I have two olive oil cake recipes in my, er, repertoire. One is bright and bouncy, almost a chiffon cake, made alluring with the addition of honey, vin santo, and said oil. It is one of my favorite desserts, but it's a foam cake (relying on whipped egg whites for volume, as opposed to a chemical leavener such as baking powder), which I haven't had the guts to attempt at 3,500 ft.
3,500 feet is a low high altitude, as opposed to say, Denver at 7,000. But cake is temperamental, and all the care one takes in lower climes to ensure it doesn't fall magnifies as air pressure lowers. If recipes aren't adjusted the cake can end up a dry, sunken mess. Even when adjusted, they're never fool-proof.
Which leads me to recipe #2.
The second recipe in my collection is a sturdy "dump and mix"- referred to as a butter cake, but in this case the fat is provided by oil. These cakes are finicky as well, but not as much as a foam-type cake, and less labor intensive. Also, its ingredients are less expensive- not containing pricey Tuscan dessert wine helps- making the pangs of anxiety a little softer in the face of of possible catastrophe. And it's delicious...musky and fruity and at its best when served with blood oranges that have been segmented and tossed with a little honey. In fact, I insist you serve it with oranges!
p.s. it fell, but just a little.
Olive Oil Cake II (not adjusted for altitude)
2 small oranges (bloods are best), coarsely chopped (including rind)
1/3 c fruity olive oil
1 3/4 c AP flour
1/4 c polenta
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Puree oranges in food processor, then slowly stream in oil. Meanwhile, beat the eggs until they are very thick. Gradually add sugar and the extracts.
Sift together the rest of the ingredients, and add to the eggs in three batches, alternating with the orange/oil puree.
Pour into prepared 9" pan and bake until browned and pulling away from the sides of the pan (35-40 minutes). Cool, then top with powered sugar.