Simple orange olive oil cake.

This simple cake recipe pretty much has everything going for it: It’s easy (one bowl, one pan). It’s incredibly versatile. It’s not too sweet. It can be made ahead (and it freezes well). Most of all: It’s delicious.

Even better: It’d be a great recipe to make for Mom this weekend.

Olive oil and cornmeal may seem unusual additions to a cake recipe, but they’re essential here, adding flavor and texture. The crunchy sugar topping is unexpected and delightful.

And you can top this orange olive oil cake with just about anything: lightly sweetened seasonal fruit (berries, orange segments, tropical fruit like kiwi and pineapple), Greek yogurt whisked with a bit of orange marmalade, simple whipped cream. When we made this cake for company recently, I spooned a mixture of strawberries, red raspberries and blackberries over individual slices of cake, then added a dollop of whipped cream.

easy orange olive oil cornmeal cake recipe

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for preparing the pan
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine or orange juice (or a combination)
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/3 cup turbinado (raw) sugar or granulated sugar
seasonal fruit, whipped cream and/or yogurt for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a piece of waxed paper to fit the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch baking pan. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil; place the waxed paper circle in the bottom of the pan and rub it with oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, wine/orange juice and orange zest until smooth. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; whisk gently to combine. The batter will be quite thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan; sprinkle the top evenly with 1/4 to 1/3 cup of turbinado or granulated sugar (topping will be thick). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes or so, then run a thin knife around the perimeter to loosen and invert the cake onto a plate.

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