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Orange Olive Oil MiniCakes

Recipes are like actors.

Some are BIG stars. They’re beautiful, have big personalities, are tasty, and have that je ne c’est quoi…that combination of things that’s so “now” you just can’t help but want them. You want them all the time. Dream of them. They make you drool in anticipation. They’re everywhere—tempting you at each click or turn.

And, some are character actors. Not stunning or pretty—just plain old regular looking. Lowkey. Turning out a pithy performance. Memorable but not something you’ll find yourself desiring on any particular day. You won’t think of them often or wait with bated breath for the next appearance. But, at that one moment you’ll appreciate their unassuming talent, their great performance. And, you’ll smile.

This recipe is that character actor. Not very pretty. Not seen on every blog or recipe site. But, giving a unique, memorable performance. And, it will make you smile.

Two very important tips: 1) Use the sweetest, ripest, most flavorful oranges you can find. It will make a difference in the taste of the cake. 2) Do not overmix at any stage of the recipe.

PS - My taste testers (aka co-workers) gave these babies two thumbs up!

Correction: Sorghum flour amount changed from 1/2 cup to 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons.

Orange Olive Oil MiniCakes

2 flax eggs

2 small juice oranges

¾ cups sugar

¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed

½ cup + 2 tablespoons sorghum flour

½ cup almond flour

½ cup tapioca flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

1/8 teaspoon salt

Big pinch of ground cloves


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


Place the oranges in a pot and cover with water. Set the water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Boil the oranges for an hour to an hour and half until they’re soft and can be pierced with a fork. (You’ll want to check on the oranges while they’re cooking and add more water if needed.)

Alternatively, you can skip this step and use uncooked oranges. I’ve done it both ways but find the minicakes with the cooked oranges did not have the after bite—which I suspect is the citrus oil—that those made with the uncooked oranges had. Also, the raw orange cake was a bit more light and fluffy whereas the cooked orange cake was still light but more moist. Just a matter of personal taste (and time). I liked them both.

Prepare the flax eggs: 2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 6 tablespoons warm water.

Once the oranges are cool cut them into wedges and then each in half again. Remove any pits and the soft white pith in the center of the orange. Place all the pieces into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the sugar and process again for about a minute or so. By this time the orange mixture should be smooth but you’ll see some small bits, too. Add the olive oil, vanilla, finely crushed rosemary, and the flax eggs. Process until everything is mixed.

Place the remaining ingredients—flours, baking powder & soda, xanthan gum, salt and cloves—in a large bowl. Mix with a wire whisk.

Add the wet orange mixture to the dry ingredients and gently mix together with a spoon or curved spatula. Take care not to overmix and definitely don’t do this in the food processer.

Fill large muffin cups or small cake pans with an ice cream scoop full of batter. You’ll want to fill each about 2/3 full. Or, you can grease and flour a nine inch round cake pan and fill with the batter.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. If you use a cake pan the baking time increases about 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for about 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack.

Sprinkle with confectioners sugar, serve, and smile.

Some notes:  Don’t over mix the wet mixture or when you mix the dry and wet mixtures together. Less is more in this case.  Also, I doubled the recipe recently and it wasn’t as good as the single recipe so, I don’t recommend it. Finally, use the sweetest, ripest thin skinned oranges you can find. The oranges make the cake so if they don’t taste good the cake won’t either.


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Reader Comments (3)

So pretty! I've been looking for a good orange cake recipe and it looks like I found it. And, GF and vegan, too. Bonus!

Feb 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Hi Nancy. These look lovely and great flavors too.

Thanks, Jeena! This is one of my favorites ~ big hit with the taste testers. -Nancy

Mar 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeena

This looks super! And it would be a great addition to our olive oil & coconut oil theme coming up. I hope you will consider submitting it to Stuffed Pepper. :)

Heather, thanks for the reminder. I will check it out and submit! Nancy

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