Citrus Olive Oil Cakes

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes | Fork Knife Swoon

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes | Fork Knife Swoon

I’m on a plane back to Santa Barbara, to the Goodland, to… home. For more than twenty years, my parents have lived in the house I grew up in; a red-tile-roofed, white-stuccoed house nestled up against sloping ranch land and shady avocado trees. Every year I come back for Christmas, and though the distance is becoming ever greater, our family traditions remain mostly unchanged. A big, Noble or Douglas fir will stand gloriously next to the piano in the living room, decorated with a happy conglomeration of colored string lights, vintage family ornaments, sparkly glass bulbs, and elementary-school art projects. Colorful, knitted stockings will hang on the mantel, guarded by a small army of nutcrackers in various sizes and dress. The smell of fresh pine will waft intoxicatingly through the house, melding with sweet spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves – as holiday baking marches on at full-steam.

On Christmas Eve, we’ll read from our fading, illustrated version of The Night Before Christmas, a copy from my Dad’s childhood that grows ever more fragile each year. Cookies will be set out, or maybe thick slices of Mom’s pumpkin bread, before we children are tucked all snug in our beds. We’ll awake early on Christmas morning to find our stockings filled by Santa, with a few delicate tangerines tucked in their toes. He used to bring us each a single navel orange, but over the years must have developed a taste for their more flavorful cousins.

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes | Fork Knife Swoon

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes | Fork Knife Swoon

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes | Fork Knife Swoon

Coincidentally, in a small corner of my parent’s vegetable garden, beyond raised-beds of shaggy tomatoes, and sprawling, prickly raspberry bushes, sits a very happy Satsuma tangerine tree, which dutifully produces a bounty of sweet and tangy, soft-fleshed fruit throughout the mild, Central Coast winter. They are prized jewels of the season. When I happened upon a big basket of Satsumas on display at our local grocery store this week, I thought of home, and excitedly filled a bag full of the little orange beauties. Just the sort of antidote needed to combat the pangs of homesickness that crop up every once and a while in those of us transplanted far away from our natural roots.

Most of the tangerines the Honey and I consumed fresh, peeled quickly and eaten as little snacks throughout the day, but I saved a few to make these citrus olive oil cakes. These are moist and flavorful treats, and pair nicely with a big, steamy cup of tea – Vanilla Rooibos is my current obsession – while tucked inside on cold Winter days. Or, as the case may be today, tucked into a carry-on bag as sweet sustenance while on a homeward journey across the country for Christmas.

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes | Fork Knife Swoon

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Citrus Olive Oil Cakes | Fork Knife Swoon

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 12 Cakes 1x

Scale

Ingredients

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes

  • 11/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice and zest of one Meyer lemon
  • 2 tbsp tangerine or orange juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Simple Lemon Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 12 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 Meyer lemon, finely minced

Instructions

Citrus Olive Oil Cakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour miniature cake pans. **This recipe fills 10-12 miniature cake pans – I used a miniature Bundt pan – or about 6 cups worth.
  2. In a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and olive oil on medium-high speed until well-blended, about 2 minutes. Add the zest, juice, eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until creamy, another minute or two.
  3. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the flour, baking soda, salt, buttermilk and yogurt. Return to medium-high speed and mix until well-combined, about a minute. Divide the batter evenly into the mini cake forms, being careful to only fill the molds halfway full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
  4. Remove from the oven and carefully invert the cakes from the pan. Let cool on a wire baking rack for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm with the Lemon Sugar Glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Simple Lemon Sugar Glaze

  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth and fully-combined. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Spoon over the warm cakes.

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3 Comments

  1. 2.3.14
    Mary said:

    This recipe looks great. Is the batter amount right for 1 regular size bundt pan?

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2020, and may not be used without permission.