This delicious Orange Cake recipe made in a bundt or tube pan is a traditional, classic Portuguese cake known as Bolo de Laranja.
I hosted a Portuguese dinner party several years ago, and I used David Leite’s The New Portuguese Table cookbook for most of my recipes. This Orange Cake was one of them. The whole dinner was fabulous, but this Orange Cake (Bolo de Laranja) was the star. Everyone loved it and asked for more.
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- kosher salt
- white sugar
- extra virgin olive oil
- powdered sugar
How to make
The complete, printable recipe is at the end of this post.
You can see from the photos that this cake has a tender crumb. It’s a little more dense than a layer cake- more like a bundt cake/pound cake consistency. The orange flavor comes through nicely. It’s so good!
The oil used in this recipe is olive oil, which isn’t typical for a cake recipe. Many have asked if the olive oil lends a weird flavor to the cake. The answer is “no.” Use a lighter flavored olive oil when you make this cake. If you use an olive oil with big, bold, earthy flavors then you might pick up those “weird” flavors.
My Mom’s side of the family is Portuguese, but we had never tried this Orange Cake (Bolo de Laranja). Now it’s one of my favorites to make and serve as a dessert for company. I hope you’ll try it too. Enjoy!
The best bundt cake recipes:
- Apple Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
- Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake
- Carrot Bundt Cake
- Funfetti Bundt Cake
- Red Velvet Bundt Cake
Orange Cake (Bolo de Laranja)
- nonstick baking spray with flour
- 4 to 5 large naval oranges
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 large eggs
- 3 cups granulated white sugar
- 1½ cups mild extra-virgin olive oil
- powdered sugar, for sprinkling
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above, and preheat to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup bundt or tube pan with baking spray and set aside.
- Finely grate the zest of 3 of the oranges, then squeeze 4 of them. You should have 1½ cups of juice; if not, squeeze the 5th orange, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- 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.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 1¼ 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.
- 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 the cake 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.
Thank you! What is the size of the bundt pan that you used? If I had to use a 10×4 inches plum cake form, what would be the proportions?
12 cup bundt. I’m not familiar with the pan you mentioned, so I’m not sure.
Wow! First time I’m writing! I’m Portuguese (born in the USA) and I had to write some words about this cake 🙂 I’ve cooked some orange cakes and yes, it’s quite typical here in Portugal 🙂 Thanks for mentioning Portugal 🙂
Oh wow! Just made this. It’s lovely.
Made this and my house smelled heavenly! I cut the sugar to 2.5 c and the oil to 1.25 c. 🙂
great to know that works- thanks!
I have never tasted a cake made with olive oil. How does the olive oil come through?
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).
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!
Glad to hear your feedback- thank you! We love this cake too!
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!
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.