Olive Oil Cake
From Venice: Four Seasons of Home Cooking by Russell Norman, Rizzoli New York, ©2018, photography by Jenny Zarins. Reprinted with permission.
- Servings: 8
From Venice: Four Seasons of Home Cooking by Russell Norman who writes –
"It may seem counter-intuitive to bake a cake using an ingredient so firmly associated with savory dishes, but olive oil cake is an everyday classic that feels distinctly Italian. It’s a delicious alternative to butter-based cakes and has a rather grown-up flavor profile, but this will change dramatically depending on the type of olive oil that you use. It goes without saying that you should use the best quality olive oil you can get, but grassy, peppery oils don’t lend themselves very well to this cake. Look for an oil that has floral, herby, or fruity notes instead.
"Because it is made with oil rather than butter, this cake keeps nicely moist for a good few days."
- 1 1∕3 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1∕3 cups superfine sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- The zest and juice of 1 lemon
- The zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 3/4 cups “00” flour
- Use a little of the olive oil to grease a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 ̊F/180 ̊C.
- Put the sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract into a large mixing bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in the olive oil, milk, and lemon and orange juice. Add the two zests. In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder into the flour, and when combined, fold into the olive oil mixture until smooth.
- Pour the cake mix into the greased pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until the top feels springy, a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle, and the cake is golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack and serve warm, generous slices with a sweet wine, or enjoy cold the next day with coffee.