Anna Mintz is a Publicist for Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor for The Recipe Club. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in New York City and loves exploring NYC’s restaurant scene and trying out new recipes in her own kitchen.
My friends and I have been trying for a couple years now to get a regular book club meeting on our calendars, but it seems that we go months without meeting…and then when we are able to get together, only a handful of people have actually read the selected book! It usually ends up being more of a dinner get-together than anything else. So, the bad news is that my aforementioned Book Club is defunct, but the good news is that we have an even better replacement that is totally in my wheelhouse: Supper Club!
For our inaugural meeting last week, my roommates and I hosted an Asian-themed dinner, complete with dumplings from Chinatown, salty steamed edamame, and fried rice. I wanted to make a cake for dessert in lieu of fortune cookies because Supper Club happened to fall on the night after my friend Elizabeth’s birthday, and I wanted to have some sort of birthday cake for her. The first recipe that popped into my mind was Melissa d’Arabian’s Olive Oil and Orange Cake from Ten Dollar Dinners. I’d had a sample of this cake while on book tour with Melissa, and I’d been wanting to make it myself ever since.
Don’t tell the birthday girl, but this cake could not be easier to make! It took all of 10 minutes to get the batter together (including the zesting of the orange — about 3 minutes and by far the most time-consuming part of the process), and then I just popped it in the oven and let the apartment fill with the sweet and tangy aroma of the cake.
The recipe calls for 2 hours of cooling time for the cake, but I only had about an hour and a half, and there were no problems whatsoever. I don’t like my desserts overly sugary, so this cake was right up my alley: cirtusy and slightly sweet and perfectly moist, Olive Oil and Orange Cake is a total winner.
Olive Oil and Orange Cake
Recipe from Ten Dollar Dinners by Melissa d’Arabian
Makes one 8-inch cake
Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus 2 hours to cool)
Cooking time: 35 minutes
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
1⁄3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8-inch round cake pan with unflavored pan spray and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium bowl if using a hand mixer) whip the eggs and granulated sugar together on medium speed until they’re well blended, somewhat thick, and pale yellow, 1½ to 2 minutes. While mixing, pour in the oil and vanilla, beat until smooth, and then mix in the orange zest and juice. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture. Once it is mostly incorporated, add the remaining flour mixture just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Turn off the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan.
3. Bake until the center of the cake springs back to light pressure and a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with just a crumb or two attached, 30 to
35 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours. Run a paring knife around the edges of the pan and turn the cake out onto a cake stand or platter. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the cake, slice, and serve.