Orange Olive Oil Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

I spent this past Thanksgiving up in wine country. We rented a wonderful house right outside of Sonoma. We were staying at a rental, and I wasn't sure what the kitchen would be like, so I decided to make as much of the meal ahead of time, so we could drive it up. Also I didn't want to have to cook while everyone else was out wine tasting. I found this recipe on Food 52 and decided to adapt it. Even a day later, this cake was everyone's favorite thing on my Thanksgiving menu. 

I took a risk with this cake because first all it is a new recipe, and I had no idea how it was going to taste. The reason I chose it was because of all of that olive oil. I figured that the amount of olive oil in there would keep the cake really moist for a a couple of days until we ate it. And boy was I right. It was perfectly moist and not heavy at all - the perfect dessert to end a big heavy meal.

Couple notes on the recipe: 

First it seems like a lot of olive oil (and it is) but don't reduce the amount. I tried to reduce it slightly another time I made this cake and it wasn't as good. 

Also make sure you use an olive oil that you like flavor wise - because whatever flavor notes are in your olive oil will be present in the cake. 

Lastly, in addition to the olive oil, Grand Marnier is the secret addition. You could also swap in Cointreau or another one of your favorite orange liquors. 

Orange Olive Oil Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

adapted from this Food 52 recipe 

For the cake: 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 large eggs, separated

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. orange zest

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier

For the topping: 

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 Tbs. sugar

  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, cold


Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. 

In a large bowl, whisk combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. 

In another bowl, combine the olive oil and egg yolks. Whisk well until creamy and emulsified, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg whites, milk, orange zest, orange juice and Grand Marnier and whisk to combine. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. (Cover the top of the cake if it starts to become too brown). 

Let the cake cool to room temperature. 

When ready to serve the cake, make the mascarpone whipped cream by whipping the cream and sugar (either by hand or using a mixer) until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone cheese and whip until just combined. Place a couple large dollops of the whipped cream on the center of the cake and garnish with orange zest. 

Serve immediately.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.