Orange-Glazed Olive Oil Cake with Fleur De Sel
This cake is made with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh oranges that have been cooked in a sugar syrup and pureed, rind and all. It’s topped with a light orange glaze and sprinkled with fleur de sel just before serving, intensifying the rich orange flavor. The recipe is excerpted from “The Perfect Finish” by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark. It’s a fabulous baking book with an inspiring selection of recipes and a wealth of expert tips and information. Be sure to see our review below.
- Unsalted butter for greasing the pan
- 2 navel oranges
- 2-1/3 cups sugar, divided
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
For the orange glaze:
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- In a large pot, bring 3 quarts water to a boil. Slice the bottoms and the tops off the oranges (where the rind is the thickest) and quarter the oranges. Plunge the orange, rind and all into the water, allow the water to return to a boil, remove, and drain. Repeat the process two more times. This blanching will remove the bitterness from the orange rind.
- Place the oranges in a pot filled with 1 quart fresh water and 1 cup of the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then let simmer until the rind is softened and can be easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. At this point, the oranges can be cooled and kept in a container, in the syrup, in the fridge for up to 3 weeks before you proceed with the recipe.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch round cake pan.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper and set aside.
- Pull the prepared oranges from the syrup with a slotted spoon and discard any remaining seeds in the cooked orange segments. Cut the oranges into chunks. Place them, rind and all in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment (discard the syrup), and pulse until the oranges form a purée. The purée will be slightly chunky and not perfectly smooth, and this is okay.
- Add the eggs, the remaining 1-1/3 cups sugar, the flour mixture, and the vanilla extract to the food processor. Pulse until well blended.
- Add the olive oil last and pulse until thoroughly blended.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake on the center rack until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the top of the cake is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slide a thin knife or offset spatula around the sides of the pan and turn it over to unmold the cake onto a plate, then flip the cake onto a wire rack.
- Let cool thoroughly, on the rack, at least 30 to 40 minutes more, and pour orange glaze over the cake when cool. Sprinkle the fleur de sel over the cake at the last minute.
To make the orange glaze:
- Combine the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.