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Olive Oil-Anise Cakes

The secret to these diminutive desserts' moist texture is olive oil, which also mellows the anise and orange that permeate each bite. Although the cakes are compelling on their own, a scoop of vanilla ice cream would sweeten the deal.

  • Servings: 4
  • Yield: Makes 4 mini bundt cakes
Olive Oil-Anise Cakes

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2008


  • Vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packed teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat four 1-cup mini Bundt pans with cooking spray. Whisk eggs, yolk, granulated sugar, orange zest, and anise seeds in a medium bowl until foamy. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until combined.

  2. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Fold into egg mixture in 3 additions. Divide batter evenly among pans, and bake until light gold and testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve warm.

Reviews (7)

  • cerine 26 Feb, 2011

    thanx ariadne38 for the substitute suggestion

  • MellyJD 23 Oct, 2009

    These cakes have a great texture. Try making them with lemon and lavender instead - fantastic!

  • ariadne38 26 Jan, 2009

    If you do not have cake flour, just remove four teaspoons of flour from 2/3 cup of regular all-purpose flour.

  • ariadne38 24 Jan, 2009

    The Spanish have a breakfast muffin called a Magdalena that is made with olive oil but without anise seeds. They seem similar.

  • ariadne38 24 Jan, 2009

    Such an easy recipe. I followed it exactly with no change in ingredients. The cakes baked perfectly. I love the flavor of the anise and the occasional taste of the seasalt. (Coarse salt does not seem to dissolve in batters but it made me think of sea salt on caramels.) This is a cake with a Mediterranean flair. Something you would discover in a Tuscan hilltown or in Sicily or Spain.

  • ariadne38 30 Dec, 2008

    I notice that the recipe says to serve warm. Do they keep well? Can they be frozen? I am anxious to try this recipe.

  • aldenhouse 28 Dec, 2008

    This is a very delicate and tasty cake. I did make a few changes. I added 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of melted butter and about 1/2 tsp anise extract and some candied orange peel, finely chopped. It was delicious. Thanks Martha.

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