Q: Everything at Tender Greens is so good … and the Los Angeles Times already provided us with the recipe for my favorite salad from there, the Happy Vegan. But I just can’t deal with the extreme yumminess of their smooth, earthy, decadent orange olive oil cake. Please, oh please, ask them to share the recipe.
– Christine Abraham, Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Dear Christine: Tender Greens was happy to share its recipe for these moist and tender little cakes, not too sweet and bright with citrus flavor.
Tender Greens’ Citrus Olive Oil Cake
45 minutes, plus cooling time. Makes about 1½ dozen cupcakes.
2 eggs at room temperature
About 1½ cups (11 ounces) sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 cup good quality olive oil
Zest of 2 oranges, or citrus fruits of your choice, plus more for garnish
1½ cups (6 ounces) flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick, about 4 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk, olive oil and citrus zest. With the mixer running, slowly add to the egg mixture, scraping the bowl down once while mixing to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Over low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, scraping down the bowl once again while mixing to make sure the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the lightly greased muffin tins, filling each cup about three-fourths of the way full. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes, rotating the muffin tins halfway through baking for even heating.
Cool the cakes completely, then dust lightly with powdered sugar and sprinkle over extra citrus zest before serving.
Each of 18 servings: calories, 241; protein, 4 g; carbohydrates, 26 g; no fiber; fat, 14 g; saturated fat, 2 gs; cholesterol, 63 mg; sugar, 18 g; sodium, 87 mg.
Note: Adapted from Tender Greens pastry chef Annette Picha. This cake will taste even better the next day, as the zest infuses further into the moist cake.