Mandarin orange olive oil cake

August 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

UPDATE: I don’t like this cake anymore.  Like – it’s sitting in my kitchen and I don’t even want to have a piece of it every time I walk by.  I suppose if you want a cake that doesn’t require any self control, then this is for you.  My change of heart is due to the realization that: 1) just because I baked something and took photos of it doesn’t mean I have to pretend it was good; 2) it wasn’t orange-y enough; 3) the olive oil taste is a bit too noticeable (note: I used my “good” olive oil for 1/2 the required amount – it was clearly too potent – use your standard olive oil instead).  I could probably rectify the cake by using more mandarin oranges (a 14 oz can), or making an orange glaze from orange juice and powdered sugar, but that’s too hard.  I’ll just make a different one instead!  (next on my to-do list: chocolate stout cake).
So, I guess my job here is to contribute posts on baked goods.  A stranger might read this blog and conclude that my diet consists only of sugary, floury delights.  He would be correct.  If I could bake a salad I would.

Anyhoodle, this cake is the result of spying a lonely can of mandarin oranges in the back of my cupboard this morning.  Rather than do something healthy with them, like eating them in a fruit salad, or a spinach salad, or maybe using as a compote on a nice pork tenderloin, I thought of ways to up the sugar and fat content.  I turned to the smitten kitchen for inspiration, and based this cake on her blood orange olive oil cake.

The cake isn’t overly sweet, which I like.   It’s very moist, with a mild tang provided by the mandarins.  My judgment: it’s a good every day cake – simple, easy, yummy.  It is acceptable delicious with a plop of whipped cream, and I imagine it would be OK divine with a raspberry coulis, or maybe even dark chocolate sauce!  Or, for breakfast, a spoonful of greek yogurt and some blueberries.   Enjoy!


  • One small can of mandarin oranges, drained, juice reserved (in the U.S. I think it’s an 11 oz can, over here it’s a 298 gram can. Obviously.)
  • 1/3 c. of reserved mandarin juice
  • 1 c. sugar
  • generous 1/3 c. plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 c.  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt

1.  Turn oven to 350.  Grease a 9×5 loaf pan.  Do this properly.  Like, maybe even line with parchment paper.  Please learn from my experience below:

2. Whisk together the mandarin juice, sugar, eggs, olive oil and yogurt in a large bowl.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4.  Dump the dry ingredients into wet ones and stir gently.

5.  Mush up the drained mandarin orange segment (I just broke them apart with my hands).  Gently stir the orange segments into the batter.

6. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean.


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