Friday, November 2, 2012

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I don't bake cake. I never had to. I have a sister-in-law who is an amazing baker and she lived a block away... until we moved. She made my wedding cake and B's birthday cakes every year. I was spoiled. The one time I attempted to bake a birthday cake for my husband was a decade ago and it turned out to be a disaster. 

But today, something changed. Jebu picked a lemon from our lemon tree and he wanted to make a cake with it. Well, it's Friday and for a change, we had the time. I remembered I really liked a cake my friend served at her son's birthday party that used olive oil so I googled lemon olive oil cake and I found one on epicurious.  

I tweaked the recipe a little. I used less sugar and less salt.  Jebu was such a good helper. We had a great time baking together and the result was delish! 



  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for greasing pan
  • 1 large Meyer lemon
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 1 tbsp
  • a pinch of salt

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease springform pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.
  2. Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons and whisk together with flour. Halve lemon, then squeeze and reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  3. Beat together 5 yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice, beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated). I used a Kitchen Aid Mixer for this step.  
  4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.
  5. Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with pinch of salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.  I used a hand mixer for this step. 
  6. Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
  7. Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. 
  8. Optional: Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 tbsp sugar. 
  9. Bake until puffed and golden. Use a tooth pick and insert in center of cake to test. It's ready when it comes out clean, about 45 minutes. 
  10. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate.


  1. Lemon cake is my favorite! I'll have to give this one a try.

  2. I just made my 4th one yesterday for a dinner party. It's so easy and so good!


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