Melissa’s Olive Oil Cake with lemon curd and candied oranges

What we love most about The Bentwood Inn, is the food! That probably goes without saying since we are, after all, foodies! Melissa, the resident chef, is an amazing cook, who creates inspiring and innovative dishes for guests at this beautiful lodge. Twice a week, she prepares a bistro-style dinner, and every morning she rolls out creative and hearty breakfasts, which are wonderfully nourishing before a full day of outdoor adventure. One of our favorite dishes is her fabulously subtle olive oil cake, topped with lemon curd and candied oranges.

Treks mmmmm
Melissa’s Olive Oil Cake with lemon curd and candied oranges was a dessert specialty we enjoyed during our stay at The Bentwood Inn in Jackson Hole.

This cake is one that allows for a lot of different topping options. Melissa served it with lemon curd and candied oranges, but we could totally see serving it with mascarpone cream and fresh berries, or even with balsamic reduction sauce. Any way you top it, this versatile cake will become a favorite in your recipe box. We also love it as a breakfast treat.

Melissa’s Olive Oil Cake with lemon curd and candied oranges


  • 7 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon Curd

  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces

Candied Orange Slices

  • 2 oranges cleaned and dried
  • 1 medium pot of boiling water
  • 1 large bowl of ice water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar for simple syrup
  • 2 cups water for simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra-fine granulated sugar for garnishes candied orange slices



  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan.
  • Mix together butter and olive oil. 
  • In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and orange zest for about 3 minutes.
  • Mix dries together and add to the egg mixture alternately with the butter/olive oil mixture.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Spread lemon curd over the entire top of the cake and garnish with candied orange slices (both recipes below).

Lemon Curd

  • Whisk eggs and sugar in a medium saucepan.
    Add lemon juice and lemon peel. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring all the while until mixture begins to thicken and the thermometer reads 165 F.
    The sauce will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
    Remove from heat and stir in the butter until well blended.
    Transfer lemon curd to a clean bowl and cool.
    If the curd is lumpy, strain before chilling it.
    When cooled, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill until cold in the refrigerator, or until ready to use. 

Candied Orange Slices

  • Slice oranges into 1/8-inch slices, discard any stems and the rounded ends.
    Treks nnnnnnn
  • Drop orange slices into boiling water for approximately 1 minute.
    Immediately remove from boiling water and drop orange slices into the ice water bath.
    (This process helps soften the rind and also helps to remove some of the bitterness from the pith of the orange peel.)
  • Drain the orange slices in a colander or on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, make your simple syrup by bringing 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a low boil in a large pot or skillet.
    Continue to cook until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. 
  • Reduce heat to low and place orange slices into the simple syrup in a single layer. Simmer the orange slices for about 45 minutes, turning the orange slices every 10-15 minutes.
    The orange peels will begin to look slightly translucent.
    Remove orange slices to a cooling rack and cool completely.
    This will take at least an hour, but you can leave them for several hours or even overnight.
    The orange slices will be sticky and glossy.
  • Before storing or using the candied orange slices, you can opt to sprinkle both sides with the extra-fine sugar to make them less sticky, or just leave them as they are – your choice!
  • Decorate each slice of olive oil cake with one orange slice.
    Store remaining orange slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. 

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