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Olive Oil-Anise Mini Bundt Cakes

The combination of anise and olive oil is typical in Italian baking; here it works wonders in a batch of moderately sweet miniature cakes. Toasting the anise seeds helps release their flavor: Heat the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, gently shaking the pan, just until they are fragrant and begin to pop, about three minutes, then let cool slightly. This recipe doubles easily.

  • Yield: Makes 4

Photography: Jonathan Lovekin


  • Unsalted butter, for pan
  • 2/3 cup cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pans
  • 2 large whole eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packed teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted anise seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter four 1-cup mini Bundt pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk whole eggs, yolk, granulated sugar, zest, and anise seeds until foamy. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until combined.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture in 3 batches.
  3. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until light golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cakes, and serve warm, dusted with confectioners' sugar.

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