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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

lemon olive oil cake.

This feeling is unusual.

This feeling of healthiness... after eating cake.

I say that because lemon is a fruit. I think. And there's olive oil instead of artery-clogging butter of which I have 3 packs in my fridge. In fact, I even cut down on a bit of fat by replacing 1/3 of the oil with applesauce. How virtuous am I?

I like funky stuff. Have I told you?

I think chocolate is always a safe bet, but boring. Life is short, so let's explore other flavours. And so, when I saw a lemon olive oil cake, I knew I had to try it even though lemon desserts never really appealed to me. I don't know why, perhaps it sounds too healthy?

This cake sort of reminds me of a fallen chocolate cake, only a lemon version. At first, it rose really high but after I took it out, it collapsed like phhlaaaat. Which is why you can see that the bottom part of the cake is denser. I'm not sure if that was supposed to happen. The bottom part was densely packed with lemon flavour while the top layer was more subtle and fluffy. I liked the top layer better- the bottom one was too lemony and tangy for me, but that could be because I doubled the amount of lemon called for, juice and zest. The olive oil taste isn't full-on front and center but somewhere in the background, after you get past the lemony zing. It tastes really unique in a cake but I'm undecided if I like it enough to ignore that oily feel of the cake.

The cake was also very lightly sweetened which made the sugar crystals on top so welcomed. I also added pine nuts because when I read the title of this recipe at first, I immediately thought of them. Don't ask me why.

Now I need something decadent and indulgent...

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
slightly adapted from Epicurious.com
makes a 9 inch cake

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup cake flour
3 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
5 egg yolks + 4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tbsp coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line a 9 inch springform pan.

Add the lemon zest to the flour.

Beat the yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil, applesauce and lemon juice, beating until just combined. Stir in the flour mixture.

Beat the egg whites with 1/2 tsp salt, adding 1/4 cup sugar slowly, until soft peaks form.

Gently fold 1/3 of the whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle the top with 1 1/2 tbsp coarse sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding and letting it cool completely.


  1. Ooooh!!! I've had an olive oil cake recipe saved somewhere forever!! And stupid me, still have not made it. It looks wonderfully dense without being cloying.

    Btw, have you ever tried olive oil ice-cream?

  2. Nope, not yet. But I've tried chocolate, olive oil and sea salt on toast:)