Monday, April 21, 2014

Recipe: Healthy Olive Oil, Fruit and Nut Cake

I enjoy my baking sessions in the kitchen with Baby C. I always try to pick an easy recipe (mix-in-the-bowl type) so that she can do it herself from start to finish - I believe this is a great way to build up her confidence in the kitchen. 

Olive oil, fruit and nut cake

One of the bakes we made last week was this healthy olive oil, fruit and nut cake, which is pretty low in sugar, uses olive oil instead of butter and has a mix of dried fruits (raisins, cranberries and apricots) which my kids adore.It is worth using a good quality olive oil as this will determine the cake's flavour. Pine nuts are also added to this cake to give it a delicate texture and flavour to the cake. This recipe also calls for a few tablespoons of orange juice and I also added some of the orange zest, and the whole kitchen smelt absolutely wonderful when this was baking in the oven.

Although this is a healthy low-sugar cake, the kids loved it a lot. It is a dense cake, but with a moist texture. Great with a cuppa coffee or tea. :)

A big thumbs up from Baby C

Healthy Olive Oil, Fruit & Nut Cake
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Cook's Library Baking 
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
Serves 8

225g self raising flour
50g caster sugar
125ml milk
4 tbsp orange juice
Zest of 1/2 orange
150ml extra virgin olive oil
100g mixed dried fruit
25g pine nuts

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (no fan). Grease and line a 18cm/7 inch cake tin with baking paper.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the caster sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk and orange juice. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon, gradually beating in the flour and sugar.

3. Pour in the olive oil, stirring well so that the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Stir in the mixed dried fruit and pine nuts into the mixture and pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Smooth the surface with the spoon.

Our cake is ready for the oven

4. Place into preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is golden and firm to the touch.

5. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: For the mixed dried fruit, I used a mix of dried cranberries, raisins and apricots. If you do not have pine nuts, you can replace with almond slivers. Your child can help with Step 2-3 of the recipe.

Enjoying her cake with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice :)

I am linking this to the Little Thumbs up "Orange" event organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Ann from Anncoo Journal. You can link your posts here.

I am submitting this to Cook-Your-Books #11 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours .
If you enjoyed reading my posts, LIKE me on Facebook! You can also follow me on Instagram (@babysumo) for more photo updates. Thanks :)


  1. that sounds like a great way to encourage Baby C to enjoy her time in the kitchen and to want to continue baking and cooking. by the way, this is one of most beautiful cakes i've seen anywhere recently :)

  2. Cool! There's no butter in your recipe, only EVOO! :)

    It sounds really healthy but I'm really curious about how this will turn out. Will it have the signature butter fragrance since it also has other dairy products?

    Nice one, I'm keen to try this too! :D

    1. Hi Huai Bin, it's very different from a butter cake. When you eat it, you can definitely feel that you are eating a "healthier" cake - dense texture but still light at the same time. The milk is there more for creating a moist texture, I think.

  3. Yen, I am curious about cakes baked with olive oil. I have seen a few chocolate cakes baked with olive oil too but scared to try. I am afraid that the smell of the olive oil would be overpowering. But it doesn't look like it as your daughter clearly enjoys the cake.

    1. Hi Phong Hong, the olive oil taste is surprisingly not prominent once it is baked. I was also very surprised my kids enjoyed it so much. I also gave some to my dad who cannot take high-sugar food, and he liked it too.

  4. Hi Jen, My eyes brightened when I saw you used olive oil in the cake. Very healthy cake and I love the mixed fruits and orange juice you added in the cake. Yummy!
    Thanks for linking to LTU :)

  5. Yen, my son loves to bake with me too. this mixed fruits cake looks healthy and yummy!

  6. Well done! Cooking your young one to cook healthy and delicious stuffs ! It really looks good and I don't mind having it for tea.

  7. That's great that the kids love it too! It's always nice to serve something healthy :D

  8. love this type of healthy cake, looks delicious.. ^^

  9. This is the type of cake I love! I love to bake using olive oil.

  10. I love the use of pine nuts here! Brilliant!

  11. Can't be any better, healthy, delicious and pretty :)

  12. Your girl is going to become a MasterChef one day!! :D
    Orange in cake is so refreshing.

  13. A lovely cake, Yen! It looks really moist, perfect with a cuppa tea!
    And your daughter's skills at baking just gets better and better! :)

  14. I still don't know how you make so much time for cooking, blogging, eating out (and blog about it), and BAKING! You must manage your time very well... I haven't tried olive oil cake, but it's been on my list (forever...). Nuts and fruits sounds like one I should be trying!


Please drop any comments or questions you may have here. Thank you so much for reading!


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