This rustic cake sings with flavors of a great and fruity (yet affordable) olive oil and fresh orange. It's no surprise to us it's the most saved Genius recipe from Food 52. It's also a recipe that can and IS often adapted from the original, which was developed at Maialino Restaurant in New York City. They serve it at breakfast in muffin form, and they've been known to turn it into a birthday cake, layered with mascarpone buttercream (OMG, sounds good.) We read through lots of bakers' reviews and decided to deviate a little from the original recipe to lighten it up a bit. Below is our version.
You'll notice that there are chopped, fresh cranberries dotting the top in our photos. We had intended to have them throughout the cake, but discovered in both cake and muffin versions they floated to the top of the bakes! It looks pretty on the cake, but was ridiculous on the muffins. We don't recommend that you try adding any fruit to our version of this cake.
We do recommend that you alter the flavors if you like. We skipped the alcohol and used all fresh orange juice (from a jug) and the zest of two oranges. Yum. This would be equally delicious as a lemon or even a lime cake. If you try it, let us know how it comes out!
We served this cake naked, but a sauce of macerated cherries, strawberries or sweetened blueberries would be decadent addition. The original recipe called for a roasted strawberry sauce that also sounded delish. A lovely vanilla ice cream might also we good. I should stop.
This is a great cake to bake the day before. We think the flavor is better after it sits overnight. The cake or muffins will keep at room temperature for several days. We didn't try to freeze them, but they would likely freeze well for several weeks or a month.
NOTES: This is a hefty cake. If you're not serving a crowd, you may want to divide this recipe in half. We made a 6-inch cake and about 16 small muffins from a full batch. The 6-inch cake will easily serve 6-8 people, depending on whether they wants seconds, of course!
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