Breakfast, Cakes

Easy Ciambella Recipe (Italian Breakfast Cake)

4.94 from 15 votes
My Ciambella recipe is a beautiful, simple, and classic Italian breakfast cake that makes the perfect companion with your morning cup of coffee or tea.
Ciambella sliced open to show interior texture.

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!

A round Italian Ciambella cake dusted with powdered sugar.

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):

  1. 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. 
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl, then add olive oil, orange zest, and juice. Whisk until combined. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Slices of an Italian Ciambella cake.

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!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Italian Ciambella Recipe

4.94 from 15 votes
My Ciambella recipe is a beautiful, simple, and classic Italian breakfast cake that makes the perfect companion with your morning cup of coffee or tea.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
My Ciambella recipe is a beautiful, simple, and classic Italian breakfast cake that makes the perfect companion with your morning cup of coffee or tea.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Submit your own photos of this recipe

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Kanan Bhuta

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Kanan Bhuta
8 days ago

Hi Gemma,

Would extra virgin olive oil work in this recipe? Would like to try this out today so fingers crossed.

Thanks a lot:)
Kanan

Tina Banerjee
Tina Banerjee
1 day ago

Hi Gemma ,can I substitute brown sugar with powdered sugar ?

Luisa
10 days ago

How exciting!! I am Italian and make this type of cake all the time can’t wait to try out your version of it Thank you Gemma

Liza
Liza
10 days ago

What can I use instead of OJ juice?

Abby
Abby
11 days ago

Hi Gemma. I love the idea of using ricotta and honey in this recipe. Do you think I can add a bit of both to the batter without affecting the finished outcome? Thanks!

Aditi
Aditi
11 days ago

hi gemma love you recipes,
but i was just wondering whether we can substitute the eggs from your egg substitute chart also how much zest is to be used

Last edited 11 days ago by Aditi
Rathi
Rathi
11 days ago

Hi. How many oz of the orange juice does one put?

Dre
Dre
12 days ago

Made half the recipe. Used small bundt pans. Dusted with powder sugar. Not very sweet, light and fluffy in texture.

Jan
Jan
12 days ago

if no olive oil on hand, what can you substitute pls?

Mila
Mila
12 days ago

Just wondering if i could use the lemon and grate an apple instead with a bit of cinnamon? Maybe throw in a few raisins 🤔 I tend to switch things up with what I have.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!