Orange Olive Oil Snack Cake

Hello there. To those who are still here, reading and following, thank you. To those who are new, welcome.

These are scary times we live in right now. Everything feels surreal, and my heart breaks to hear the news of the devastation that COVID-19 has brought to our world. I am so worried for my family, friends, and community. But I’m also grateful. Grateful to be safe and healthy, to have a paycheck so I can afford to help others in need, to feel so much love.

While it may seem trivial to post a cake recipe right now, I also know that having a sense of normalcy helps. Baking calms me down, and I can imagine other poeple may also find some happiness in it. Because while the world outside is scary and we don’t know what the future holds, we can still celebrate little sparks of joy indoors.

This Orange Olive Oil Snack Cake is simple. Made with only a few ingredients that you most likely already have at home: olive oil, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, eggs, oranges, milk, and vanilla. Lemon would work, too. Or grapefruit. The recipe is adapted from the New York Times, but I tweaked it to be a little sweeter and less dense.

The resulting cake is super soft, moist, with a wonderfully crusty and sugary top. I cut the cake into bars, and keep it chilled in the fridge. Matt and I have been snacking on them and eating for breakfast. It’s light and springy, bright and sweet, exactly what I/we need right now.

I hope you are all doing well, keeping healthy, and being socially-responsible citizens. And I hope you are all enjoying a little sweetness in your lives.

Yield: 18 rectangles

Orange Olive Oil Snack Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


1 cup extra virigin olive oil, plus more for pan
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup more for sprinkling
3 extra large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice, plus freshly grated zest from 1 medium orange
1 1/4 cups whole milk or 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan with olive oil, and line with parchment paper. Brush with olive oil again and flour, shaking out excess flour. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs, and orange zest in a large bowl for an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, set mixer on high, and whisk until thick, about 6 minutes. 
  5. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue whisking on high until well incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Set mixer speed to low. Add milk, orange juice, and vanilla. Continue mixing for another minute.
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  8. Pour batter in greased cake pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar on top.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan then transfer to rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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