Olive Oil Cake with Candied Blood Oranges

When I first saw this cake in the Holiday issue of Ontario’s LCBO magazine, I knew I had to make it! This delectable and really beautiful cake replaces the butter in the batter with olive oil and Greek yogurt.  The flavor of the oil really shines through so use a good quality olive  oil.  With blood oranges in season, the topping is both a seasonal winner and very pretty.  The cake tastes like a a light white cake with marmalade on top. If you can’t find blood oranges, navels will work fine as a substitute. Use a serated knife to cut through the fruit.  I did find even with small sliices the peel, although delicious, was hard to bite into.  You either ended up with no peel or a big chunk of peel.  I would make it again and maybe julienne cut the oranges down.  If you have had a similar experience with home candied fruit, please let me know if you found a solution.  The candied fruit can be made in advance up to a week.


Olive Oil Cake with Candied Blood Oranges


  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c sugar for the batter
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c honey flavored Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 t vanilla or vanilla bean paste

For the candied oranges:  3 blood oranges or 2 Navel oranges, 2 c sugar, 1 c water


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease an 8 or 9 inch cake pan with olive oil.  Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.  In another bowl, whisk the oil, egss, vanilla, yogurt, and 1 c of sugar.until smooth.  Gradually add the dry ingredients.  Scrape into pan.  Bake in center of oven for 30 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
  3. To  make the candied oranges:  wash the fruit, cut and discard end slices.  Slice the fruit very thinly.  Dissolve 2 cups of sugar in 1 c of water in a shallow pan over medium heat.  Carefully add the orange slices to the syrup and cook for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure all slices are moistened and  cooking evenly.  Remove carefully with a fork, allowing the syrup to drip back into the pan, and place onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet to let the fruit dry flat.  Make sure none of the slices touch.    Simmer the syrup another 5 minutes to reduce.
  4. Prick the cake in several places and drizzle the syrup onto its surface.  Arrange the candied oranges on top, drizzle with the remaining syrup and serve.  It is a showstopping gorgeous creation that only looks hard to make.  Serves 10-12.  Use a serrated knife to slice through the fruit.

The thinly sliced blood oranges, ready to be candied


The oranges in the simple syrup, being candied


The batter will be a beautiful golden color because of the olive oil. Use a good quality of oil as its taste will shine in this cake. I used a Napa Valley olive oil


The candied oranges, drying on parchment


The baked cake


Cooling on a rack


Piercing the cake and smearing it with the thickened syrup, a glorious deep raspberry red color  from the blood oranges


The glazed cake ready for the fruit


Hello gorgeous!


Almost too pretty to slice!

image image


One of my favorite paintings of a blood orange, I painted a few years ago.






15 thoughts on “Olive Oil Cake with Candied Blood Oranges

    • Thanks Dana! I thought it would pop more on a white background but I liked the colored one best too! Do you get this magazine from Canada? My brother sends me occasional issues and they are always so great.

      Sent from my iPad


      • They are so gorgeous whole, it would almost be a shame to cut them into pieces. When I make marmalade, I bundle up my oranges after they’re sliced into cheesecloth and put them in a small bowl and cover it with water, then weight the oranges down. I wonder if that would help.

        I don’t know if the oranges were cut down that the center portions would stay intact, but maybe wedges?

        You might try just a little bit of baking soda in the mix when you cook the oranges. It would wildly foam when added, but baking soda helps soften dates for sticky pudding…perhaps it might help soften the rind a bit? Just a wild thought. 🙂

  1. Oh Wow Johanne this is really beautiful! I did not see this one and I am so sorry. Just fantastic. When I made mine more recently the oranges were not hard after being candied. I did not cook them over 20 minutes on medium-low heat and they stayed pliable and soft. It probably depends on the oranges…how fresh, how hard to begin with..so many variables when cooking.
    But let me say how beautiful this is.

    • Thanks so much Teresa! I take any comment from you as a tremendous honor. Those blood oranges were much juicier and tender than the ones I currently have. Perhaps a bit of baking soda in the water like for when dates are used for sticky pudding cakes could help. Maybe I overcooked them! They actually reminded me of the marmelade you made last year! So good! Appreciate you looking up the post and your input.

      Sent from my iPad


  2. Pingback: Christmas Brunch Among the Wrappings | French Gardener Dishes

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