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Natasha Pickowicz’s Pride Cake

We’re kicking off Pride week in delicious, colorful style with an olive oil cake from NYC-based pastry chef and activist, Natasha Pickowicz. She wrote this incredible recipe for you to get creative with, so get baking and share your results! And check out our youtube channel to hear Natasha talking about the cake!

Don’t forget to tag @godslovenyc @natashapickowicz and #WhoAreYouCookingFor.

For the cake:
300g (2 1/2 C) white sugar
3 eggs
225g (3/4 C) olive oil
284g (1 1/4 C) whole milk
114g (1/2 C) orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
the zest of two oranges
356g (1 1/2 C) all purpose flour
4g baking soda
7g baking powder
7g kosher salt

For the glaze:

1/2 C powdered sugar
2-3T fruit juice

For soaking the cake:

2-3T extra virgin olive oil

  1. Measure the white sugar into a medium sized bowl. Using a microplane or box grater, zest oranges directly into sugar, and use your fingers to rub and incorporate the zest into the sugar.
  2. Juice the two oranges and measure 114g of the juice and set aside. (Drink whatever is left over!)
  3. Use a whisk to combine the zested sugar, eggs, olive oil, milk, and orange juice until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Using a small tea strainer (or something similar) set over a small bowl, sift the baking soda and powder to remove clumps. (Humid climates will clump your leaveners!)
  5. In another medium sized bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined.
  6. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and carefully fold with a spatula until combined. Mixture is very runny and clumpy, but do not overmix! Break up any large flour lumps with fingers (very therapeutic and fun, like popping pimples), but don’t worry too much about lumps, they will even out in the oven.
  7. Line your desired baking form with a non stick spray and a piece of parchment paper. Pour the cake batter into a loaf pan (about 4×8″) or round cake pan (about 10″ across) or cupcake pan (will make about 24 cupcakes) and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. When it is finished baking, the cake will be extremely fragrant and spring back when poked. A knife slid into the center of the cake should pull out with no streaks and a few crumbs attached. In my oven, this took about 35-45 minutes, but every oven varies. Cupcakes will be even faster, about 20 minutes to set.
  8. Remove cake from oven and let cool briefly for a few minutes. While cake is still hot AND still in its pan, gently drizzle or spoon the extra olive oil on the surface to absorb.
  9. While cake is cooling, mix the fruit icing. Mix fruit juice, one tablespoon at a time, into the powdered sugar, until desired consistency is achieved. A runny flat icing will need up to 3 tablespoons juice, while a more stiff icing will take half as much. I like a nice thin, translucent icing that isn’t too sweet. Fruit juices like cranberry and lemon work well, and teas like hibiscus will add great color. You could also thin out a rhubarb or strawberry jam with water and add to powdered sugar to make a naturally pink icing.
  10. Drizzle icing on top of cake and let icing set completely. Decorate with fruit or sprinkles or both and enjoy!

This cake ages wonderfully and travels even better, so make a few and give to friends or neighbors in need. Because it’s an oil-based cake, it will freeze well, too!