How to Make Olive Oil Cake With Buttercream Frosting and Candied Oranges

Developed by pastry chef Paola Velez, this stunning and delicious buttercream-coated olive oil cake includes everything from a deep earthy flavor of buckwheat flour to tangy-salty-sweet treats of candied oranges.


Cake Batter:

● Large eggs, 3

● All-purpose flour, 1¼ cups

● Buckwheat flour, 1 cup

● Milk, 1¼ cups

● Granulated sugar, 1¾ cups

● Kosher salt, 1½ teaspoons

● Ground ginger, 1 tablespoon

● Ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon

● Olive oil, 1⅓ cups

● Baking powder, ½ teaspoon

● Baking soda, ½ teaspoon


● Softened butter, 1 pound

● Solid vegetable shortening, 1 tablespoon

● Milk, 2 tablespoons (optional)

● Powdered sugar, 2 pounds

● Kosher salt, a pinch

● Edible flowers and leaves for garnishing

Candied Citrus

● Small oranges, 2, or a total of 10 ounces (ends trimmed, cut into 3/8-inch slices, seeds removed)

● Granulated sugar, 1 cup

● Honey, ¼ cup

● Corn syrup, 1 tablespoon

● Citric acid, ⅛ teaspoon

● Water, ½ cup

● Fine sea salt, a pinch



Preheat your oven to 350oF. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until pale yellow. Gradually add oil until the mixture becomes smooth. Then gradually beat in milk. In a medium bowl, whisk baking powder, baking soda, both flours, salt, cloves, and ginger. Add the dry mixture to the mixer. Keep mixing until smooth. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 50 minutes. Remove it from the pan and let it cool.

Candied Orange:

Halfway fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add orange slices and cook for two minutes. Transfer the slices to a wire rack. Repeat this process twice using a fresh pot of water each time. Add ½ cup sugar, corn syrup, honey, and ½ cup water in the same saucepan and keep stirring. Add the cooked citrus slices and bring to a simmer. Keep stirring until the sugar melts. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for about 30 minutes, until the orange rinds start to turn translucent. Keep stirring and keep the citrus slices intact. Turn off the heat and transfer the slices to a wire rack. Let them cool for 15 minutes. Reserve two tablespoons of the cooked syrup for the cake and refrigerate the rest to use in the future. Whisk together the remaining ½ cup sugar, sea salt, and citric acid. Coat the orange slices with the sugar mixture. Return to the rack and let dry.


Beat vegetable shortening and butter together for about one minute. Add powdered sugar and mix to blend. Increase the speed of the mixer and mix for about two minutes until the buttercream gets pale and fluffy. You can add milk to it if you wish.

Final Touch

Take the cake and brush the top with reserved syrup. Spread the buttercream evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Garnish the top with candied citrus slices.