So, I pondered a while on the last cake of the series. I had a recipe for a blueberry swirl pound cake that was in the lead for a while. Then, I had an idea to create my own apple pound cake (notes are written and it WILL happen one day.) But, then I saw this recipe on Where Women Cook. I was intrigued - nervous, but intrigued. It sounded delicious, but would it be pound cake? Studying the ingredients, all of which were comparable in proportion to those in pound cake (the only exception being the use of olive oil instead of butter), I made the executive decision that this would indeed qualify as a pound cake.
I stepped out of my comfort zone with this cake. But, it was a rewarding experience. I felt so sophisticated, so worldly, and - dare I say - so European. So, feel free to imagine me in my kitchen looking like Giada De Laurentiis, an apron cinched tightly around my tiny waist and a smile upon my beautiful face. You just don't know how close that is to the truth...
Orange-Olive Oil Cake
Nonstick baking spray with flour
4 to 5 large navel oranges
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-3/4 tsp. kosher salt
5 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups mild extra-virgin olive oil
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup Bundt or tube pan with baking spray and set aside.
Finely grate the zest of 3 or the oranges, then squeeze 4 of them. You should have 1-1/2 cups of juice; if not, squeeze the 5th orange. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
In a bowl, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until well-combined, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and continue beating until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and oil, starting and ending with flour, and beat until just a few wisps of flour remain. Pour in the orange juice and zest and whirl for a few seconds to bring the batter together.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1-1/4 hours. If the top is browning too much as the cake bakes, cover lightly with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 15 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the rack and cool completely, then place it in a covered cake stand and let it sit overnight. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.
Special thanks to my neighbors in the Sunshine State for making all of this possible! Really, I couldn't have done this without you.
So, I started by grating the oranges.
Things are already starting to smell good at this point.
It's time for adding the flour and olive oil alternately.
After the addition of the orange juice, the batter became fairly thin, much thinner than a traditional pound cake. I hope you can see the zest in there. The smell was phenomenal! I changed up the baking directions a little. I baked for an hour and ten minutes at 325. Then, I lowered the heat to 300 degrees and baked for about 10-15 more minutes. I checked for doneness quite often and waited until the crumbs were fairly dry. This will all depend on your oven. So, please adjust your baking time accordingly.
I chose to use my old faithful tube pan. It holds more batter than my Bundt pan and is just more dependable. Plus, you're looking at my favorite part that gets hidden with a Bundt pan - the crusty top! Yum!!
I let this sit overnight before cutting. The cake has the same density as a pound cake. The top is just as creamy and delicious. It is saturated with natural orange flavor. And, the oil from the orange zest leaves you with a nice refreshing little aftertaste. And, somewhere along the line I forgot about sprinkling with confectioners' sugar. I don't think it needed it anyway.
Sunshine on a plate!
Please check out the other recipes in my pound cake series:
Linked to: Lark's Country Heart, Gooseberry Patch's Recipe Round-up, Prairie Story, Sweet as Sugar Cookies' Sweets for a Saturday, Quit Eating Out's Saturday Swap, Alli-N-Son's Sweet Tooth Friday, Everyday Sisters