We got our first snow in Brooklyn this weekend. And it was lovely. Cold, but wonderful. And while I loved making snow angels with my friends in the middle of the night in my local park (actually happened, and it was AWESOME!) I did have one small problem, my heater never turned on. It was like I was enacting my own version of Frozen in my apartment. And there are only so many times a girl can hum “Let it Go.”
By Sunday, I turned on my oven in a desperate attempt to warm up my studio apartment. I wasn’t in the mood for roasting veggies, so I decided baking was in order. I bundled up in mittens and a hate and walked to my Whole Foods. I wandered around until eventualy I found the citrus and settled on a game plan. Olive Oil Cake for the win! I hadn’t attempted one, but figured I’d give it a shot. And I ended up making three versions, so I kept my apartment warm the whole day (and made my coworkers happy when I brought cake into work this week). #winning.
Can we just talk about how gorgeous these fruits are? I couldn’t decide what to buy and ended up walking away with about $45 dollars with of citrus. The guy at the checkout legitimately laughed at me (in all fairness, I was only buying an obscene amount of citrus and cat food – and I must have looked crazy). Pictured above (if you’re interested) are Grapefruit, Navel Oranges, Cara Cara Oranges, Blood Oranges, Clementines and Meyer Lemons. I ended up using the Cara Caras for my cake, but you could easily adapt to whatever is available for you.
After a few iterations of this cake, I eventually found one that I adored. It has the perfect amount of rise and crumby texture, and unlike others it actually incorporates whole pieces of the citrus fruit (as opposed to just juice). This recipe was published by a blogger that I have followed for years, Deb Perelman of the blog Smitten Kitchen. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of steps, they really aren’t challenging and the end result is so worth it.
This cake is such a winner that I brought it into the Whitney Museum and my friend and I were literally sneaking bites of it (away from the ever-present eyes of the security guards) because we simply couldn’t wait until we were outside to eat it. Seriously, its that good. Try it, and trust me you won’t be disappointed.
I adapted Deb’s recipe in a few ways, mostly because Blood Oranges are on the pricier side (and the Cara Caras were on sale) and I have added a citrus glaze. I am sure that the compote and cream that Deb serves hers with is absolutely delicious, but I am a sucker for a glaze on a loaf cake.
- Olive Oil Citrus Cake
- - butter for greasing your loaf pan
- - 3 cara cara oranges
- - 1 cup sugar
- - ½ cup plain yogurt
- - 3 large eggs
- - ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- *be sure to use good olive oil here (you will taste it in the cake)
- - 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- - 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- - ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- - ¼ teaspoon salt
- Orange Icing
- - 1 cup confectioners (powdered sugar
- - fresh orange juice, to desired consistency (I used about 2 tablespoons)
- preheat oven to 350 degrees. and butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- grate zest from 3 oranges and place in a bowl with the sugar. mix well to incorporate.
- cut peel and pith off 2 of your oranges (carefully!) and segment. break into small pieces with your fingers and set aside.
- slice the remaining orange in half, and squeeze juice of one half into a measuring cup; you’ll will have about ¼ cup. add yogurt to juice until you have ⅔ cup liquid altogether, mix well.
- pour your orange juice mixture into the sugar and mix well.
- add eggs and olive oil to the sugar mix. whisk well to incorporate.
- in a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt). fold your dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- gently stir in the orange segment pieces.
- pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes in your oven, until the cake looks set and a fork or toothpick can be inserted and removed into the cake and comes out clean.
- remove cake from oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan. when cool enough tot handle, remove the cake from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack or plate for at least ½ hour.
- while your cake is cooling, mix together confectioners sugar and orange juice. I start with about a tablespoon of juice and slowly add a teaspoon more at a time until reaching the desired consistency. It should be thicker than you think, it will spread over the cake.
- when cake is cool to the touch, pour glaze over the top. let set for at least 5 minutes and slice to serve.
If you happen to try this cake, let me know in a comment! I’d love to hear how it worked out for you. Stay warm, friends. Enjoy! Love, M.