Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake with Walnuts

I have the great honor to taste Isa's cake creations regularly – I mean, she's ultimately the one who takes care of most of this blog's sweet matters. And she does it with the greatest love, while I could cut onions and vegetables all day long. But of course, I like to bake too – preferably simple loaf cakes, which are anyway at the very top of my "favorite cake" ranking. I just love how simple yet versatile they are. I almost always have all of the needed ingredients at home, the batter is so delicious that I could eat it raw, but when I do manage to bake the cake, I love that they are fluffy and not overly sweet. Yes, lemon poppy seed cake and marble cake – I'm talking about you!

What some may find quite boring because there aren't multiple cake layers, creams, and crazy toppings, is something that I don't find dull at all as loaf cakes are extremely versatile. You can easily add chopped nuts, fruits, or baking ingredients like poppy seeds to amp up any plain loaf cake batter and to adjust it to your liking. Today we will bake a moist olive oil cake with oranges and walnuts. And also, with this recipe, there's plenty of room for change: instead of walnuts, you can use any nuts of your choice. Instead of orange, you could opt for grapefruit, lemons, or limes.

The ingredient list for this cake is kept very simple – the "most complicated" ingredient is probably plant-based milk, but even this one can be found in almost every supermarket. Just use whatever plant-based milk you like best here. The preparation is easy-peasy: mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then mix them together until you get a thick batter. The important thing with loaf cakes is that you don't want to overmix the batter with a hand mixer as this will result in a dense cake that will most likely collapse after baking and won't be as fluffy as we want it to be. So rather use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir all ingredients until you just can't see any of the dry ingredients anymore.

To test if your cake is baked through, insert a toothpick or a longer wooden skewer into the thickest part of the cake. If you remove it, there shouldn't be any batter stuck to it, which is how you know that your cake is done.

R603 Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake with Walnuts

Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake with Walnuts

1 loaf pan (11x25 cm / 4x10 inches)
20 minutes (+ 60 min. baking time)


For the batter:

  • 400 g (3.25 cups) flour
  • 150 g (0.75 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 150 ml (0.66 cup) olive oil
  • 200 ml (0.75 cup) plant-based milk
  • 1 orange (juice)
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) walnuts

For the icing:

  • 75 g (0.66 cup) confectioner’s sugar
  • orange juice
  • orange zest


  • vegetable oil for vegan butter for greasing
  • flour for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F (circulating air). Chop walnuts and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, mix olive oil, plant-based milk, juice of an orange, and vanilla extract. Add the liquid mix to the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir to combine. You shouldn’t use a hand mixer for this as it’s important not to over-mix the batter. Just stir to combine until you can’t see any dry flour anymore. Fold in chopped walnuts.

  3. Grease and flour a loaf pan. Add batter to the loaf pan, smooth out, then bake at 180°C/355°F for approx. 50-60 minutes. You should be able to stick a toothpick into the cake, and it should come out clean, without any wet batter on it.

  4. Let the cake cool out. First, let it cool down inside the loaf pan for approx. 10-15 minutes, then transfer the cake from the pan to a wire rack and let it cool out completely. For the icing, mix the confectioner’s sugar with as much orange juice as needed until you get a thick icing (if you prefer a thinner icing, go for it). Add the zest of half of an orange (or a whole one) and mix. Drizzle the cooled down cake with icing and let it dry before serving.

R603 Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake with Walnuts
R603 Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake with Walnuts
R603 Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake with Walnuts
R603 Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake with Walnuts

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