The other day, Food52 published a story on their most popular genius dessert ever. And it turned out not to be something faffy or chocolate-y or fruity. Instead, it was the plain and humble olive oil cake. I've never baked with olive oil though I have used the more neutral oils in cakes before. This one does let the olive oil shine with all its personality. This is also one of the simplest cakes you will ever bake, so maybe that accounts for the popularity.
The original recipe is for a full cake but I reduced it to a third and baked 6 cupcakes instead. Mine's also a pale vanilla colour whereas the one on food52 is a rich brown so there is a chance I underbaked it. It's quite soft and nice and tasty all the same.
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking powder
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
100 ml whole milk
1/2 tbsp orange zest
45 ml fresh orange juice
Line 6 muffin tins and set on a tray. Preheat the oven to 180C.
Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk, egg, orange zest and orange juice. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. It's a very wet batter so you can just pour into the muffin tins. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
That's it, folks. You can pop them out and enjoy while warm or cool on a rack and then top with cream or ganache or frosting. They are quite nice plain though.