Olive Oil Cake

This recipe is from Chef Jim Maraldo at The Culinary Institute of America.

By Julianne Parkis

This recipe is from Chef Jim Maraldo at The Culinary Institute of America. His Cuisines of the Mediterranean class was an incredible experience. This cake was the only sweet recipe we learned and it is a hit wherever I bring it. Sometimes, when omitting the alcohol, I use almond extract to add some complexity.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1-3/4 cup sugar

1-1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp. baking soda

1⁄2 tsp. baking powder

1-1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1-1⁄4 cup whole milk

3 large eggs

1-1/2 tbsp. orange zest

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup Grand Marnier*

Vegetable spray

Yields (2) 9” round cakes

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Oil, butter, or spray two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, eggs, orange zest, juice and Grand Marnier. Add the dry ingredients to the wet; whisk until just combined.

3. Pour the batter evenly into pans and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes.

4. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely, 2 hours. The cake can be served with a scoop of yogurt or sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.

*If you want to skip the alcohol you can substitute it with a scant 1/4 cup more fresh orange juice and 1 tsp. orange extract. 

To cut this cake neatly, clean the blade after each cut and top with powdered sugar.

Julianne Parkis is a Danbury mom, a chef trained at The Culinary Institute of America and a certified nutrition consultant. For recipes and health tips, visit her website, homeawaycafe.com. You can email her at homeawaycafe@gmail.com.