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Citrusy California Olive Oil Cake

Author: Apeel Team

It’s peak citrus season and what better way to celebrate than with a cake? This recipe, adapted from Camilla Marcus’s California Olive Oil Cake, makes citrus the star of the show while still bringing the best qualities from Camilla’s beloved original recipe. The olive oil keeps the cake deliciously moist and springy and lends a richer depth of flavor. You can use any oranges you want for this recipe, but we recommend whatever you can find in season at your local store. If you’re in the EU or UK, be sure to, reach for the Apeel-Protected Oranges or Mandarins you know will stay fresh for longer.

Recipe by Aliza J. Sokolow


For the candied oranges

2-3 Apeel-Protected Oranges

1 cup sugar

1 cup water 

For the cake

2 large eggs

1 cup olive oil

½ cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1 ½ cups sugar

1 orange, zest only

1 orange, juiced

1 ¼ cup local grain Sonora wheat flour or your standard AP flour will do.

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a round cake pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside
  2. Slice 2-3 Apeel-Protected Oranges into slices ½ cm thick.
  3. Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, place a few orange slices into the sugar water, enough to line the bottom of your cake pan. Cook the oranges until the pith (the spongy white tissue lining the rind) becomes translucent.
  4. Once cooked through, let the candied orange slices cool until you can safely touch them. Arrange the orange slices on the bottom of the greased pan until the bottom is covered. It doesn’t matter how you arrange it, it will look beautiful.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil, orange juice, vanilla, and buttermilk. Add the sugar to the batter until well combined. Then add in the orange zest, baking soda, salt, and flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan on top of the candied oranges and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick into a few points of the cake to make sure it’s cooked through. If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean, cook the cake for a few minutes longer, but not too long or it will dry out. Serve and enjoy!

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