Maialino's Citrus Olive Oil Cakes

I have a million apple cake recipes here on the blog.....and an equal amount of olive oil cakes.

I love them both.

Over the years I have made cakes by boiling the citrus and pureeing them into the batter (VERY GOOD)......using Sicilian olive oil; California olive oil; Greek olive's all good.

For years I have been eating at Danny Meyer's Maialino Restaurant in NYC and I always order the olive oil cake for dessert.
Why is it so much better than others?

Years ago, I asked the pastry chef for the recipe and I jotted it down a napkin (TRUE STORY).
However, the measurements were HUGE and quantity for a restaurant, not for a home cook.

Food52 published the recipe and I decided to dive in and make mini bundt cakes, instead of my usual cake.

A few notes on why not all cakes are created equal.

What kind of olive oil are you using? 1 1/3 cups is a large use one that you actually love the taste of.
I received a gift of Meyer lemon oil, and thought it would be a good use was.

Baking pans vary......I would make this in a cast iron skillet the next time, but I chose the mini bundt way, perfect for a dinner party.

Instead of an hour baking time (as the recipe says), I baked the cakes 30 minutes in a Nordicware commercial mini bundt pan.

I added fresh rosemary and used more Grand Marnier vs orange juice.

Also, definitely go with icing if you are doing the minis.

These were fantastic! I would be happy eating these little cakes weekly.

Maialino's Citrus Olive Oil Cake (adapted from Food52):

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier


2 cups confectioner's sugar
1-2 tbsp fresh orange juice

Heat the oven to 350° F.

Oil, butter, or spray a 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2 inches deep with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

If using a mini bundt pan, this will make 8-10 mini cakes (since my mold is only for 6 cakes, I had enough batter for a mini loaf cake too). Make sure you grease the molds VERY well, to insure easy out.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder.

In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, eggs, orange zest and juice and Grand Marnier. Add the dry ingredients; whisk until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan (I use a measuring cup to pour into the mini bundt molds....easier) and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour (30 minutes if doing mini bundts), until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean.

Transfer the cake(s) to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely.

I like to ice my cakes while still warm (I know you are supposed to wait, but I have no patience).

Whisk icing with a fork and pour into a cereal bowl.

Dip each cake into the icing, working quickly, so it doesn't harden.
Let the icing drip down and harden.

These are fantastic!!!

PS I made this recipe again for Christmas, using a Field Cast Iron 8 1/2" skillet.
I substituted lime zest (along w/ the orange zest) for the rosemary, and I only used 1 cup of olive oil.

Still just as moist and fantastic!


Mary said…
I have about 100 Meyer lemons on my tree right now, and this is where one of them is going:) I'd make them tonight for our custodians but I am out of sugar--that has never happened to me before!
Katie C. said…
I do like olive oil cake but mine seem to consistently dip in the middle. Cooking them longer just results in an over baked cake. Any tips?
Stacey Snacks said…
Kaite C.

Try reducing the amount of oil....instead of 1 1/3 cup, just use 1 cup......and make the mini cakes, this way I promise, they won't be too wet in the middle.

Ciao Chow Linda said…
I love olive oil and citrus cakes too, and this one looks particularly delicious made I'm those individual bundt pans. I've been wanting to get some for the longest time, and your post is the push I needed.
Lee R. said…
Can these be frozen after icing?
Stacey Snacks said…
Absolutely yes. However, make sure you freeze them in wax paper first, so the icing doesn't stick to the wrap.

Foodiewife said…
Those are stunning cakes, Stacey. I have a mini bundt pan and am sorely tempted to bake these. I think the only olive oil cake I've baked comes from your blog from a few years ago and I loved it.