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Olive oil produces a lighter, moister Bundt cake from Italy

Orange-Anise Bundt Cake (Ciambella)

Appears in May-June 2018

1 hour 15 minutes 30 minutes active, plus cooling

Orange-Anise Bundt Cake (Ciambella)

Italian ciambella is a ring-shaped cake, though the term is also used for certain types of donuts. There are countless variations on the sweet; our cake is based on ciambella all'arancia, made with olive oil and orange juice or zest (arancia means orange). We use a standard Bundt pan rather than the traditional ring mold, and we add anise seed for aromatic, licorice-like flavor; make sure to coarsely grind the aniseed so it retains some texture. Sambuca, an anise liqueur, gave us a second layer of flavor; ouzo or pastis is a fine substitute. To skip the alcohol, substitute ½ teaspoon anise extract plus 3 tablespoons orange juice. In an airtight container at room temperature, the cake will keep for up to three days.

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