This cake is from Leite’s Culinaria. It was in my to-try recipe list, so I finally got around to making it, and was later surprised to come across it on this blog – turns out I had made it once before and was not impressed. But something must have changed, because this time, everyone loved it!
The thing that I noticed while making this cake is that the amounts seem really large compared to the average cake recipe, so make sure that your bundt pan holds at least 12 cups (the one in the original post is 15 cups). The instructions also say that the pan must be light-colored, as a dark pan will turn out a cake that is “unpleasantly brown” – I didn’t buy a new one just for this, but I would say that mine is halfway between light and dark. Medium? I tented the cake with foil after 45 minutes in the oven and the color was fine.
The instructions also say to let the cake rest for at least a whole day before eating it (I left the last paragraph of the instructions verbatim). Let me say right now that I didn’t do it – sorry not sorry! That being said, it stayed moist and delicious for days! Plus, the confectioners’ sugar with which I dusted the top remained visible for days instead of disappearing into the cake after a few hours, so that was nice too.
nonstick baking spray with flour (I used butter spread and flour)
4 or 5 large navel oranges
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ¾ tsp. kosher salt
5 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups mild, fruity extra-virgin olive oil
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above, and preheat to 350 °F. Coat a 12-cup bundt or tube pan with baking spray and set aside.
Finely grate the zest of 3 oranges and then squeeze the juice from 4 of them. You should have 1 ½ cups orange juice; if not, squeeze the 5th orange.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
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 to beat until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Switch to low speed and alternate adding the flour mixture and the oil, starting and ending with the flour and beating 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.
Gently scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1 ¼ hours. Check the cake occasionally and if the top begins to brown a touch too much, loosely cover it with foil (I tented mine with foil after 45 minutes). When the cake is done, transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. (Don’t forget to come back after 15 minutes. Seriously. If the cake remains in the pan too long, the sugars begin to cool and stick to the pan. Mine stuck a bit, but the confectioners’ sugar hid the damage.)
Turn the cake out onto the wire rack and let it cool completely. Place the cake on a covered cake stand and let it sit overnight. (Seriously. This dense, moist, fruity 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.) Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.