Olive Oil Pumpkin Cake

It all starts with very good olive oil. On my recent tour through Italy this year I was in the region of Puglia. I had the great fortune of an invitation to lunch by Cynthia Louthan. Cynthia is the proud owner of Masseria Morello Lecce. An absolutely stunning property that she and her husband restored. It was at lunch that she introduced me to Grazia & Francesco Barba. Grazia & Francesco produce some pretty fantastic extra virgin olive oil in Monteroni Lecce.

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.Combine sugar, vanilla and extra virgin olive oil in a large mixing bowl and beat until until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, orange zest,baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin in three batches, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into a greased bundt cake pan. Bake 45 – 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for approximately 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a cake plate. Remove pan carefully from cake and cool completely. Make a simple glaze with confectioner sugar and juice from the orange.