Orange olive oil cake served on a plate with a slice cut out

Orange olive oil cake

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins Plus infusing


Serves 8-10

Add some citrussy zing to your baking with this orange olive oil cake, topped with a rosemary and cardamom drizzle. It's gluten-free and super delicious

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (10)

  • kcal537
  • fat36g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs44g
  • sugars35g
  • fibre1g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 1 large whole seedless orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • ½ lemon, juiced and zested



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 225ml olive oil, plus extra for the tin
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 200g ground almonds
  • 120g polenta



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 1 tsp baking powder (use gluten-free if you need to)
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 3 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • natural yogurt or crème fraîche, to serve (optional)

For the rosemary drizzle

  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • ½ orange, juiced



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • ½ lemon, juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 6 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground
  • 4 rosemary sprigs


  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Lower the orange in and cover with a lid, leaving a gap so that a little steam can still escape. Boil gently for 30 mins, then remove from the water and allow to cool slightly. Quarter the orange and remove any pips, then transfer to a blender or food processor, add the lemon juice and zest and blitz to a smooth purée.

  2. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Oil the sides of a 23cm round cake tin and line the bottom of the tin with baking parchment.

  3. Sieve the almonds, polenta, baking powder and ½ tsp salt into a large bowl and mix together thoroughly. Whisk the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until really pale and fluffy, about 4 mins. With the mixer still whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream so that the mixture doesn’t split. Once incorporated, scrape in the orange purée and whisk to combine, then add the dry ingredients, combining until you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 55 mins to 1 hr 5 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

  4. Cool in the tin on a wire rack while you make the syrup. Combine the sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, cardamom and 30ml water in a pan. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then add the rosemary. Turn off the heat and infuse for at least 30 mins.

  5. Use a skewer to poke holes in the top of the cake, then pour over the syrup. Allow to settle for 5 mins or so, then slice and serve with some natural yogurt or crème fraîche, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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18th May, 2020
Delicious! Very moist and orangey and the rosemary/cardamom drizzle was a lovely addition. Easy to make, though I found it quite time-consuming. Will definitely make again.
15th Apr, 2019
Stunning cake. Really flavoursome, light and moist as well as easy. Was a success with all my guests. I will definitely make again and will look for a flavoured cream perhaps (cardamom?) to serve it with. I reduced the sugar by 20 grammes in both the cake and the drizzle and didn’t miss it!
2nd Mar, 2019
Lovely strong taste of orange. Didn’t have any polenta so used fine semolina instead and reduced the cooking time by 5 minutes. Turned out nicely. Will be making again.
browste1's picture
11th Feb, 2019
Absolutely amazing cake, easy to make and delicious
John Perry
5th Feb, 2019
This is delicious! Very tasty and moist and perfect if you're looking for a dairy free cake.
KathyMolan's picture
24th Jan, 2019
absolutely delicious - moist and the cardamom and rosemary add a lovely and unusual flavour
Fruzsi Deb's picture
Fruzsi Deb
2nd May, 2020
Hi, I'm allergic to almond. Would the ratios be the same if I leave out ground almonds? I would appreciate some guidance as I'm not too experienced in baking with polenta but would love to try.
lulu_grimes's picture
5th May, 2020
Hi, This is Lulu from the Good Food team, the almonds in this add texture and flavour so the cake won't work without a substitute. is it all nuts you are allergic to? You could use another kind of ground nut if not. I've posted a link to a similar cake below, you can use polenta instead of almonds in it and the rest of the cake is made from mashed potato. I hope this helps.
29th Nov, 2019
can I bake this ahead and if so, should I put the drizzle on after cooking or wait until before serving?
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