This Orange Olive Oil Cake is scented with warming cardamom and cinnamon and SUPER moist! It’s baked with Greek yogurt and honey, and it’s dense – almost like a pound cake. AND it contains no refined sugar!
Once you’ve tried baking with olive oil, you may never go back. The Greeks and Italians have been doing it for a while, and the trend is catching on here as well, especially as the Mediterranean Diet gains popularity.
This cake is so much more guilt-free than many others. Yes, olive oil is still a fat, and yes, honey is still sugar, but it’s a lot healthier than other cakes made with vegetable oils and sugar.
Don’t worry- it doesn’t TASTE healthy. It tastes AMAZING. It’s moist and rich and the flavor combination of fresh orange with warm cardamom and cinnamon is out of this world (and these flavors go well with the earthy, nutty flavor of extra-virgin olive oil).
And it makes your house smell SO GOOD while it cooks!
Olive oil cake is often made with lemon. I wanted a more festive cake for the holiday season, so I used orange instead.
If you want, you can use this base recipe with whatever citrus you want- lemon, lime, even grapefruit!
And if you aren’t feeling the warm spices vibe, or aren’t a fan of cardamom, feel free to leave it out for a more simple version of this olive oil cake.
The best part about this orange olive oil cake is the frosting. That’s because there IS NO FROSTING.
A simple dusting of powdered sugar, with a little bit of extra orange zest, was all I added to top this cake off. You really don’t need anything else- the cake’s flavors are complex enough.
Although, if I were making this in a bundt pan, I may whip up an orange and honey glaze to pour on top. Maybe next time.
I did, however, serve the sliced cake with an extra drizzle of honey on top. Yum, yum. Delicious AND pretty.
Cardamom has a very potent flavor, so you have to be careful to not add too much, otherwise it may taste a bit soapy. I used 1/2 teaspoon, but if you only like a teeny bit of cardamom flavor, you can try just 1/4 teaspoon.
Cardamom always reminds me of the holidays, since my family has made Norwegian Waffles on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember. They’re flavored with cardamom, and they’re super dense and moist, unlike other waffles you may be used to.
Actually, they’re a LOT like this cake!
I might need to start a new tradition and make this orange olive oil cake for breakfast on Christmas morning instead. It sure is easier than dragging out a waffle maker (and it’s Christmas, so cake for breakfast is acceptable, right?).
If you like this Cardamom Spiced Orange Olive Oil Cake recipe, you’ll love these other desserts made with oil: Spicy Gingerbread Cake with Orange Mascarpone Cream, and Chai Spiced Pumpkin Bread.
Other baked goods with olive oil:
Be sure to check out all my Holiday Baking Recipes, including this yummy Dutch Butter Cake!
Cardamom Spiced Orange Olive Oil Cake
- 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil plus more for coating the pan
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest from about 1 naval orange
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice from about 1 naval orange
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- extra honey and orange zest for serving optional
- Line a 9" circular cake pan with parchment paper (I use a pencil to trace an outline of the bottom of the pan on the paper, then cut slightly inside the line) and grease generously with olive oil, under and over the parchment paper and up the sides of the pan. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and place an oven rack in the top third of the oven.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil (3/4 cup), orange zest (1 teaspoon), orange juice (1/4 cup), honey (3/4 cup), three eggs, Greek yogurt (1 cup), ground cardamom (1/2 teaspoon), ground cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon), baking powder (1/2 teaspoon), and baking soda (1/2 teaspoon).
- Add the flour (1 1/2 cups) and whisk until well-combined.
- Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees F in the top third of the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean (see notes).
- Allow to cool in pan on cooling rack for at least 10 minutes. Run knife along the edge to loosen and flip onto a cutting board to remove, then flip back over onto the serving dish.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar through a sifter or by placing it in a mesh sieve and tapping it.
- Slice into 8 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with extra orange zest, if desired.
- This cake is dense and very moist. Some readers have noted that theirs did not cook all the way in the middle. This recipe may have varied results if you are at a higher elevation, if you use a different size cake pan, if your yogurt is particularly watery or lower in fat, your oven temp, or even depending on brand of flour. If yours seems like it’s not cooking in the middle after 70 minutes or so, I recommend tenting with foil, so the top of the cake doesn’t burn, and turning the temperature of your oven up to 350 degrees F until it’s cooked.
- This cake can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for about three days. For best results, dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Otherwise, it will disintegrate into the moisture of the cake.
- Leftovers can be frozen and stored in an airtight bag or wrapped tightly in plastic for up to 3 months.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.