This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
Hi Bold Bakers!
Ciambella is a beautiful, simple, and classic Italian breakfast cake that makes the perfect companion with your morning cup of coffee or tea. And this homemade ciambella recipe has two other bonus points going for it: it comes together in just minutes, and, since it is made with olive oil, it’s dairy-free!
Ciambella has very few basic ingredients—likely everything on this ingredient list is already in your kitchen, like sugar, eggs, flour, and olive oil. This ciambella recipe yields an unbelievably soft and tender cake, thanks to the olive oil, and is flavored with the zest and juice of one orange.
Italian nonnas have been baking and serving this to their family’s for generations, so you know it’s delicious!! It’s the perfect cake for a relaxing spring day!
What Is Ciambella?
Ciambella is an Italian round cake, like Italy’s version of a bundt cake, and is made with very simple ingredients. “Ciambella” has come to mean any dough that is ring-shaped. You’ll be able to find ciambella, in many forms, from firm braided dough to a smaller, doughnut version, in almost every region in Italy. Traditionally, it was flavored with simple flavors like honey, lemon, or in this case, orange, but now you find many different flavors, like chocolate, vanilla, or ricotta.
This recipe is also incredibly forgiving. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, there’s an Italian proverb, “Not all ciambella have a hole.” You can always tell your guests that any less than beautiful cake is meant to look rustic and has been made like that for generations!
What You Need To Make Ciambella
How To Make Ciambella
This recipe may be simple, but the fluffy, flavorful cake will impress anyone who takes a bite! Here is how you make a classic Italian ciambella (get the full recipe down below):
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Prepare a 12-cup (3.85-liter) capacity bundt pan by coating it generously with butter and flour.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl, then add olive oil, orange zest, and juice. Whisk until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then fold the dry mix into the wet ingredients in three increments until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Dust with some powdered sugar and serve.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Ciambella
- Always make sure your cake ingredients are at room temperature for the evenest mixing and the best rise!
- You can replace the orange juice and zest with 2 teaspoons of lemon zest and a ¼ cup (2floz/60ml) of lemon juice
- Two teaspoons of ground fennel seed or aniseed added to the dry ingredients would be delicious in this cake!
- This makes a large cake, but it can easily be halved and baked in a 9-inch (23cm) round cake pan. It will need less time in the oven, so start checking for doneness after 25-30 minutes.
- This cake would be lovely served with macerated berries and a dollop of homemade whipped cream!
How Do I Store Ciambella?
You can store any leftover ciambella in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. This cake also freezes wonderfully and can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Make More Cake!
- Pound Cake With Sprinkles
- Citrus Olive Oil Cake
- Best-Ever Chocolate Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache
- Best-Ever Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Swiss-Meringue Buttercream Frosting
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below!
Italian Ciambella Recipe
- 6 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 ¼ cups (10oz/284g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8floz/240ml) olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 cups (10oz/284g) all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and generously butter and flour a 12-cup (3.85 liters) capacity bundt pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together, and then add the olive oil and orange zest, and juice. Whisk until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and then fold into the wet ingredients in three increments until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with some powdered sugar before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.