Like traditional Indian orange cakes and Italian olive oil cakes, these cupcakes are moist, fresh and very tasty. I’ve used fresh orange zest and fresh-squeezed orange juice to bring the citrus flavors out in these delicious little cupcakes. A sugar glaze and almond topping bring some sweetness and crunch, without overpowering the orange.
The texture of these olive oil cupcakes is perfection. They are soft and airy, yet moist and full of flavor. The history of olive oil cakes varies, with some originating in Italy and India, but also many Mediterranean countries, like France and Spain.
At first, I worried about using olive oil in a cake. I’m not a huge fan of the olive oil flavor, and I was afraid the flavor would be noticeable. Instead, the flavor perfectly blends with the oranges and the oil only adds amazing moisture and texture to these mini cakes.
Olive oil cakes are traditionally flavored with citrus, mainly lemons or oranges. These cakes are perfect desserts for our beachy, Florida town, where all citrus is readily available. And what great tangy, refreshing cupcakes to take along to the beach! I also like these cupcakes for this time of year, with Easter and Mother’s Day around the corner. Fresh orange cupcakes will fit right in at any brunch.
Because of the oil content, the bottoms of the cupcake liners might look a little oily when you first remove them from the muffin pan. While mine were cooling on the rack, I lined the top of the rack with paper towels for the cupcakes to sit on. The paper towels absorbed the small amount of oil on the bottoms of the cupcake liners. The cupcakes are not oily or greasy at all when you eat them.
A thin glaze is just perfect for frosting these cupcakes – the cake flavor needs to come through and not be overpowered by too much sugary icing. Use the glaze that is here in this recipe, or try my richer sugar glaze that has a bit of melted vegan butter in it, posted here.
Once you have glazed the cupcakes, you can top them with candy sprinkles for a birthday or other celebration, or crushed/sliced nuts for breakfast or brunch. If you keep raw nuts on hand, be sure to roast or toast them before using them as the topping. This makes them lighter and adds a crunch to the cupcake tops.
If you need instructions for roasting nuts to use for toppings, have a look here.
You might enjoy trying:
Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes