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Oranges are in abundance during the cooler months of the year and this cake is the perfect way to celebrate them. Using whole oranges and olive oil, this Italian inspired torta is moist, fluffy and bursting with citrus. The oranges bring out a beautifully subtle bitterness to the cake while the mascarpone frosting adds just the right amount of sweetness (and indulgence).


This recipe is so easy to whip up making it the perfect cake for your next birthday celebration, or a treat for afternoon tea with friends.

Or be like the Italians and pair your morning coffee with something sweet. Step aside orange juice.


To make this cake dairy-free, simply omit the mascarpone frosting and dust the cooled cake with icing sugar and some orange zest. The cake is best eaten on the day but can be kept in the fridge for up to 2-3 days (with frosting) or if without frosting, in an airtight container for 3 days.


Ingredients (Makes one 20cm cake)

  • 2 Small Oranges

  • 250g Caster Sugar

  • 3 Eggs

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Extract

  • 250ml Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

  • Pinch of Salt

  • 250g Self-Raising Flour (sifted)


For the Mascarpone Frosting

  • 250g Marscarpone

  • 40g Icing Sugar

  • Zest of Half a Lemon

  • Orange Zest to Decorate


  • Preheat oven to 180 (conventional oven). Grease sides and line the bottom of a 20cm round cake tin.

  • Cut the oranges into quarters, leaving the skin on (be sure to remove any seeds) and blitz in a food processor until puréed. Set aside. 

  • In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until you have a pale and creamy consistency. Add the vanilla, olive oil, pinch of salt and puréed oranges. Whisk to combine. 

  • Gradually add the flour, whisking until you have a smooth batter. 

  • Pour batter into prepared cake tin & bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing cake from tin, then cool on a wire rack. 

  • While cake is cooling, make the frosting. Whisk the mascarpone, icing sugar and lemon zest until thick and fluffy. 

  • Once the cake has completely cooled, gently spread the frosting over the cake, finishing with some grated orange zest.

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