Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

At my recent New Year’s Eve party, one of our physics grad students Pranav Rao contributed this wonderful gluten-free cake, and very kindly shared the recipe (which he says he picked up from the NY Times, originally devised by Melissa Clark who writes the Good Appetite column). This luscious gluten-free loaf cake has a wonderful texture, and the remnants were just as delicious after a week in the fridge. With substitutions, it can also be made vegan. Preparation takes 20 minutes, and baking about an hour; this quantity serves 10-12.


3 blood oranges
1 cup sugar
Scant ½ cup buttermilk or plain yogurt – you can use coconut yogurt instead
3 large eggs – or use the equivalent in flax eggs
2/3 cup (156 ml) extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup gluten-free flour
1 cup almond flour
1½ teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Optional: Honey-blood orange compote, for serving (recipe below)


1.   Oil the bottom and sides of a 2lb (standard size) loaf pan and line the bottom with baking parchment; preheat the oven to 350°F.

2.   Grate the zest from two oranges and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.

3.   ‘Supreme’ an orange: that is, cut off the bottom and top so the fruit is exposed and the orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away the peel and pith, following the curve of the fruit with your knife. Cut the orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with the second orange. Break up segments with your fingers to about ¼” pieces.

4.   Halve the remaining orange and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup; you’ll will have about 1/4 cup. Add buttermilk or yogurt to the juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the oranged sugar and beat well.   Whisk in eggs and olive oil.

5.   In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Fold in the pieces of orange, then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth it out with a wet knife.

6.   Bake for 50 minutes or so, until golden brown and springy on top. Cool on a rack for five minutes, then place upside down on the rack and tap gently on the bottom until the cake falls out. Turn right side up and allow to cool to room temperature.

7.   For the compote, ‘supreme’ three more blood oranges as described above, and marinate with 1-2 teaspoons of honey for five minutes. Stir gently, and serve over slices of the cake.

Here is the printable .pdf file:  Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake.