Orange Olive Oil Cake – Fit Foodie Finds

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This Orange Olive Oil Cake has bright orange flavor infused in every bite! Fresh orange juice, zest, and star anise are mixed into the cake batter and then topped with candied orange zest goodness. 

If you loved our orange loaf cake that went absolutely bonkers on social, this orange olive oil cake is for you!

Like clockwork, my craving for citrus everything comes around every year when winter turns to spring. After months of heavy, rich flavors like pumpkin spice and peppermint, I find myself craving something bright and refreshing. And this orange olive oil cake sure delivers — it’s what I served my family on Easter, and everyone from my mom to my toddler enjoyed it 👏🏻👏🏻

Best of all, this is a really simple cake recipe. You make the batter, pour it into your cake pan, and top with orange zest sugar for a little extra texture and zing, which btw comes out of the oven tasting like slivers of candied oranges. It’s vibrant, light, and perfect for spring!

What’s In Orange Olive Oil Cake

  • All-purpose flour: This staple cake flour works great in this olive oil cake recipe.
  • Ground star anise (optional): The star anise adds a delicious hint of flavor to this cake. If you don’t have it, no worries, but it is delish!
  • Brown sugar: A little brown sugar adds a nice depth of flavor to this olive oil cake recipe. Plus, it pairs well with the orange!
  • Olive oil: The use of extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe adds a unique depth of flavor and richness to the cake. It also gives it a moistness that is hard to achieve with butter alone. Don’t skip the olive oil — this is an olive oil cake after all.
  • Vanilla extract: A little touch of vanilla extract adds the perfect finishing touch to this cake.
  • Orange: Fresh oranges are best! We used fresh orange zest and orange juice in this recipe.
  • Almond milk: Adds a bit more moisture to the batter. Feel free to substitute for any other milk of your choice.
  • Granulated sugar: To make the orange zest sugar that goes on top of the cake. It’s simple and so freaking good!
Unbaked cheesecake with crumbled topping in a round pan.

Top Tips From Our Recipe Testers

  • Don’t use orange slices: We tested this recipe with orange slices on top, with and without the peel. Both the orange peels and the pieces of the orange segment left a bitter taste in the cake. So we don’t recommend placing slices of oranges on the top regardless if it has the peel.
  • Juice your oranges: for the most vibrant orange-forward flavor, we recommend juicing your oranges fresh rather than using store-bought orange juice.
  • Choosing milk: You can also swap almond milk for regular or any other non-dairy milk of your choice! Just make sure it’s unsweetened.
  • What the heck is star anise: If you don’t have star anise (sometimes it can be hard to find!), feel free to omit it or substitute it with a pinch of cinnamon. It won’t have the same flavor profile, but it will still be delicious!
A freshly-baked orange cake garnished with orange zest on a white plate, accompanied by sliced oranges.

How to Store

Have leftover cake? This olive oil orange cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

You can also freeze the cake by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and placing it in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.

A slice of orange pound cake on a plate.

try it!

Orange Loaf Cake

Calling all orange lovers! If you haven’t tried our orange loaf, now’s your chance.

Get recipe

A freshly baked orange cake with a slice partially lifted out, showcasing its moist crumb and topped with orange zest.

What to Serve with Orange Olive Oil Cake

The orange flavors in this cake offer a multitude of delicious pairing options! It would taste heavenly with a hot cup of Pour Over Coffee or this Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, try making this Orange Creamsicle Smoothie! Or cap off the evening with this Frothy Orange Creamsicle Cocktail.

A sliced citrus-flavored pound cake with orange zest garnish on a white plate.

Orange Olive Oil Cake Recipe

This orange olive oil cake is a perfect balance of bright citrus flavors, nutty almond milk, and rich olive oil. It’s easy to make and perfect for spring gatherings or any time you’re craving a refreshing and tangy dessert.

Prep:20 minutes

Cook:45 minutes


  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ and spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.

  • Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk the ingredients together. Set aside.

  • Next, add the brown sugar and olive oil to a different mixing bowl and whisk together, making sure there are no lumps.

  • Add the remaining wet ingredients to the olive oil and brown sugar and whisk to combine.

  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

  • Transfer the batter to the cake pan. Set aside.

  • In a small bowl, add the granulated sugar and orange zest. Using your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar. The sugar should become a light orange color. Top the cake with the orange zest sugar.

  • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • The star anise adds a delicious hint of flavor to this cake. If you don’t have it, no worries.
  • We tested this recipe with orange slices on top, with and without the peel. Both the peel and the pieces of the orange segment left a bitter taste in the cake.
  • We tested this cake with a delightful caramel sauce, and it was delish. If you go this route, we recommend topping with candied orange.


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