Rum Orange Olive Oil Cake with Candied Walnut Topping

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Thank you for visiting my culinary adventure. I am amazed that February brought a visit from the 100th country, then I blinked and it jumped up to 106! Incredible! Did you know there are only about 160 countries in the world? Whether you comment (and I am thrilled when you do), or not, your visits keep me motivated.  On top of that, I used the very last page of my recipe journal, filled with my crazy script as I jot down my experiments. There is a sense of accomplishment as I open my new journal and start again.  Who knows what this volume will bring? How do you keep your recipe and creations? Word processed documents on your computer, recipe cards, bookmarks, scratched out on the backs of napkins? There is something about writing these down in a journal that seem to complete my process.  One crashed hardisk and pouf, gone. Perhaps, old school paper, bound can stand the test of time.

recipe notebook
Recipe Journal Vol. 1 – first entry August 10, 2010

The first entry is this rum orange olive oil cake. I have been mulling this over for months now as I wondered what else to prepare with my delicious citrus infused olive oil scored at the Savor the Central Coast event in San Luis Obispo. I have added it to vinaigrette, as marinade and a finishing drizzle but had yet to bake with it. Because I think of food in layers, the candied walnuts make the perfect topper for this dense, moist rummy cake. They give a nice crunchy texture and a little surprising flavor burst of orange spice, echoing the bit of zest in the cake batter.

Dense, citrus and spicy walnut crunch on top: Orange Olive Oil Cake!   Pin It

Rum Orange Olive Oil Cake with Candied Walnut Topping
Modified Olive Oil Cake from Chow
Serves  12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time  50-65 minutes

3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½  cups whole milk (I used 2% Milk)
¾ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil,
¼ cup citrus infused olive oil (used Pasolivo Citrus Olive Oil)
¼ cup dark rum, (used Ron Zacapa Centenario Solera Gran Reserva 23)
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
½  cup coarse-ground cornmeal
½  teaspoon baking powder
½  teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup Orange Spice Candied Walnuts, chopped
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350º, oil and flour 9 inch spring form pan. I lined the bottom of mine with parchment paper to ensure a good release.
Zest orange


  1. In a large bowl whisk together eggs and sugar together until fully integrated
  2. Add milk, olive oils, rum and orange zest, whisk together
  3. Add dry ingredients in a different large bowl, run the whisk through to blend together and evenly distribute the baking powder, soda and salt.
  4. Slowly pour egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into spring form pan, tap on counter to level.
  6. Sprinkle chopped candied walnuts to the top, covering completely.
  7. Bake on center rack of oven for 50-65 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Test at about 45 minutes to gauge baking time of your oven.
  8. Cool completely on baking rack before removing from spring form pan. Run a thin knife around edges and release, remove bottom parchment paper (if using) before placing on serving plate.
  9. Sprinkle with sifted confectioner’s powdered sugar.

Cook’s Tips & Links

  • Inspiration (using almond flavored amaretto liqueur): Olive Oil Cake from Chow
  • Recipe for Orange & Spiced Candied Walnuts on previous blog post.
  • The treasured Ron Zacapa Centenario Rum  was a gift from my wonderful  son-in-law. You can use any good quality dark rum for this cake,or substitute 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon rum extract.
  • Pasolivo Citrus Olive Oil was purchased at the Sunset Magazines “Savor the Central Coast” event, but I also found it at Tyler Florences’ shops in Mill Valley and Napa. Available online. There are other producers of citrus flavored olive oils that would work just fine in this recipe. I also like Lucero Olive Oils flavor infused oils
  • You could used 1 cup olive oil and ¼ teaspoon orange extract if this is not available.

Disclosure: I have purchased all these ingredients used in this recipe (except the rum as mentioned.)

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6 Responses to Rum Orange Olive Oil Cake with Candied Walnut Topping

  1. Ilva says:

    I used to keep recipes in notebooks the first 3-4 years of blogging but now they are spread out all over the place and often I don’t write them down until I blog them, just amounts on scraps of paper if I am lucky though I often forget that too

    • Lucky us that you do blog your recipes Ilva! I have taken to writing them in a journal because my boys asked me to so I would make something they liked the same way as the “first time!”

  2. Bentobird says:

    I’m so glad that the whole world (including me!) can benefit from your careful and creative culinary explorations, Robin! Seriously, every visit here dazzles me anew with the deep pleasure of the craft of cooking!

  3. Gabi says:

    I must say, I absolutely LOVE the idea of using the infused oil in baking. Very original, think i’ll give it a go! 🙂

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