Almond Olive Oil Cake

December 11, 2012


To me, olive oil cake is the baked goods equivalent of crisp new white bed linens. Decadent, yet earthy and cozy. Also a touch exotic; the way hanging sheets out to dry on a line over a piazza would feel exotic to me. I cooked an Italian feast last night featuring porchetta, and I thought what better way to top off the night than another Italian classic? Can you tell I’m having a bit of nostalgia italiana?

As one would expect, olive oil cake can be made with olive oil instead of butter. I searched high and low for a variety of cake recipes (surprisingly many do contain butter, which sort of defeats the purpose of using olive oil instead of dairy products). I settled on this recipe because of its high ratio of almond to regular flour, as I thought this make it more adaptable to gluten free. It did not disappoint! I made this cake the night before, which let the cake intensify in flavor and also allowed me to sleep in more on a Sunday. Win win.

Almond Olive Oil Cake

Adapted from Tim Mazurek’s recipe on Lottie + Doof.
Looked amazing, so I had to make my own gluten free version!

1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (Bob’s Red Mill!)
½ cup almond flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil*
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
Zest of ¼ an orange (I would do more next time, maybe a whole orange in fact!)
½ cup orange juice


1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsps almond milk
Light squeeze of lemon or orange juice
½ cup toasted sliced almonds

*I used “fruity” olive oil, as this is a fruity cake. Make sure to use fruity or mild, or the taste will overpower the cake.

Preheat your oven to 350°. Prepare a nine inch cake pan the way I did back when I made the coconut cake (oh those glorious days of gluten and butter!)

Whisk together in a bowl the gluten free flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until well combined. Whisk in the olive oil and beat until the mixture lightens in color a bit. Add in the orange zest, vanilla, almond extract and orange juice and whisk until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until well combined and the chunks of flour disappear. Pour into the prepared ban. Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating once midway. Watch the cake to make sure it doesn’t burn on top. If the top starts to brown too much, cover the pan with tin foil.

The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and leave to cool completely.

The glaze: I debated whether I wanted fancy candied oranges or almond glaze on top of my cake. I settled for almond glaze for the sake of simplicity and ease. Amazing.

Sift the confectioners sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in the almond milk and add a squeeze of orange or lemon juice for a little acidity. Add in the sliced almonds and then pour the glaze over the cake and let drizzle over the sides.  Leave the glaze to dry. I was expecting the glaze to dry white as I am used to with confectioners sugar glaze, but instead it dried clear. Perhaps it was the almond milk? Oh well, it was still pretty and darn delicious. A prefect ending to uno pasto italiano con amici.


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