Ciambella is a traditional Italian sponge cake. This moist, simple cake is perfect when you’re craving something sweet to dunk in your coffee or tea. It is important to use a high quality, extra virgin olive oil in this recipe. The olive oil lends a subtle fruitiness and tenderness to the cake. Beating the batter for 20 minutes really helps to incorporate a lot of air into the mixture resulting in a light, airy sponge. This cake is my take on a recipe that was passed onto me from an Italian Zia who’s been making it for years. I wouldn’t mess with her method! For a coffee-flavoured sponge cake recipe, click here.
- 7 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp orange zest, grated
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp orange juice
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, sugar and oil. Beat for 20 minutes, until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy.
- Slowly add flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and orange zest. Beat until fully incorporated.
- Pour batter into an ungreased angel food or ring cake pan. . Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean.
- Once cake is done, immediately turn upside down and let cake cool completely before removing from pan and adding glaze.
- For the glaze: mix together the powdered sugar and orange juice. Stir until smooth. If the glaze is too runny add some powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little more orange juice. Pour glaze over cake.
*Yield: Approximately 10 servings