Meskouta (Moroccan Orange Cake)
A traditional Moroccan cake typically served for tea or breakfast, meskouta is made with ingredients you likely have on hand, and it doesn’t require a mixer. Extra-virgin olive oil makes it moist on the inside and golden on the outside. The cake is excellent on its own, but for something really special, add whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.
- Serves: 8 persons
- ½cup plus 2 tablespoons/150 milliliters extra-virgin olive oil, more for greasing the pan
- 2cups/260 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 ½teaspoons baking powder
- ½teaspoon baking soda
- 1teaspoon fine salt
- ¾cup plus 2 tablespoons/180 grams granulated sugar
- 2large eggs
- ¾cup plus 2 tablespoons/180 grams Greek-style yogurt
- Zest of 2 oranges (about 2 tablespoons)
- ⅓cup/80 milliliters fresh orange juice (from about 1 orange)
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾cup/180 milliliters heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- Dark chocolate, for shaving with a vegetable peeler
Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan with olive oil, and line it with a sheet of parchment paper so that you have extra on the sides. (You’ll use this to lift the loaf out of the pan.)
Step 2In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. In another large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and eggs until well combined. Add the yogurt, olive oil, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract to the sugar and egg mixture, and whisk until well incorporated.
Step 3Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix using a spatula until you no longer see flecks of flour, making sure not to overmix. (The batter will be slightly lumpy.) Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and use a spatula to spread into an even layer.
Step 4Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with some small, moist crumbs. (If the cake needs another minute or two, but is becoming too brown, tent with foil.) Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before using the parchment overhang to remove from the pan.
Step 5Make the optional whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream and the confectioners’ sugar for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high until medium peaks begin to form. You want a spreading consistency. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to serve the cake.
Step 6To serve, cut the cake in slices, top with whipped cream, if using, and garnish with chocolate shavings, if using. Alternatively, you can also top the whole cake with whipped cream, then slice it. Without the whipped cream, the cake keeps for up to 5 days in an airtight container on the counter.