I found these tart and delicious Bergamot Oranges at a local grocery store and couldn't believe how much they reminded me of Earl Grey tea. Bergamot oil is the main ingredient for Earl Grey tea, so once I found and tasted these tart oranges at a local grocery store I knew I wanted to make a cake. After combing through multiple recipes I decided to use this fruit in an olive oil cake. This Bergamot Orange Olive Oil cake is sweet and tart at the same time and the creamy whipped mascarpone adds a nice balance to the entire cake.
This is the first year that I was able to buy Bergamot Oranges. Our local grocery store carries an unusual variety of citrus December through March and I'm in there weekly to see what they have and try the usual and new varieties. Bergamot Oranges (aka Bergamot Lemons) are grown in southern Italy and France. The oils from Bergamot Oranges are used to give Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor. The fruit is bitter but tastes good when used to flavor other dishes. Like this Bergamot Orange Olive Oil Cake.
How to Make Olive Oil Cake
Olive oil cake is a very simple cake to make. There is a lot of liquid in an olive oil cake and the batter is runny, but it produces a moist flavorful cake, that stays delicious for days. Almost every recipe I came across uses citrus and when I tested this recipe, I found that the citrus flavor is really intense. I think it is due to the fact that cake is made with all oil and no butter.
I was really excited the first time I made this cake. I couldn't believe how moist it was and how intense the lemon flavor was. Since Bergamot Oranges have a short season, I used regular lemons in the first recipe to make sure I got the recipe right. I loved it and my co-workers who had never had olive oil cake loved it too. In the next two versions, I played with the amount of Bergamot Orange zest and juice to put into the cake. The Bergamot orange zest is really intense, and too much can overwhelm the taste of your food, but I found that I like the intensity, so I increased the amount of zest to 1 tablespoon. Tasting the fresh cake, my husband said the flavor was like a punch to the back of the throat.
The dry ingredients are:
- All-purpose Flour
- Granulated Sugar
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Bergamot Orange Zest - which can be replaced with another more readily available citrus
- Kosher Salt
The wet ingredients are:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - use an oil that has a good taste. For this recipe, I avoid oils that have a peppery taste. And make sure the oil has not gone rancid. If it's rancid it will have a bitter, unpleasant taste.
- Eggs - at room temperature
- Whole Milk - if you are lactose intolerant you can replace this with almond milk
- Bergamot Orange Juice - a little will go a long way in terms of taste
The dry and wet ingredients are mix together in separate bowls and then combined together. Everything is done by hand and it only takes about 15 minutes to prep and mix all the ingredients together.
The cake bakes for about 50 minutes and when it comes out of the oven I brush it with a sweet lemon glaze that soaks the top of the cake and intensifies the flavor when the cake is ready to eat.
How to Make Whipped Mascarpone
I decided to top this cake with whipped mascarpone, but first I had to learn how to make it. The whipped mascarpone has three ingredients:
- 1 cup mascarpone, cold
- 1 cup of heavy cream, cold
- 3 tablespoons of honey
I tested two batches and the second batch produced the best and creamiest whipped mascarpone. You simply whip the cold mascarpone on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. While the mixer is running, slowly pour the heavy cream into the bowl by drizzling it down the side of the bowl. After adding all the cream whip it until soft peaks have formed. Add the honey and whip until the honey is mixed. I used wildflower honey which gave it the whipped mascarpone a slightly floral taste. The combination of heavy cream and mascarpone produces a really rich frosting and I chose to add just a little sweetness to it because the cake is already sweet and not to overwhelm the taste and mouthfeel of the dairy.
If you've never made olive oil cake give is this recipe a try. You won't regret and I'll be willing to bet that it becomes a new favorite because it tastes great and is so simple to make. If you try it, please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @bakesbybrownsugar.
Bergamot Orange Olive Oil Cake
Bergamot Orange Olive Oil Cake
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Bergamot orange zest
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 (150 grams) large eggs
- 1 1/4 (300 grams) cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup bergamot orange juice
Bergamot Orange Glaze
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange bergamot orange juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 ounces (227 grams) mascarpone, cold
- 1 cup (254 grams) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
For the Bergamot Olive Oil Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. For this recipe you will need the juice and zest from two bergamot oranges.
- Place the sugar in a large bowl. Zest the bergamot orange onto the sugar and use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk for 30 seconds to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk. Add the olive oil, the milk and the orange juice and whisk the ingredients until the they are well combined. Add the dry ingredients and whisk together until no bits of flour remain, but do not overmix or you will end up with a tough cake.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes until a cake skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, with just a couple of crumbs clinging to it.
- Ten minutes before the cake is done combine the bergamot orange juice, the sugar and the butter in small saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat the mixture until the butter is melted the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil the mixture.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a spatula around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the sides of the pan and remove the ring from the cake. Brush the cake with the syrup and allow it to completely before frosting.
- At this point, you can enjoy the cake unfrosted. If making the cake in advance it can be stored at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap for two days.
For the Whipped Mascarpone
- Place the mascarpone in the bowl of stand mixer. With the whip attachment beat the mascarpone.
- Add the heavy cream in a steady stream down the side of the bowl. After adding all the cream continue to beat the mixture until soft peaks form. Add the honey and beat on medium low speed until it is thoroughly combined.
- If making the whipped mascarpone in advance refrigerate it until ready to frost the cake.
- After the cake is frosted, serve immediately. Refrigerate any uneaten cake.