I do love the lightness of dairy-free cakes and muffins, and there’s a lot less guilt when you eat them for breakfast or have several servings over the course of a day!
In coming up with this orange cake recipe, I researched Italian cake recipes as using olive oil is quite common. Italian cuisine doesn’t have the tradition of adding butter to cakes and a lot of Italians actually don’t like the heavy richness of butter in cakes. I do love the taste of butter, but am enjoying experimenting and adapting recipes to make them a bit healthier (or friendlier for lactose-intolerant friends). I also reduced the sugar content.
Experimenting with this recipe I liked having a bit more control over the lightness of the cake by using plain flour and adding my own amounts of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda to the flour, but you can easily just use 2 cups of self-raising flour omitting the baking powder and bicarb.
My next experiment is to do a dairy-free mandarin version, and I’m sure a lemon one would be delicious too.
DAIRY-FREE ORANGE CAKE
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 50-60 mins
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
2 medium-sized oranges
1/3 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
2 tbsp icing sugar (for serving)
Preheat your oven to 170C and lightly grease a 22cm spring-form cake tin.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together.
Cut a slice off the top and the bottom of each orange (to reduce the amount of peel in the cake) and discard the slices. Cut the oranges into quarters and discard any seeds.
Put the orange chunks in a food processor and blend until the rind is fairly evenly broken up but there is still some texture. Add the olive oil and blend a little.
Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until combined. Pour the mixture back into the large bowl you used for the flour.
Beat the eggs by hand until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Gently fold through the orange mixture.
Pour into your prepared cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Sprinkle with the icing sugar just before serving.