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Pound cake of the gods
Anastasia had never heard of olive oil cake before she met Isabella, and it soon became one of her favorite guilty pleasures. As she told her friend, it tasted like pound cake that had been dipped in ambrosia.
Despite how glorious it tastes, olive oil cake is extremely easy to make. The ingredients are simple—you probably already have most of them in your pantry.
Olive Oil Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ¾ cups granulated white sugar
3 large eggs [room temperature]
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some to grease the pan
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar for dusting [Optional]
A note on substitutions:
I didn’t have any baking powder on hand so I used a teaspoon of vanilla instead. The cake still rose beautifully.
You can use almond or oat milk if you prefer
You can sub orange for lemon zest.
Dusting the top of the cake is an aesthetic choice, but as for flavor, I think this cake speaks for itself.
Set out eggs so they reach room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C—we’re in Italy :) ).
Line the bottom of a nine-inch cake pan with a round piece of parchment paper. Grease bottom and sides with olive oil.
Combine all dry ingredient—except sugar—in a bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly.
In a second, larger bowl, combine eggs, sugar, olive oil, milk, honey, and lemon zest. Gradually add dry mix and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Pour batter into cake pan. Gently lift pan and tap against counter to remove bubbles.
Bake for approximately 60 minutes. Use a toothpick to make sure the center has cooked through. With this recipe it’s better to undercook a little than overcook.
Let cool for 30 minutes, then use a knife to loosen the sides of the cake. Turn upside down onto plate, remove parchment paper. Cool completely before serving.
RASPBERRY COULIS [koo-LEE]
Again, this cake can absolutely stand on its own, but an Italian restaurant near me serves it with raspberry coulis and clotted cream (!) on the side and, well, that’s pretty amazing, too.
Making clotted cream from scratch is time-consuming and not necessary. It’s easy enough to find at a speciality market.
All you need for this ultra-simple recipe is:
Raspberries*: a pint and a half (approximately 3 cups)
Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar: 1/4 cup plus extra in case the coulis needs to be a little sweeter.
Lemon juice: 1 teaspoon
*It’s totally fine to use frozen raspberries. Just make sure you thaw them first.
Put the raspberries in a blender. You don’t want the coulis to be too sweet but rather let the sugar bring out the raspberries’ natural sweetness, so start with an 1/8 of a cup, blend thoroughly, and then continue to add more sugar in small increments to taste.
Purée until the mixture is smooth.
Place a sieve with a fine mesh over a small bowl and pour purée in. Press on the mixture to get as much juice out of it as possible.
Add lemon juice and, if necessary, add more confectioner’s sugar to taste.
There is no fur in this olive oil cake.