Orange Flower Olive Oil Cake

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Karen Tedesco/Family Style

When you think cake, you probably don’t think “less than an hour” or “doesn’t require special equipment,” right? You’ll think differently after trying this gorgeous and easy orange flower olive oil cake from Karen Tedesco’s cookbook, Family Style: Shared Plates for Casual Feasts.

“Everyone needs a recipe in their back pocket for a great olive oil cake,” she writes, “and this is mine. This cake does it all: It looks elegant on the table, topped with fruit for a dinner party, or simply sliced on the kitchen counter for a treat with your morning beverage. It goes with all kinds of lightly sweetened fresh fruit, all year-round. It turns out with a perfectly spongy texture and keeps for days. It might be even better the next day—if it lasts that long. Make this easy cake in no time—you don’t even need a mixer.”

OK, fine. Twist our arm.

Reprinted with permission from Family Style by Karen Tedesco, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020.

Kumquat Upside-Down Cake


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (160g) all-purpose flour

Grated zest of 1 orange, lemon or Meyer lemon

¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 extra-large egg

¾ cup (180ml) buttermilk

⅓ cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon orange flower water, optional

Confectioners’ sugar, as needed

Fresh berries or sliced fresh stone fruits, optional, for serving


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, zest, sugar, baking soda and salt.

3. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the buttermilk, olive oil and orange flower water, if using, until everything is combined.

4. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until they are completely combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan with a spatula.

5. Bake until the cake is golden and the top springs back lightly against your fingertip, 30 to 35 minutes.

6. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, then gently invert it onto a rack and carefully pull off the parchment paper. Let the cake cool completely.

7. Sprinkle the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar or serve plain, topped with fresh fruit.

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