If you have never had an olive oil cake, you are in for a treat. Light and airy with a silky richness, this cake hits all the right spots. Not only is this a heart healthier cake, but it's not too sweet, and fragrant with oranges. Top this lovely cake with whipped yogurt and mascarpone and drizzle with honey, and you'll have an impressive, healthier dessert that is still succulent and feels a little naughty.
This cake is best prepared with a 9" springform cake pan, but you can use a regular 9" cake pan.
For the cake:
1 1/4 c. olive oil, plus 1-2 tbsp. for greasing the pan
1/2 c. sugar, plus 1 -2 extra tbsp. for dusting the pan
2 c. cake flour
1/3 c. finely ground cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
2 tbsp. Amaro liqueur, Grand Marnier, or Amaretto
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 c. honey
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Drizzle the sides of your cake pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and use you fingers to coat the sides evenly. Place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the cake pan. Sprinkle in 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sugar and tilt to coat the pan. Carefully shake out the extra sugar.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. Stir together 3 tablespoons of the orange juice, liquor, and vanilla. Set aside.
5. In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl with a sturdy whisk), whisk together the eggs, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the orange zest for 2 minutes on high speed. Add the honey and whisk on high for another 2 minutes until the mixture is a pale yellow and thick.
6. Still whisking, add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a thin stream until all of the oil has been incorporated and the mixture is very thick. Set the remaining oil aside.
7. Switching to the paddle attachment and on low speed (or using a large wooden spoon), fold in the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the vanilla-orange juice-liquor mixture. When the flour and liquids have been fully incorporated, pour into the prepared cake pan. Smooth the top.
8. Place the cake in the preheated oven. Close the door and immediately lower the oven temperature to 350F. Bake until a deep golden brown and the center springs back at the touch, about 40-50 minutes.
9. Remove the cake from the oven, and poke about 10 holes all over the cake. Pour the remaining oil all over the top of the cake and let sit for a couple of minutes, then run a butterknife or other thin knife around the perimeter of the cake and remove from the pan. Let cool on a rack while you make the yogurt topping.
Orange Yogurt Topping
1 c. Greek yogurt
1/4 c. mascarpone
1 tbsp. reserved orange juice
1/4 c. honey, plus extra for drizzling
Reserved orange zest
1. In a large standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, beat together the yogurt, the mascarpone, orange juice, and 1/4 cup of the honey until smooth and fluffy.
2. When the cake is cool, top with the yogurt-mascarpone. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle the remaining orange zest all over. Slice and serve.
The frosted cake will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.