At New Oak Ranch, Karen Evenden makes this cake with Ojai pixie tangerines, walnuts, lavender, and olives (for oil) all grown on the property. When tangerines are out of season, oranges can take their place. This impressive cake has a splendid crisp golden crust.  It serves a crowd and keeps very well.

Serves 10-12

Bottom Layer

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, more for the pan
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup walnuts


  • 2 tangerines
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 eggs, beaten to mix
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup milk

Lavender Whipped Cream (optional)

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 10-12 sprigs lavender or 1 tablespoon lavender buds
  • 10-inch springform pan

1. Heat oven to 325°F/160°C and set a shelf low down. Generously butter base and sides of pan. For bottom layer, put flour, butter, sugar and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, 30-60 seconds. Spread mixture in base of pan and pat to form an even layer.

2. For cake, grate 1½ tablespoons tangerine zest and measure ½ cup juice. Stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, zest and chopped walnuts in a bowl until mixed. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, olive oil, milk, and tangerine juice until smooth.  Sprinkle dry ingredients on top of batter and whisk together. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top. Bake in oven until cake starts to pull from side of pan and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 1¼-1½ hours.  A crack in the top is very common.

3. For a whipped cream topping (optional), whip cream until soft peaks form, then whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Cover and chill.

3. Remove cake from oven and leave on a rack to cool. Run a knife around side of cake pan and remove the side. Cut cake in wedges and transfer to serving plates. Spoon over topping if using, and top with a sprig of lavender or a sprinkling of lavender buds. Makes a 10-inch cake to serve 8-10.

Photo Credit: Christine Matsuda