Chef's Recipes

Marion's olive oil cake with pumpkin-seed ice-cream and candied orange

Marion's recipe for olive oil cake with candied orange, Montenegro syrup with pumpkin-seed ice-cream, buttermilk sauce and extra pepitas.

By Marion Hume
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 2 hrs 20 mins cooking (plus cooling, freezing)
  • Serves 6
  • Print
Olive oil cake with pumpkin-seed ice-cream and candied orange
"There's something comforting about Marion's olive oil cake. Would the kitchen share the recipe?"
Anna Yiannakis, St Kilda, Vic
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  • 80 gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 265 gm caster sugar
  • 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 90 ml milk
  • 40 ml Amaro Montenegro
  • 200 gm self-raising flour, sieved (1 1/3 cups)
  • 50 ml buttermilk mixed with 25ml pumpkinseed oil (optional), coarsely chopped pepitas, to serve
Pumpkin-seed ice-cream
  • 150 gm pepitas, plus extra to serve (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin-seed oil (see note)
  • 500 ml milk (2 cups)
  • 75 gm caster sugar (1/3 cup)
  • 35 gm liquid glucose
  • 200 gm eggwhites (about 6 whites)
Candied orange and Montenegro syrup
  • 500 gm caster sugar
  • 1 navel orange, washed well, sliced 2mm thick
  • 60 ml Amaro Montenegro


  • 1
    For pumpkin-seed ice-cream, preheat oven to 160C, and roast pepitas on an oven tray, stirring occasionally, until light golden (10-15 minutes). Place pepitas and pumpkin-seed oil in a jug and blend with a stick blender until puréed. Stir milk, sugar and glucose in a saucepan over low heat until warm (1-2 minutes), remove from heat and stir until sugar dissolves, then whisk in pumpkinseed purée and a pinch of salt. Whisk eggwhites in a heatproof bowl until just frothy (20-30 seconds) then, whisking continuously, pour milk mixture over whites. Place bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water and stir continuously until mixture thickens and reaches 82C (6-10 minutes). Cool over ice, mixing every few minutes, until chilled (30-40 minutes). Churn in an ice-cream machine, cover and freeze until firm (3-4 hours).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for candied orange and Montenegro syrup, stir sugar and 500ml water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves (1-2 minutes), then add orange slices, cover directly with a round of baking paper and heat over very low heat (90C) until slices are translucent but retain shape (2 hours). Combine 160ml syrup with Montenegro. Leave orange slices to cool in remaining syrup (1-2 hours).
  • 3
    For olive oil cake, preheat oven to 180C and line a 12cm x 20cm cake tin with baking paper. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy (1-2 minutes). With motor running, slowly pour in oil and beat until well incorporated (2-3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl after each addition, then add milk and Montenegro and combine. Add flour and mix until just combined, taking care not to overwork mixture. Spoon into prepared tin, smooth top and bake until a skewer inserted withdraws clean (40-50 minutes; the cake may sink a little in the middle because of the olive oil; this is fine). Set aside to cool (30-40 minutes).
  • 4
    Serve thick slices of cake with candied orange, Montenegro syrup, with pumpkin-seed ice-cream, buttermilk sauce and extra pepitas.


Pumpkin-seed oil, made from pressed roasted pumpkin seeds, is available from select grocery stores including Harris Farm.