Pan d’Arancio (Sicilian Orange Cake)

While most orange cakes are flavored with the zest or the juice of the citrus fruit, nothing goes to waste in this Sicilian version. The whole orange is processed into a puree and then added to the batter. The resulting cake is very moist and fragrant, and it has an intense citrus flavor. Enjoy!

Makes one 9-inch cake, serves 12


  • 1 medium size organic orange (154 grams)
  • 1  1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/4 cups (126 grams) almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/3 cups (264 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams)
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for decoration


Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Oil and line two medium size loaf pan with parchment paper.
  1. Wash the orange and cut it into quarters. Place the orange pieces in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, return to the pan and cover with fresh cold water.
  1. Bring to a boil, then simmer again for another 5 minutes and drain. Repeat this process two more times to remove the bitterness from the oranges.
  1. Strain and discard the liquid and process the orange pieces into a smooth puree in a food processor.
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the two flours, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  1. In another bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the olive oil and orange water and mix until combined.
  1. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and continue mixing until well combined. Stir in it the orange puree until completely blended.
  1. Pour the batter into the baking pans.  Bake the cake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean, without streaks of batter. Cool entirely and dust with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.


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Maria Capdeviellehttp://www.mariateresaskitchen.com/
Chef Maria Capdevielle is the author of "The Secrets of Baking with Olive Oil", a professional pastry chef and a baking & pastry instructor in the SF Bay Area. She studied pastry and baking arts at California Culinary Academy in 2003. She did her apprenticeship at the famed Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Her local experience included several restaurants and bakeries in Napa, Berkeley and San Francisco (V. Sattui Winery, The Rose Pistola, The Waterfront, Market Hall and The Townhouse Grill & Restaurant). Currently, she is consulting for small businesses and she is also teaching Italian baking and pastries privately and at different culinary centers. Her website is: http://www.mariateresaskitchen.com/
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