't quite picture what lime would taste like here. I'm not sure that it would be good. But maybe I'm wrong! I don't know. Try it!

9:40 AM, March 03, 2010  
Blogger Danielle said...

Well after making your Pistachio Baklava that I had clipped from Bon Appetit on Monday (you oudid yourself on that recipe) and blogging it this morning I must now try this amazing sounding cake. Undoubtedly a winner and I am now your biggest fan!

12:20 PM, March 03, 2010  
Anonymous Melinda Feucht said...

So moist, so nutty, so fresh - so delicious! Thanks for sharing Molly. My fellow Amazonians loved it.

5:44 PM, March 03, 2010  
Blogger Wendy Morgenstern said...

Awesome! I only had the patience to let it cool fifteen minutes before I had to cut a slice. This cake is fabulous.

9:55 PM, March 03, 2010  
Blogger cindy said...

Made the cake last night and wow - the house smells fantastic! I really enjoy this recipe - tasty, unique, complex. So nice to have an option other than chocolate!

FYI, I checked after just 35 minutes and it was already done.

Thanks Molly!

8:09 AM, March 04, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Lovely cake -- thanks very much for the recipe.

I used part of the batter for 12
cupcakes in muffin pans lined with paper cupcake cups -- baked about 30 minutes -- check with a toothpick.

I baked the rest of the batter in 2 medium sized loaf pans sprayed with Pam -- baked about 45 minutes -- also check with a toothpick.

I frosted some of the cupcakes with a mix of powdered sugar, orange zest, & orange juice -- quite good, for those who insist on icing (men, in my experience).

8:57 AM, March 04, 2010  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Yum! This looks so delicious. I can't wait to give it a shot.

9:25 AM, March 04, 2010  
Anonymous susan hayward said...

Martha Stewart ran a recipe for fig and lemon cake using olive oil and I loved it. I might be gluten intolerant though, and wondered if I can substitute gluten free flour for the regular stuff.

Love your book and your site!

2:34 PM, March 04, 2010  
Anonymous sageandstyle said...

I was so happy to see this post! I had my first olive oil cake on Monday and I can't stop dreaming about it. My version was a polenta olive oil cake with marscapone layers + kumquats on top. DELISH. I want to try to recreate it with the help of your recipe!

5:24 PM, March 04, 2010  
Blogger Sara said...

Love your blog so much! I always choose your recipes over any others. This looks delicious!

8:08 PM, March 04, 2010  
Anonymous anduin said...

Apparently I'm the only one wondering this. Is the measurement for the almonds volumetric or weight? Also, I don't think I have enough almonds--would another nut, like hazelnuts, work or do I have to go shopping?

10:58 AM, March 05, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Anduin, the almond measurement is by weight. I haven't tried it with hazelnuts, but I think their flavor might be too strong here. Just a guess, though.

7:44 PM, March 05, 2010  
Blogger Karen said...


This link will get you to similar recipe that was published in the Boston Globe. The authors attribute the recipe to Frank Hodge.

I made it for my husband back in 2005 when it was published and it was wonderful. But, there is no flour in that recipe, other than for dusting the pan.

9:54 PM, March 05, 2010  
Anonymous Katrina Higham said...

I miss reading your blogs!!! :(

2:51 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger Angela Wales Rockett said...

Just wanted to let you know that I just read your book and enjoyed it immensely! Can't wait to try out the recipes. And the really great thing is I can continue to read your book by reading your blog!

Catching up with your last few posts, I'm very excited to read about Delancey (congratulations!) and will make having a dinner there a must do soon event.

9:39 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger Fizz & Honey said...

Beautiful photos and can't wait to try this cake!


10:17 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger shratter said...

Thank you for the fantastic recipe - it is the perfect end of winter dessert. The orange and lemon looked so bright and beautiful in the food processor and the cake's color oozes sunshine. I didn't have a 9" Springform and the recipe made 7 4.5" cakes that I've happily handed out to friends. I know you originally had it for non-dairy dessert reasons but found brandied whipped cream to be a perfect accompaniment.

5:10 PM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger Rose Anthony said...

got distracted, and forgot to add olive oil. I'd already altered it by using quinoa flour. I did not remember the oil until I was explaining to husband that I'd expected it to be OIL-IER. HA! Well, it is delicious, wheat and oil free! I served it with a simple citrus compote of segmented cara oranges with zest and a little agave extract. Very delicious. The cake rose perfectly and is very moist. Who woulda thought? This was like the healthiest cake in the world and SO good!

8:52 PM, March 06, 2010  
Anonymous Gwyn said...

I have been out of the country for a couple of weeks (horray for Belgian beer!) and checked your blog while i was gone and could not get this cake out of my head! I got back last weekend and about 7 p.m. on Sunday night was having major jet lag issues but knew i couldn't succomb. So I decided the project to keep me up another few hours was to make this cake. oh. my. gosh. I took it to work the next day and a few days later a fella I work with said, "When I close my eyes at night, that Mamalade Cake is what I dream of." This is a rock star of a cake!

9:54 AM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Laurie said...

Natalie Savona has this recipe in her amazing cookbook Wonderfoods. It's a star. Everyone I've served it to loved it. Even better the next day.

8:22 PM, March 07, 2010  
Blogger Devavani said...

dear molly,

this cake is brilliant. on day 3 it was absolutely wonderful but it required great self-control to save some to try! thank you for this lovely recipe.

5:44 PM, March 08, 2010  
Blogger Nicky Linzey said...

Thank you for this Molly - I made it for a special birthday and it was wonderful, moist and crumbly and as you said - even better after a couple of days.

12:57 AM, March 09, 2010  
Anonymous Amy said...

definitely agree about the whole 'aging' comment--it turns into more of a pound cake the longer you leave it out! I actually like it kind of crumbly... and I substituted a quarter cup of white sugar for brown and I love the dark brown color the cake has! I was worried there would be too much sugar but I almost burnt my almonds so they complemented well.

12:22 AM, March 11, 2010  
Anonymous love singapore food ... said...

thanks for sharing...its healthy too!

1:37 AM, March 14, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi - finally made this cake last night after harvesting lemons and oranges from my parent's backyard in s. calif. it's delicious! i also made the oatmeal pancakes and loved them too. thanks so much! stefanie

3:46 PM, March 15, 2010  
Blogger Cara said...

I have to make this cake...it looks and sounds soo yummy!

2:04 PM, March 19, 2010  
Blogger charline sheen said...

Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I made this cake because it required very few (and cheap) ingredients. The end result though was very sophisticated with a nice layering of flavors -- everyone loved it!

2:25 PM, March 21, 2010  
Blogger frenchy said...

molly, yu have so many receipes that i would love to copy but i just don't have the time or the ink! have you ever considered writing a cookbook?

3:14 PM, March 24, 2010  
Blogger Margaret said...

I often make the Nigella chocolate and orange cake from feast(this also uses whole fruit that have been boiled). I always boil double the number of oranges and keep a couple in the frezer - they defrost in the microwave and work just as well.

7:45 AM, March 28, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just made this cake for my Bf's family. I live in Paris, and I find that their tastes for desserts are different than ours...they like less sugar. So, this cake was an absolute hit!!!!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe and I'll be mking it again this weekend when we go down to Montpellier for Easter :-)

1:34 PM, April 01, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this cake and it was wonderful. However, I'd reduce the suagar down a cup. It was too sweet.

6:42 AM, April 13, 2010  
Blogger Jason said...

Just made this wonderful cake for a dinner party and it was a great hit. Some guests likened the cake's aroma to a box of Fruity Pebbles, and as much as that may take away from the cake's sophistication, they're kind of right! Try it and you won't be disappointed!!

2:00 PM, April 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried the recipe, though I adapted it slightly as I add a piece of dried candied tangerine (popular amongst the chinese, to add an orangey citrus flavour to their desserts). It turned out really well. Thank you so much for sharing!


3:49 AM, April 20, 2010  
Anonymous Greg said...

Ah yes the Boonville Hotel! Founded by sally schmitt, who founded The French Laundry. She is brilliant; she is the the Mother of us all...

1:00 AM, April 27, 2010  
Blogger Catered Creations, Inc. said...

Tried this recipe for a party yesterday and it was a HUGE hit. Everyone (even the children) loved this cake. I doubled the batter and used a spring form pan for one and a bundt pan for the other, both turned out great.

3:06 PM, May 03, 2010  
Anonymous Glo said...

I'm a frequent visitor to Saveur Magazine website and came across this recipe and was inspired to make it for my bff's bd party last week. She, by the way, loves citrus but doesn't like overly sweet desserts. We had a guest list of 30 so with trepidation I tripled the recipe and crossed my fingers . The batter nearly reached the brim of my largest mixing bowl but my KitchenAid Mixer handled this part of the recipe with ease. Whew! Poured the batter into a prepared 1/2 sheet cake pan and popped it in oven to bake. My kitchen smelled amazing. It took approximately 1hr and 15min to bake. Using a stencil of flowers I dusted the cooled cake with powder sugar creating a lovely design on the cake. I couldn't have hoped for better results. The cake was moist, the almonds, orange and lemon rind gave it great texture and the hint of fruity olive oil gave it an additional dimension that no one could really name. Needless to say the cake was a huge success with everyone at the party especially the birthday girl. Thank you for sharing the recipe for this amazing cake. It's a keeper.

4:21 PM, May 05, 2010  
Anonymous deamma;ee said...

hi Molly, your blog is really something. it got me hooked the whole day! and i baked this oranglemonalmondoliveoil cake. i prefet it not called marmalade cake becos some just dont touch marmalade.
this cake is fantastic in texture and taste. i will reduce the sugar in future. a little too sweet for me. otherwise, it is perfect. my best wishes to u and congrats on delancey.

deanna in abu dhabi

11:47 AM, May 06, 2010  
Anonymous katkats kitchen said...

This recipe of orange and almond cake made wiht olive oil is very common in the Southern Meditteranean.Boiling navel oranges brings out the full flavour. Lovely blog I have bookmarked it to return for inspiration.

7:04 AM, May 11, 2010  
Anonymous Nikki Bee said...

Hi Molly - I just found your site last night, and stayed up way too late reading it. I made this cake today and it is AMAZING! I took it out of the oven at 56 min thinking it looked burned. It looked very rustic and unassuming - but WOW - it tastes GORGEOUS. Not too orangie, not too sweet, not too course. Definitely making this one again and again. Thanks so much!

9:20 PM, June 02, 2010  
Blogger Lauren said...

Just a note to those who don't have a food processor. Pureeing the orange and lemon works well with an immersion blender (a dinky one at that) and a little patience. I'm sure it would do a fine job with the almonds, although my slightly obsessive-compulsive boyfriend went to town and achieved a near-powder texture with a knife alone.

11:38 AM, July 17, 2010  
Blogger Ann J. said...

Dear Molly,
I love citrus cakes and I know I'm going to love making this one. I'll let you know how it turns out. :-)

11:44 PM, July 19, 2010  
Anonymous Ann J. said...

Oooops... forgot to leave my blog address.

11:45 PM, July 19, 2010  
Anonymous The Skinny Cook said...

I can't wait to test this recipe! I'm not the biggest fan of olive oil, but last year in Culinary School, my mind was blown by the most fascinating sweet application of it: Olive Oil Gummy Bears! They were absolutely fabulous!

10:48 AM, July 21, 2010  
Blogger Michael said...

Great recipe! One of the best marmalade cakes I have made in my life. Thank you so much for sharing this with us as it was a hit with my family. It really went well with espresso and there were surely lots of empty espresso cups after eating this cake. Kudos!

6:38 AM, August 12, 2010  
Blogger Megan Malone said...

After zipping though a wopping 198 comments(!) I am here to leave a silly little note not yet about the cake but to say a mighty thanks for the good laugh over the link to Jeeves' "What ho!" video. The cake is on my list for a party next weekend, but for now, What ho! Jolly good thank you love!

12:44 PM, August 28, 2010  
Blogger Sharon Axline said...

This was AWESOME! I can't believe how moist it is. I will make this again no doubt!

3:45 PM, September 26, 2010  

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