Orange Cake (Bolo de Laranja)

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Portuguese Dinner Party.

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 1 hr, 15 min

Orange Cake (Bolo de Laranja)


nonstick baking spray with flour
4 to 5 large naval oranges
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
5 large eggs
3 cups granulated white sugar
1 1/2 cups mild extra-virgin olive oil
powdered sugar, for sprinkling


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above, and crank up the heat to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt or tube pan with baking spray and set aside.

2. Finely grate the zest of 3 of the oranges, then squeeze 4 of them. You should have 1 1/2 cups of juice; if not, squeeze the 5th orange. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until well-combined, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and continue beating until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and oil, starting and ending with the flour, and beat until just a few wisps of flour remain. Pour in the orange juice and zest and whirl for a few seconds to bring the batter together.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1 1/4 hours. If the top is browning too much as the cake bakes, cover lightly with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.

6. Turn the cake out onto the rack and cool completely, then place it in a covered cake stand and let it sit overnight. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.


*Make sure to use a lightly-colored Bundt pan. A dark one will turn out a cake that sticks and is unpleasantly brown.
*Since this cake only gets better with age, don't even think about taking a bite until the day after you make it, or even the day after that.

Source: (Reprinted with permission from The New Portuguese Table)

8 Responses to “Orange Cake (Bolo de Laranja)”

  1. postedSep 24, 2009 6:29 AM

    I am going to have to try this version of the orange cake. The version my sister taught me to make has slightly less ingredients, but soo delicious.
    I love your entire menu. What a fun party!

    • postedMay 17, 2010 11:21 AM

      @Mary Ann,

      My husband’s mother’s housekeeper used to make this for him all the time in Portugal. It was his favorite. Unfortunately everyone has passed that knew the recipe. Any chance you could share your sister’s recipe? Thank you.

  2. postedJun 2, 2012 5:52 PM

    The cake was great. Made the mojito marinated chicken
    and this orange pound cake. My husband said they were
    both keepers. Love the recipe box and zip list!

    • postedJun 3, 2012 4:11 PM

      Glad to hear your feedback- thank you! We love this cake too!

  3. postedJan 7, 2015 8:25 AM
    Beachside Baker

    I have never tasted a cake made with olive oil. How does the olive oil come through?

    • postedJan 7, 2015 10:03 AM

      works great- I’ve used it in a lot of cakes! You won’t taste any funky flavors (unless you are using a very strong-flavored olive oil).

  4. postedJan 22, 2015 4:12 PM

    Made this and my house smelled heavenly! I cut the sugar to 2.5 c and the oil to 1.25 c. 🙂

    • postedJan 22, 2015 7:28 PM

      great to know that works- thanks!

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