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They don’t all need to be showstoppers.

Sometimes, you just want a simple piece of cake, a weeknight dessert in the tradition of the Busy Day Cake. This orange and walnut flavored cake made with olive oil (practically health food!) is perfect eaten out of hand, or plated with some whipped cream. It is a thoroughly satisfying cake that will keep in your cake dome for a few days guaranteeing everyone in your home a satisfying dessert (or snack) whenever they need one.

I hope everyone is following the Piglet tournament of books over on Food52. I really enjoy this annual cookbook competition which pits books I love (The Mozza Cookbook, Super Natural Everyday, Cooking in the Moment) against books I definitely didn’t love (Momofuku Milkbar Cookbook, The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià ). It turns out everyone has an opinion, even if some of them are wrong. ; ) The competition is especially satisfying when the judges take it seriously (I really enjoyed these two) and turn a critical eye to the books they are reviewing. I hope Ina Garten’s half-assed review convinces the ladies in charge of Food52 that they need to pick good writers, rather than celebrities, to judge the books. In any case, it is a fun time over at Food52 and I am excited to see which book is crowned champion.

Orange-Walnut Cake (adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts)

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place parchment paper round in bottom of pan and spray paper.

Grind walnuts in food processor until finely ground but not powdery. Combine ground walnuts, flour, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs in large bowl until frothy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until light, thick, and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Gradually add walnut-flour mixture; then add orange juice, orange peel, and olive oil, beating just until blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet, and bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.

Release pan sides. Carefully move cake onto platter. Sprinkle cake with confectioners sugar and serve.

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