Olive Oil Cake with Grand Marnier and Mascarpone Cream is a dessert that just feels a little more special. This gorgeous cake is perfect for Mother’s Day, brunch, or any special occasion when you want to treat your guests!
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I love to make special desserts for holidays. It’s my way of showing my family how special they are to me.
This Mother’s Day I decided to do something very unique for my mom and a new mom! My brother and his wife just had their first baby girl and I think this Mother’s Day will truly be a celebration for our family!
I decided to make the cake in advance to take to Miami while visiting my brother and sister-in-law. It was great to be able to surprise them with an extra special dessert for this occasion! The new addition to our family is such a precious gift and I’m excited to be an aunt!
What is olive oil cake?
This is a traditional cake recipe made in the Mediterranean. I’ve seen variations of this recipe from Italy, Spain and even Portugal. The commonality is an area abundant in olive oil. The recipe can vary on ingredients from additions of orange or lemon zest, using egg yolks or whites and preparation.
How Does Olive Oil Cake Taste?
Most people are skeptical of a cake made with olive oil fearing it will have a strong pungent olive flavor. However, by choosing the right type of oil it can leave a very delicate fruity taste.
How to select the right type of olive oil for baking
Olive oil has a fruity slightly grassy green flavor. Some varieties can even have a bitter flavor so choosing the right type is important. The flavor of olive oil varies depending on the type of olive and how it was processed. The biggest misconception is the difference between extra virgin, light, and just olive oil. If you want your cake to have a more authentic flavor the best option is the extra virgin variety because it is unrefined and not treated with chemicals. If it’s labeled light or just olive oil it means they have refined the oil with heat treatments that essential take away the flavor.
How to Prepare cake pan
You can use different types of cake pans for this recipe. I used a loaf pan because I liked the idea of nice rectangular slices but a round cake pan or spring form pan would work well too. The important thing to remember is always grease and flour your pan to insure your cake doesn’t stick. There’s nothing more frustrating than a cake that breaks or cracks when you flip the pan over.
Mixing cake Ingredients
Always start cakes by mixing your dry ingredients first in a large bowl. I use cake flour because it is a finer texture which will give you a lighter fluffier cake. You can use all purpose flour but it may result in a little denser texture.
In a separate bowl start beating your eggs and sugar with a mixer until they are light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. It is important to have your eggs at room temperature. I know we see this often in recipes but it’s important not to skip this step. The reason for room temperature eggs is because when beating the egg you will get a fuller volume and it will bake better, closer to the time specified in the recipe. It only requires leaving your eggs on the counter for about 30 minutes to get the results.
After you have beat the eggs and sugar then add the rest of your ingredients zest, grand marnier, Greek yogurt and olive oil. Stir well to incorporate all of the wet ingredients then slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Gently fold in with a spatula. Pour into prepared pan.
How to BakE
To keep the cake from getting too brown on the bottom I baked it at a slightly lower temperature. Also make sure to bake on the middle rack and place on a baking sheet. This will help absorb some of the heat from the bottom so it browns more evenly.
How To Macerate Berries?
Macerating berries may sound extremely difficult. however, it’s an easy technique. It’s really just marinating the berries in sugar and liquid which softens the fruit. As the berries soften they release juices which make a delicious syrup. Using a liquor such as Grand Mariner to macerate gives a great citrus flavor that complements the orange zest in the cake.
You can use any berry you like. I loved the combination of different colors of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries but it’s really up to you what you want to use.
After you wash your berries slice the strawberries into more bite size pieces. The blueberries and raspberries are fine left whole. Sprinkle with sugar and Grand Marnier and let sit for a couple of hours or at least 30 minutes.
What can you substitute for Grand Marnier?
Grand Marnier is an orange flavor liqueur. I choose it for the liquid to macerate the berries because it complements the orange zest so well. You could use triple sec or Cointreau which are all orange flavor liqueurs. If you want to omit the alcohol you could just use a squeeze of orange juice.
Can You Substitute Cream Cheese for Mascarpone?
Cream cheese and mascarpone are both a type of cheese. Mascarpone is produced in Italy. It has a higher fat content than cream cheese which results in a richer flavor. Although I prefer mascarpone in this recipe, cream cheese would work fine if you have that on hand. Or if you prefer you can simply make plain whipped cream and that would make a great topping as well!
Putting it all together
Once the cake cools, the berries have macerated and the cream is whipped you will be ready to serve this beautiful dessert. Wait until you are ready to eat before plating to insure your cake doesn’t get soggy from the berry juice. Slice your cake with a serrated bread knife in about 1 inch slices. You should get about 8-10 pieces. Top the pieces with berries and a drizzle of the macerating liquid.
I like to use a a pastry bag to pipe the cream in decorative patterns, but if you don’t have one it’s still going to taste delicious! Just put a nice dollop on top of the berries and enjoy!
Can you freeze olive oil cake?
Yes you can freeze olive oil cake by allowing it to completely cool first and then wrapping in plastic wrap. After wrapping the cake tightly in plastic wrap, add an extra layer of foil just to insure its air tight. It can stay frozen for 2-3 months. To thaw, remove cake from freezer, unwrap layers of foil and plastic wrap and allow time for cake to come to room temperature which may take a few hours.
This dessert has such an amazing combination of flavors I think anyone you make this for will love it. It’s a nice light dessert that won’t leave you on a sugar overload! You can even eat this cake for breakfast with a cup of coffee! Yum!
Olive Oil Cake with Grand Marnier Berries and Mascarpone Cream
- 1 ¼ cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon grand marnier
- zest of 1 orange
Grand Marnier Berries
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare cake pan or loaf pan by greasing and flouring. Set pan aside.
- In bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set bowl aside.
- In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add olive oil, zest, Greek yogurt and Grand Marnier and mix until combined.
- Once wet ingredients are mixed slowly add dry ingredients folding in gently with spatula. Be careful not to over mix, only stirring until no dry flour remains.
- Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Place on baking tray and slide into preheated oven in the middle rack. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool on wire rack.
Grand Marnier Berries
- Wash berries. Remove tops from strawberries and slice into bite size pieces. Toss all berries together in bowl with sugar and Grand Marnier. Let sit for 2 hours or at least 30 minutes.
- In a stand mixer beat mascarpone and heavy cream starting on low speed. As cream thickens add powder sugar and vanilla. Turn speed up beating until it’s the consistency of fluffy whipped cream.
- Assemble your cake by slicing into 8-10 slices and arrange a slice or two onto each plate. Spoon berries over cake drizzling extra syrup over top. Pipe cream on top of berries. Enjoy!