Olive Oil & Orange Ciambella

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. 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.
  3. Slowly add flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and orange zest.  Beat until fully incorporated.
  4. 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.
  5. Once cake is done, immediately turn upside down and let cake cool completely before removing from pan and adding glaze.
  6. 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

 

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