Hello Friends! I have a sweet treat for today’s post. If you’re a subscriber, you may have noticed that I have often included recipes for Campari-based cocktails in the emails – it’s no secret, it’s my favorite apéritif! I came across this recipe for Campari Olive Oil Cake, by Melissa Clark. I was so intrigued, I had to try it! So today, we are making this citrusy cake with an easy whipped crème fraîche to top.
This cake is pretty amazing. It’s not super sweet; it has wonderful bittersweet citrus notes from the grapefruit and the Campari, and is perfectly balanced with the orange and lemon flavors. The exterior develops a gorgeous golden, crunchy crust that gives way to a beautifully scented, moist interior.
A Simple Citrus Cake
We begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then grease a springform pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment and set aside. You can use a 9-inch cake pan, but this cake is pretty tall so be sure your pan is at least two inches deep. Since you want the top to be the top, unmolding it could be a challenge in a regular pan.
The wet ingredients are simple; we have orange, lemon and grapefruit zest and juice; eggs, olive oil, milk and butter. And of course, Campari. The dry ingredients are what you’d expect for a cake: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Then, fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
My milk was a little colder than I thought and so it kinda solidified my melted butter into little globs. I was a little worried, but I went for it and it all turned out fine.
Pour the mixture into the greased pan and pop it in the oven. Bake it for 45 minutes to one hour, until the top is golden brown and the center springs back when lightly pressed. Let it completely cool in the pan before trying to unmold it. Then, run a butter knife around the edges and release. Once the outer ring was off, I ran a long offset spatula under the bottom to release it from the bottom of the springform pan. I slid two offset spatulas under it to lift the cake to the serving plate.
Campari Olive Oil Cake
This cake is very forgiving and pretty fool-proof. You can substitute Aperol if you find Campari too bitter. I also read some folks did a an upside down version with citrus slices and a citrus syrup on the bottom. With an easy yellow cake recipe and citrus flavors, there’s so much room to play around and make it your own!
Add whipped cream, fresh fruit, or crème fraîche to give it a little something extra. I added a slightly sweetened, lemony, whipped crème fraîche, which was perfect. The slightly sweet and tangy flavor of the creamy crème fraîche brightened up the bittersweet flavor of the cake, rounding it out very nicely.
Give this cake a try! It’s really wonderful; from the moist interior to the crunchy golden top, it’s pretty much my dream cake. Another plus is that it keeps really well; retaining all its moisture for days. The crunchy top gets soft, but a quick trip to the oven for a little crisp up is all it needed. We don’t do sweets too often, and in case you have missed them, you can find them all here. How do you feel about citrus cakes? Let me know here, or over on Instagram. Take care and be well, I will see y’all back here tomorrow for Pizza and a Movie. xo Kelly
Campari Olive Oil Cake
Wonderful bittersweet citrus notes from the grapefruit and the Campari, and is perfectly balanced with the orange and lemon flavors. The exterior develops a gorgeous golden, crunchy crust that gives way to a beautifully scented, moist interior.
- ¼ cup Unsalted Butter (1/2 stick), melted, plus more for greasing the pan
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 ⅔ cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp. Fine Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ⅔ cup Whole Milk
- ⅔ cup Mild Olive Oil
- 3 Large Eggs
- ⅓ cup Campari
- 1 tbsp. Grated Grapefruit Zest
- 1 tbsp. Grated Orange Zest
- 1 tbsp. Grated Lemon Zest
- ¼ cup Fresh Grapefruit Juice
- 2 tbsp. Fresh Orange Juice
- 1 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
- Whipped crème fraîche or whipped cream, sweetened if you like, for serving
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, milk, oil, eggs, Campari, citrus zests, and citrus juices.
Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until the top is golden and the center springs back when lightly pressed, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (A cake tester might emerge with a few crumbs, which is OK.)
Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Then run a butter knife around the edges and release the sides.
Serve with dollops of whipped crème fraîche.