Olive Oil Cranberry Cakes with Candied Oranges
We don’t bake enough with olive oil. (Reminder to self to make our Goat Cheese Raspberry Muffins with Walnuts and Olive Oil). It not only provides heart-healthy fat, but it is damn delicious. Another surprise is who knew Kelis could cook? That’s right, Kelis of “Milkshake” fame (as in the song, not the dish). She attended Le Cordon Bleu during a music hiatus and now has a book, My Life on a Plate. This recipe uses olive oil as the base for a moist cake, perfect for fall and winter gift giving. Cranberries dot the cake and the candied orange on top makes it a bit special. (Just don’t snack on them or they wont make it onto the cake! Yes, there is a danger of that). Also check out her Donuts with Pomegranate Caramel, also from her book.
Excerpted with permission. My Life on a Plate, by Kelis. Published by Kyle books, 2015. Photos by David Loftus.
This is definitely one of my favourites. I make a lot of breads and desserts, and people ask me to bake quite often. Olive oil keeps the cake moist and gives it a rich texture.
COOK’S TIP: You will need sixteen 2-inch ramekins to make these little cakes.
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 oranges, halved and cut into ⅟₈-inch-thick slices
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅟₃ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the ramekins
- Grated zest of 1 orange plus ⅟₃ cup fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ²/₃ cup store-bought cranberry sauce
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Position an oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the ramekins with olive oil and arrange them on a baking tray.
- To make the candied oranges, line a baking tray with parchment. Sprinkle the parchment paper with ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and set aside.
- Put the remaining 21/4 cups sugar in a mound in the center of a small saucepan. Pour 6 tablespoons water over the mound, letting it seep into the sugar until it looks like wet sand. Cook this mixture over medium heat without stirring until the sugar has melted and starts to bubble, about 8 minutes. Add the orange slices and simmer until they look glossy and the pulp is translucent. Turn off the heat and use tongs to remove the orange slices, arranging them in a single layer on the sugar-coated baking tray. Set aside.
- To make the cakes, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the eggs just to break up the yolks. Add the sugar, olive oil, orange juice, and vanilla, and mix to incorporate. Turn off the mixer, add half of the dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until no flour is visible. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed until no flour is visible, then add the cranberry sauce and orange zest, to thoroughly combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins and put the baking tray with the ramekins on the center rack to bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set on a wire rack and cool the cakes to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. Stir the melted butter and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until no lumps remain.
- When the cakes have cooled, carefully pop them out of the ramekins onto a baking sheet so the bottoms face up. Using the back of a spoon, spread the glaze over the cakes. Decorate with the candied orange slices.