Ciambellone is a classic Italian olive oil bundt cake made with simple ingredients, perfect for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
This traditional ciambellone is a simple Italian breakfast cake all nonnas make, using the most basic ingredients: flour, eggs, oil, and sugar.
It's a light and fluffy bundt cake that's easy to customize with your favorite ingredients.
Perfect for a breakfast treat or snack, accompanied by a cup of milk or coffee, this ciambella cake is easy to prepare: you whisk eggs and sugar for a few minutes, add in the remaining ingredients, then pour into a pan and bake.
For an aromatic note, you can add vanilla, orange or lemon zest, or cinnamon.
For an even more spectacular touch, you can decorate it with a chocolate glaze or lemon glaze right before serving it.
WHAT IS CIAMBELLONE?
Ciambellone or ciambella cake means donut cake in the Italian language.
It's a classic Italian sponge cake made with extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter and baked in a bundt pan to give it its traditional donut shape.
If you think it's unusual to use olive oil instead of butter in a cake, trust me, for us Italians it's not, and we do it quite often actually!
There are thousands of ciambellone versions out there, with some recipes calling for yogurt, orange or lemon juice, and some others adding cocoa powder, and chocolate chips into the mix.
Today I'm sharing the most classic ciambellone recipe, with some suggestions to make a few different versions if you like.
ITALIAN BUNDT CAKE INGREDIENTS
For this traditional Italian cake, you'll need the most basic ingredients you probably have in your pantry already.
You'll need just 8 ingredients:
- Flour: I use regular all-plain flour or Italian 00 flour.
- Eggs: go for medium-sized eggs.
- Sugar: use regular granulated sugar for this recipe. You can also use raw cane sugar.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Use a light extra-virgin olive oil with a delicate flavor, trust me, you won't taste it at all. If you want, you can substitute it with an equal amount of butter or sunflower oil.
- Orange: orange zest adds a wonderful aroma, make sure you use an organic unwaxed orange. For a lemon bundt cake, simply substitute orange zest with lemon zest.
- Vanilla: you can use vanilla extract or scrape the vanilla seeds right out of a vanilla bean pod.
- Baking powder: a little baking powder gives the cake a soft and bouncy texture.
- Milk: you only need a small amount of milk and you can substitute it with dairy-free milk if necessary.
- Powdered sugar: it's completely optional, but feel free to dust your ciambella cake with confectioner's sugar right before serving.
I love the simplicity of this olive oil bundt cake, but if you want to try something different, here are some other delicious add-ons:
- Chocolate chips: dusting them with flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
- Nutella: add a few dollops of chocolate hazelnut spread into the batter.
- Fruit: add about 1 cup of chopped fruit of your choice: apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, strawberries and blueberries work all great here.
- Nuts: add about 1 cup of chopped and toasted nuts of your choice: pecans, slivered almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts all work great.
You don't need any professional equipment to make this easy Italian bundt cake, here are the kitchen tools I use:
- 9-inch springform bundt cake pan - You can use a 9-inch or 10-inch (24 or 26 cm) bundt pan. I usually go for a 9-inch bundt cake tin.
- Hand mixer - You can also use a stand mixer or a simple whisk.
HOW TO MAKE CIAMBELLONE
This ciambella cake recipe couldn't be easier!
It's all made in one bowl and comes together in just 5 minutes.
Here's a quick recipe overview with step-by-step pictures.
Scroll down until the end of the post for the full recipe
STEP 1. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the sugar until you have a pale and fluffy mixture.
STEP 2. Slowly add olive oil, milk, vanilla and orange zest.
STEP 3. Place a sieve over the bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients, and mix briefly to combine all the ingredients.
STEP 3. Butter and flour a bundt cake tin. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool completely at room temperature, then serve.
- Serve: You can leave your olive oil bundt cake at room temperature for up to 2 hours, or longer when placed under a cake cover in a cool dry spot in your kitchen.
- Fridge: Cut the cake into slices and transfer them to a ziplock bag or another airtight container to store in the fridge. They will keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Yes, you can! Cut the cake into individual slices, place them on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes, then transfer them into individual ziplock bags.
You can safely store the slices in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Of course, you can! Simply use a regular 9-inch springform cake pan.
Ciambellone - Olive Oil Bundt Cake
- 4 eggs
- 180 g sugar, approx ¾ cup + 2 tbsp
- 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil, approx ½ cup
- milk, approx ⅔ cup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of one orange
- 300 g all purpose flour, approx 2+½ cups
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 340°F/170°C and generously butter and flour a 9-inch or 10-inch springform bundt pan.
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Continue to whisk and slowly pour in the extra-virgin olive oil, followed by the milk, then whisk in the vanilla extract and orange zest.
- Place a sieve over the bowl, add the flour and baking powder and sift the ingredients into the bowl. Whisk all the ingredients gently until just combined, do not over mix.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the ciambellone from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature, then remove from the cake pan. Sprinkle some confectioner's sugar on top if you like and serve.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
MORE ITALIAN DESSERT RECIPES TO TRY
Looking for more dessert recipes? Try these traditional Italian desserts: