Bolo de Laranja, or Portuguese Orange-Olive Oil Cake & Candied Orange Peels

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Last Sunday I went on a date with a buff blond hair green-eyed man, who owns an expensive car and his father’s construction company along with other side businesses. He took me to an expensive restaurant and paid for my dinner and he dropped me off at home right after like in those old-timey movies.
The date sucked.

Fuck man, I must be hard to please. Or maybe I just dislike dudes who pretend to be nice but show glimpses of them being possessive and weird. Not like “Oh ha-ha Nutmeg, you’re so weird” but like “Did you know my eyes are actually yellow?” weird.
Yeah, he said that.

The reason I brought this up, is because me and my old high school friends decided to take a trip over to a southern state because we are north eastern folks, and a trip down past the mason-dixon line sounds exciting. Since I had been going out from friday to sunday, I didn’t want to upset the mother hen anymore than I already have, I ended up inviting them over to my house and gave myself an excuse to bake.
The girl who’s brother I dated (and “hated”) is part of this group. The only reason I even went on a date with this other guy is because her brother is moving far away to some boring mid-western state to live out the burnt out glory days with his frat brothers. I mean, c’mon, you’re 25. It gets old at some point.
ehh, i’m just salty

I started texting some other friends for some baking ideas for something summery because it’s basically August, and shit, i’ve only made ONE dessert with fruit in it??? No way. I’ve fucked up. I need to remedy this. One of my close guy friends in college suggested something with citrus, and I thought HOLY SHIT ORANGES WE HAVE LIKE A MILLION (meaning 6) SO I SHOULD USE THEM.

I hunted and hunted and somehow even though I wasn’t looking for a Portuguese dessert, some how I fuckin’ stumbled onto David Leite’s Orange-Olive Oil Cake.
Why. How. It’s like I can never escape my culture.

“When you gonna bake da cake!” my mother shrilly asks as she enters my room.
“I dunno man. I need a nap”
“Pah! A nap! What you do all day? No-ting!” and she walked away.
That woman was so right, so I took a 2 hour long angry nap, and chalked it up to feeling sick. Yeah. that’s why I did it.

What’s hilarious about this whole cake, is that it’s a portuguese dessert apparently and I’ve never fucking had it. Or seen it. Like anywhere. According to Leite, he says he had this cake at a restaurant in Lisbon or Lisboa if you wanna be a snot and say it right. I mean, hey, if he’s had it there, it makes sense. My family lives like 2 hours away north from Lisboa in this tiny town of Bumblefuck-Nowhere near the beach. All we have is salt, briny fish, and wailing grandmothers.

You see, in Portugal, the South is where the rich hotsy-totsy people live, and the North is where us poor-ass fishmongers and pork farmers live with our shitty uneducated accents (which is the accent I have, if you’re wondering). Sort of like the inverse of the USA. Except in America I live in the North too, so I’m both highly-educated and bred to be a potato picker.
I’m sure it’ll come in handy when we have to start using our college diplomas for fertilizer.

But hey, fuck-it, let’s bake a cake! Follow me into bundt-cake-baking-land and watch me fail miserably at estimating overflow and making shit up!

Bolo de Laranja
Serves – 10 or so (if five 22 year old girls can power through half a cake, 10 should be a safe estimate)

*1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
*3 large navel oranges
*3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*1 3/4 tsp salt
*5 large eggs
*2 3/4 cups sugar
*1 1/2 cups mild fruity olive oil (guess which country has fruity olive oil. three guesses. Portugal.)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle. You want this sucker nice and hot because you’re cake is gonna be fuckin’ baking forever. Also, grab your cute as shit antique copper bundt pan that was used at the turn of the century. Or… at least, that’s what the people at that damn estate sale said…. Can’t trust ’em. Butter and flour it because this thing is so cute and has so many nice edges your cake gets stuck in there like a mother and will not come out.

2. Set on some orange juicing music like Jack Johnson, and zest only TWO oranges. Listen to me friends. Do this the right way. I was too lazy to even squeeze a third orange and zested only one and a half and my cake wasn’t orange-y enough. i must have more citrus Like you’d think somebody who likes to bake so much would be enthusiastic to stab at the meat of an orange and drain it of its juices into a cup… but, surprisingly that’s not appealing to me.
too much work
i have to wash a cup?

3. Grab another bowl and stir together all of your dry shit, except for the sugar. So like the flour, baking powder and salt. Just stab at it with a fork.
this seems to be a running theme today

4. Okay, so get your stand mixer and use the paddle attachment. Don’t have a stand mixer or a paddle attachment? You’re gonna have a bad time.
If you use your godmother’s “farm fresh eggs” like me (because she raises her own chickens) then BE SURE TO FLOAT THEM IN WATER FIRST. AND THEN STILL CRACK THEM ONE BY ONE IN A SEPARATE BOWL. Somehow even though none of the eggs floated, I still got a rotten egg that stunk up the whole house, and caused me to gag. It takes a lot to cause this nutmeg to gag.
no stop why do i always set myself up

5. So, uh, when you get all of your eggs in the bowl, beat the shit out of them until they start to turn pale-ish. like 3 minutes or so. Add in the sugar in cups of 1/4. I opted out of the last 1/4 that made it 3 cups like in the original recipe because I don’t need my desserts rotting my teeth out, thank u very much. But then again, your desserts, your rules. Taste the yolks. Promise it’s not that super gross as it sounds. Let that beautiful mixture beat until it’s huge and fluffly and a very pale yellow. I love flully fucking desserts, which turns out to bake up higher cakes. So if your bundt pan is large and can accommodate a huge cake, beat away my friends! Beat until you can’t wait any longer! If you are severely overestimating the size of your pan because you have a hard time actually understanding sizes and how big things actually look, then don’t beat as long.
gentlemen. I am your gal

6. Now you gotta do that fun thing where you alternate between your oil and your flour. I started and ended with flour. Err, not a baking doctor, so not exactly sure if that’s correct. Batter looked fine to me though. Throw in your fresh squeezed orange juice (or mine which was topped off with Tropicana) with your zest and like beat around until you’re like yeah okay whatever.

7. Pour this baby into your cute copper fluted bundt pan, and watch as your batter just almost pours out of the top. Don’t even try to pour any of it out and bake in something else. Nahhh, friends, we live life on the edge as bakers. You throw that shit in the oven, and pray Frankenstein’s monster doesn’t crawl out of the fucking oven.

8. My cake baked for like an hour and a half. Be sure to save the tears you normally reserve for when you scroll through facebook and see pretty perfect people partnering up with other pretty perfect people, and here you are, baking in your grannie panties with an oversized college t-shirt. You should actually be saving your tears for when you open up the oven to check on the cake to see if it needs to be covered due to browning, and you are presented with a behemoth of a cake, growing out of the cute copper bundt pan and taking on a life of it’s own.
now you can cry

9. Once the tears have been wiped, and your cake looks baked enough i guess pull it out. I noticed I had this… this fuckin’ ring in the middle of my cake that consisted of unbaked batter. I have no idea why this happens and this shit dives me INSANE WHEN I BAKE A CAKE THAT ISN’T A FLAT ROUND. DKGASHGAWOEGJADVJKSFAEFJ
Any ideas why?
Either way, the cake is baked enough. Let it like settle in the pan, because it’s had a long day at work in the oven growing in your worst nightmare. As it cools, the cake will pull away from the pan. When you’re tired of being impatient (about 15 minutes) just place a serving plate on top of it, and flip the whole thing over, burning your hands in the process.
May your cake be smooth topped, and delicious, because mine was a scary mess.
Garnish with the syrup from your candied orange peels and decorate with the orange peels. Get creative and shit. The recipe follows.

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see, I can take shitty posed pictures too, guys.
Candied orange peels aren’t really a Portuguese things. I mean, at least I don’t think. To be honest, I was originally gonna follow this recipe from Serious Eats but then I have to admit, I’m a bad friend and I forgot if one of my friend’s is allergic to nuts.
What. That shit is hard to keep track of. Sometimes I forget I’m lactose intolerant, what do you want from me?
the life of unemployed 22 year old is hard.
However, I seriously loved the idea of candied orange peels, since I used to work at a middle eastern restaurant, and I would plate the desserts. When nobody was looking, I would pull out strips of the orange peels and just shove them down my face. I’d clearly have a sticky guilty face I’d quickly wipe away. This would be a premonition for my last semester at college except not really i wish i was that cool.

So here’s the recipe, adapted and shit, because you know I’m lazy.

Candied Orange Peels
*1 orange (preferably squeezed from the cake)
*1/2 cup sugar
*about 1/3 water (like 4 times)

1. Get your silpat out because this shit is gonna get stickaaayyy. Set it aside.

2. Now, set up shop at an easy-to-clean area because you are gonna be covered in juice and sugar from your fingers to your elbows. my dream come true.
Now, grab your one un-zested orange I told you to save from the cake. If you didn’t save one, then juice it anyway, because the insides will go to waste if you don’t. Nutmeg don’t support dat wasteful life.
Slice the two halves into halves so now you have four segments. Cut out the leftover orange meat. Then flatten your orange, and cut off as much of the pith as possible. Unless you want your shit to be better. Ain’t no thang to me.
As you’re removing the orange meat, come to a slow realization that you secretly enjoy rhythmically separating meat from its skin by sliding the knife underneath and in between the thin layers… mmmmmm….. oh, er. I should– ahem. Right, let’s move on.

3. Cut all of the orange pieces into small strips. Use everything, even if they’re uneven, because who are you, Dominique Ansel? No, I don’t think so. And neither am I, so let’s cry about it together.
if you are Dominique Ansel, I hope I have not offended you. I am not worthy to even mention your name
btw, one day i will be worthy enough to eat your cronuts

4. Throw all of your orange peels and the water into a pot. Bring it to boil, and let it boil for like a minute or so. Use a colander or a spider to drain all of the orange-y looking liquid out. Throw your orange peels back and pour more water over them, doing this for a total of three times. I think it’s to make it soft or remove all of the bitterness. No clue. Just unknowingly follow all of the instructions with no questions, Drone #346756.

5. Take your peels out and put them somewhere. Maybe the silpat. Now pour in your sugar and last serving of water. Let that shit boil, and stir it around like whatever. Once all melted and shit, throw your orange peels back in there. Try not to let them stick to each other, which is a losing uphill battle. Let this shit cook for like 15 minutes or something.

6. DON’T DRAIN THE SYRUP. Just kind of like use a fork and pluck out your orange peels and just throw them on the silpat. DO NOT TRY TO ARRANGE THEM. HOT SUGAR IS FUCKING LAVA. I LEARNED THIS THE WRONG WAY. Just, uhh, make sure they’re not too on top of each other. Let them dry for like half an hour.

7. Grab like a little more sugar and put it in a bowl and toss the peels around in it, and leave ’em out to dry.

8. Pour the remaining syrup all over your orange cake. Didn’t bake the cake, because you don’t trust me? I can’t blame you use the syrup in other things like on your ice cream and shit. See? I can think out of the box. I’m a real baking blog too!

My friends came over and we planned out our trip to south of the Mason–Dixon line.

Okay, okay, to be honest, I should have had this posted like a week ago, but I was so deathly ill with strep, I couldn’t finish it. So, just pretend like I didn’t write this after my trip. Yeah.
I’ll be hopefully baking up a southern dessert next. 🙂
akjdshfadsgiuakfadgrfadf. I’m so excited to bake help me.

Right-o. Check out my pictures so you too may laugh and cry at and with me.

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This is when things went wrong: I overbeat this like my confidence.
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it all looks so promising here. Don’t be fooled. There are secrets hiding in this batter. That’s why it’ll grow so big
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“Mortal fools you have no idea my power!”
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😥 it’s all I can even say

Look, not sure here, but I guess… if this were to happen to you, you can always slice off the bottom??? No idea???

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glamor shotttttttttt


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they kinda look like limp-ass worms, i know
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i think i’m gettin’ good at these glamor shots, EHHHH??? humor me

Apparently during my vacation I have gained like 3 more followers, and now I have 22! WHAAAAT? 22?? 22 people care about the shit I say? How is that possible? Bless u all, because you made one kooky 22 year old happy.
22 for 22! Whoopie! hopefully I’ll have more than 23 in 6 months. 😛


14 thoughts on “Bolo de Laranja, or Portuguese Orange-Olive Oil Cake & Candied Orange Peels

  1. I WANT TO LIVE YOUR LIFE. It sounds hilarious! Don’t hate me but your cake made me laugh so bad, it’s just so voluminous! Like a big fat happy baby! Yum. Plus great minds think alike, I’ve been looking for an olive oil cake to try out recently too!

    • ommggggg. Your comment made me like leap for the stars. You don’t even know. I was prancing around the house and my sister was like “the fuck you doing” and I was like OMG SISTER ZED WROTE A NICE COMMENT. And we high fived it was awesome.

      And hahaha! I think that’s the best way to describe that cake. It’s a fat baby. 😀
      I liked the recipe and the cake came out nice. I just think when I want a olive oil cake I want it to be more “olive oil-y” so I’d do another one. But I’d bake this cake again because it’s good just as it is. 😛


        You cannot be real right now. You’re killing me. You’re killin’ me zed! I’m so beyond honored I like can’t even compute.


        Don’t mind me. that was just me jumping excitedly. ❤ Wee~~! You're the greatest ever!

    • I still use this recipe. One of my favorites. Glad to see you are still creating things. I need to catch up and try out some more recipes. Making this one today for a holiday party.

      • I am floored you’ve not only made this recipe, but also have it in your repertoire! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’d love to see photos of it. 🙂 I’m sure your cake comes out very beautiful!

    • Eeep! I am so glad you like it! If you ever tweak it to be vegan, lemme know how it goes! I always try to imagine how exactly the desserts I make would be like if they were vegan. 😛
      Your comment brought me so much joy! Thank you!

      • I think you just gave me a challenge! I will try to do it over the next few weeks. The biggest challenge, is obviously the eggs. I will get back to you on this!

      • godspeed my friend. 😛 I don’t think the eggs need to be as overbeaten to be such a huge cake. You can… and should (maybe?) be able to get away with egg replacement?
        I have a vegan cookbook, but I haven’t attempted anything in it yet. :-\ Miifff.

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