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The Hirshon Portuguese Orange-Olive Oil Cake

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • Nonstick baking spray with flour
  • 4 to 5 large navel oranges
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon freshly-ground cardamom and 1 teaspoon mace (both cardamom and mace are totally optional – the original recipe does not use it)
  • 1 1/2 cups mild extra-virgin olive oil
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above, and crank up the heat to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Coat a 12-cup Bundt or tube pan with baking spray and set aside.
  3. Finely grate the zest of 3 of the oranges, then squeeze 4 of them. You should have 1½ cups of juice; if not, squeeze the 5th orange. Set aside.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until well-combined, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and continue beating until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
  6. On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and oil, starting and ending with the flour, and beat until just a few wisps of flour remain. Pour in the orange juice and zest and whirl for a few seconds to bring the batter together.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1¼ hours. If the top is browning too much as the cake bakes, cover lightly with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Turn the cake out onto the rack and cool completely, then place it in a covered cake stand and let it sit overnight. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.
  9. Note: Make sure to use a light-colored Bundt pan. A dark one will turn out a cake that sticks and is unpleasantly brown. The pan I use is the Nordic Ware’s Anniversary 15-cup Bundt Pan. And since this orange-olive oil cake only gets better with age, don’t even think about taking a bite until the day after you make it, or even the day after that. — David Leite
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes


  • Calories: 1536.06 kcal
  • Sugar: 17.27 g
  • Sodium: 1066.5 mg
  • Fat: 93.05 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.83 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.02 g
  • Carbohydrates: 160.61 g
  • Fiber: 27.04 g
  • Protein: 28.97 g
  • Cholesterol: 232.5 mg