By: Evolve Contributor, Gavan Knox

Inspired by everyone’s favourite glimpse into Regency high society, these  delicious little morsels are perfect for any afternoon tea or social gathering. A wonderful blend of summery orange flavour and floral rose is the perfect hit of sunshine. You’ll notice that I use olive oil here in lieu of traditional butter which gives a wonderful tender crumb to the cakes.  While I’ve backed this here as mini-loaf cakes, they can also be baked as a more traditional “cupcake” shape and glazed just the same. A parting piece of advice here is not to fill the pan cavities too much. I find just under halfway works to avoid any overspill when the cakes bake and rise.

Makes 16



  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs 


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rosewater

To decorate

  • Dried rose petals



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease mini loaf pan* with baking spray
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. In a separate medium bowl, combine the sugar, and orange zest. Rub together for a few minutes to release the orange natural oils. Add the orange juice and whisk together until the sugar is fully dissolved. Whisk in the yogurt, then the eggs and finally the olive oi
  4. Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
  5. Pipe or spoon the batter into the prepared mini loaf pans, taking care to fill them no more than halfway full. Bake until the cakes are golden, spring back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 22-25 minutes
  6. Let cool for 30 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans to a cooling rack and let cool completely, about 20 minutes more

Glaze/ To finish

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, milk, rosewater in a bowl and mix until a smooth paste forms
  2. Dip the tops of each loaf into the glaze, allowing any excess to run off. Place on a rack set over some parchment paper. Sprinkle tops with dried rose petals and allow to fully dry and set
  3. Serve and enjoy

*I use a 10 x 15 inch, 8 cavity mini-loaf pan


Award-winning Irish, Canadian baker, chocolate aficionada and LGBTQ+ father of two, Gavan Knox is the only competitor from Eastern Canada to appear on the third season of Food Network Canada’s The Great Chocolate Showdown. Where he defined his baking philosophy of taking point on using unexpected ingredients and flavours.

Having appeared on numerous Canadian daytime TV shows including  CTV’S The Marilyn Denis Show, Cityline, CP24, CTV Calgary, CHCH and The Kelly Kutrara Show, Knox has become the resident baking expert on CTV’S The Social and CTV’S Your Morning.

Knox has also been featured in major publications such as Foodism Toronto, The Montreal Guardian, The Guardian, Delicious Magazine, Gay Times and Attitude.





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