Portuguese Style Orange Cake

Portuguese Style Orange Cake

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 4

    large navel oranges (finely grate the orange rind and set aside the zest then squeeze all the oranges to get about 1 cup of juice)

  • 3

    cups all purpose flour

  • 2

    tsp baking powder (add ½ tsp more if using 2 loaf pans)

  • tsp salt

  • 4


  • cups sugar (white)

  • 1

    cup olive oil (if you can find it get the fresh and fruity kind - see photo below or use the light olive oil)

  • 1 to 1¼

    cup coarsely chopped cranberries (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a bundt or tube pan (at least the 10-12-cup one) and set aside. You can also use two loaf pans (9x5). Do make sure that you use light colored bundt/tube or loaf pans as the dark ones don't work well for this. The cake gets too dark. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside. A stand mixer would be quite handy for this though a handheld one will also do (use a large mixing bowl). Beat the eggs in the mixing bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute or until combined. Get the sugar and slowly pour it in and continue to beat for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture thickens and becomes a pale yellow. Adjust the speed to low and then alternately mix in the flour mixture and the olive oil – begin and end with the flour. I divide the flour mix into three parts when I do this and then pour olive oil in between. Pour in the orange juice and beat the batter quickly just until everything is combined. Stop the mixer. Fold in the zest. Use a spatula to scrape the batter on the sides of the bowl and incorporate it with the rest then beat again, just for a few seconds, to ensure an even mix. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55-60 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs on it. For the loaf pan, about 45-50 mins. Check after about 40-45 mins in either case to see if the top is browning too much. If that happens simply cover lightly with a foil and continue to bake until the cake is done.  Remove from the oven and place in a cooling rack. Cool for about 30-40 mins in the pan before removing it to ensure that the cake does not break when you transfer it. Cool completely in a rack. Dust with confectioner's sugar, if desired.  


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