Orange Walnut Olive Oil Cake

Baking, Dessert | January 18, 2016 | By

Funny, when I see the vibrant, saturated colours of citrus: pink grapefruits, blood oranges, meyer lemons, key limes, I think tropical, and I think Summer.  They just seem to suit the bright, warm season so much better.  And yet, for us up here in the northern half of the globe, they are a Winter season bounty.  And walking through the grocery stores and markets right now, there is a cornucopia of citrus to pick from.  Cara Caras, Satsumas, Pomelos, Manderins, Tangerines, the list goes on and on.  So it just seems fitting that I try and honour them somehow, besides putting them in a bowl for us to grab and peel.

I wanted to bake a cake. And any chance I get, I want to sneak nuts into my meals, savoury and sweet.  So I was inspired by a few postings on Instagram of lovely orange or grapefruit olive oil cakes.  I wish I could give credit to the ones who actually posted the lovely inspirations, but I just can’t remember- I even tried tracing back through some of the ones I follow to see if I could find said photos.  So, I truly apologize to the lovely bakers who preceded me with their creations.

This cake has it all: the lovely citrus juice and zest dotting the cake, the toasted walnuts, chopped fine enough so that they don’t disturb the peaks and valleys of a bundt pan, olive oil for a moist finish, and a combo of yogurt and ricotta for the richness and tang.

I thought about the fact that you could probably use either grapefruit or orange quite swimmingly with this recipe.  If you do use grapefruit, you may want to adjust the sweetness just a touch.  For sure the grapefruit would make a fabulous glaze- such a tangy treat on top of a moist, luscious cake.  I happen to have a plethora of oranges in the kitchen at the moment, so it was a no brainer for me.  

walnut olive oil cake 1

walnut olive oil cake 2

Orange Walnut Olive Oil Cake
Serves 10
A moist, tangy cake with just the right amount of toasty crunch from walnuts. This cake pays tribute to winter's citrus bounty
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
  1. 2 cups AP flour
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 cup olive oil, not too strong flavoured
  6. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  7. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  10. 1/2 cup fine ricotta cheese
  11. 1 medium orange, zested and juiced
  12. 5-6 dashes of Grapefruit or Angostura bitters (optional)
  13. 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped pretty small
  1. 1 cup icing sugar plus more if needed
  2. 1 tsp vanilla
  3. 4-5 dashes of Grapefruit or Angostura Bitters
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or spray a bundt pan.
  2. In small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, add the olive oil, sugars, eggs, yogurt and ricotta. Mix well with a whisk. The mixture should turn creamy. Add the orange zest and HALF of the juice. Add the bitters if using.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the walnuts and stir to combine.
  6. Pour into your greased bundt pan. Tap gently to remove any air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 50- 60 minutes, or until a testing skewer comes out clean.
  8. Cool to almost room temperature before unmolding.
To make the glaze
  1. Combine the icing sugar, vanilla and bitters (if using) in a bowl with the remaining amount of citrus juice. When completely smooth, decide if this is the consistency you would like. If you want it thicker, add 1 tbsp of icing sugar at a time till desired consistency is achieved. Drizzle over the cooled cake.
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