I have two small dessert-related confessions to make. One: I didn’t serve cake at my wedding. Instead, we had a dessert platter with all sorts of cookies and cupcakes. Two (and this is worse): I didn’t even eat any of them. It wasn’t for lack of appetite. Despite the tightness of my dress, I managed to polish off two heaping plates of food during dinner. The truth is, I’ve always had more of a penchant for savory than sweet. And somehow, the person I married shares this sentiment.
But my wedding was also right around the time that I became an editor at a baking magazine, which fueled an inexplicable love of making desserts. The only problem is, three-quarters of the desserts I make usually end up in the trash. Whatever I make–be it cupcakes, cake, pie, cookies–Sean and I each have one, or a slice or, worse, half of one. Then I scramble to fashion some kind of vessel in which he can bring it to work undamaged. Otherwise, said dessert sits on the counter for a few days with a couple, sad bites taken out before it’s thrown away.
That is, except this olive oil cake. I can’t stop eating it–all day long, every time I walk by it. It’s light and moist and not too sweet–perfumed with citrus zest and a subtle rich note from melted butter and a few glugs of good olive oil. That said, if you’re anxious about the olive oil in this recipe, don’t be. The flavor of the oil is quite noticeable in the batter, but softens considerably during baking.
I love this cake so much, I scolded Sean when he didn’t want to bring it to work for breakfast this morning. “It’s perfect with coffee for breakfast!” I cried. “Fine, I’ll eat your piece.” So I did.
Somebody get this cake away from me.
Citrus-scented olive oil cake
adapted from Food & Wine magazine
7 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for greasing
1 3/4 cups AP flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
Method: Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil and the milk.
In a large bowl, with a handheld mixer or a whisk, beat the eggs, sugar and zest until pale in color and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Alternately whisk in the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the side pulls away from the pan. Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Note: This cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, but I bet you will eat it in 2.