February 20, 2011

Orange Walnut Cake

orange walnut cake

We’ve had a slew of gray mornings in the past few weeks. A few Saturdays ago, I decided to make this cake to summon the sunshine. Even if it didn’t work, at least the taste of the cake would give the illusion of a warm sunny morning. All I had to do was whip out an orange and my zester and the sun immediately peered through the clouds and heated up my kitchen island. The last time this happened was during my cocktail hour a few weeks ago. There’s something about citrus in my kitchen; it has the power to cut through clouds the same way a good dish washing soap cuts through grease.

orange walnut cake

Walnuts, oranges & olive oil…the foundation in which dreams are built uopn. The walnuts are ground– not chunky and add a fantastic texture to this cake. The orange perfumes this treat and the olive oil adds that hint of earthy greenness in a way only olive oil can. The sweet Greek yogurt and the orange zest to the side add some fun, but honestly the powdered sugar on top of the cake is enough. This is the perfect cake for breakfast or as a snack in the afternoon with a good book and a huge mug of tea. Bring on the sun!

And we’re off!

Gather your ingredients. Look at the sun hitting the orange & ground walnuts! It’s working!


Pile the flour, zest, baking powder & salt into a medium bowl.


Add your eggs, olive oil, orange juice & brown sugar.  MIX!


Pour batter into a lubed pan. Can you see all of the little bits of walnut in there? Heaven.

batter up!

And then it bakes….


And then it cools….

cooling off

You zest an orange…and make your sweetened Greek yogurt.


Dust the cake with powdered sugar…


Gather all of the *fun* elements.

the fun stuff

Take out a slice. Say hello to Pacman. Although this should really be Miss Pacman. It’s too pretty.


Add a dollop of the yogurt to the side. Top with some zest.

orange peel & greek yogurt

Now… embrace the sunshine you just welcomed into your life.

Orange Walnut Cake

(recipe from Power Foods, a new Martha Stewart Publication)

Serves 8

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt (I used non fat)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush cake pan with oil, line bottom with parchment; oil and flour parchment and pan. Place walnuts in food processor and pulse until finely ground (be careful not to over process); set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, flour, baking powder, salt, and ground walnuts. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and stir in eggs, brown sugar, orange juice, and oil until just moistened; do not over mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and confectioners’ sugar. Before serving, dust cake with confectioners’ sugar. Top the cake with a few orange zests and  serve a slice with sweet yogurt garnished with orange zest, if desired.

Shutterbean Notes:

-I took this cake out about 8 minutes early because the edges were getting too dark. I bet it would have been more moist if I cooked it less. So watch out! I’m thinking that 350 might have been a better temp.

-You could easily use honey or agave syrup to sweeten up your Greek yogurt.

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