Citrus and Almond Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Glaze


This isn’t a typical olive oil cake. Often they are dense and extra unctuous, which can be desirable, or lighter and cake-like. This version is in between thanks to a flavorful addition of moist almond meal and corn meal. These additions also create a nutrient-rich cake as well.

Despite a moist interior, the top of the cake develops a nice crust which holds up well to an addition of almonds and a grand marnier tangerine glaze. If tangerines are not in season, substitute with the related mandarin or clementines or “cousin” orange.

While I recommend following measurements when baking, I made this cake for a taste workshop and class at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris without the benefit of measuring tools or scales, so either it’s very forgiving or I made lots of lucky estimates that day.

Recipe for Cake

Olive oil cake cupDry Ingredients 1 ¾ cup ground almond meal/flour ¾  cup fine ground corn meal 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 2  teaspoons baking powder ½  teaspoon fine sea salt 1  cup sugar

The Topping: ¼ cup slivered almonds

Moist Ingredients ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 3 large eggs 3-4 Tangerines (2 tangelos or oranges): 2 teaspoons zest for cake 1/3 cup tangerine juice for cake

Glaze Ingredients: 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon tangerine/citrus zest, finely grated 2 tangerines (3-4 Tablespoons) 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier Small pinch of salt

Steps: Pre-heat oven to 350˚F

  1. Lightly coat the base and sides of a 9-inch nonstick cake pan or a quick-release version.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add flours and whisk well to remove lumps. Add the salt and baking powder and mix well. Add the sugar and mix in.
  3. To an equally large or larger mixing bowl, add the moist ingredients. With a hand mixer, blend the eggs and oil for 2 minutes on medium speed (will form bubbles on the surface).
  4. Add the zest and juice and blend only a few seconds—a moist custard-like texture quickly forms.
  5. Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend until incorporated. It has a cornmeal batter texture.
  6. Pour the batter into the oiled cake pan and bake on the center rack for 48-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool and run a knife round the edges to loosen.
  7. Sprinkle the almond slices on top of the cake.
  8. For the glaze, pour the powdered sugar into a bowl, add juice, zest, Grand Marnier and salt and mix.
  9. Pour some of the glaze on top of the almonds while the cake still a bit warm and retain some glaze to serve aside cut pieces of the cake.
  • A moderately flavored olive oil works best to infuse the cake with a hint of savory flavor; however, you can use a mild tasting extra virgin olive oil for a mild or even undetectable flavor.


    About Me

    The pleasure of food, good health and well-being through simple habits for eating well and flexitarian low-key cooking.
    Michele Redmond

    Michele Redmond

    French-trained Chef, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Food Enjoyment Activist

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