The perfect all-occasion Olive Oil Cake

I apologize. You really needed this recipe before Mother’s Day, and somehow the weekend has already come and gone!

A good olive oil cake is a grown-up cake—not too sweet, it relies on the complexities of a fine, extra-virgin oil. Grassy and peppery or bright and fruity, you could serve it at breakfast, after dinner, or with an espresso in the afternoon. Alas, it’s a perfect cake for any occasion, so there’s never a bad time to make it a part of your repertoire.

Many olive oil cakes rely on citrus to bring out the flavor—orange zest is often on the ingredients list. I wanted the cake to be more pure in its flavor, and so we used lemon zest and a sprinkling of sea salt as a garnish. But as with a pound cake—perhaps its closest dessert relative—the accompaniment is up to you. Almost any in-season fruit would pair well, as would mascarpone or lemon curd. It’s the kind of cake you could keep on top of the fridge for a few days, just in case you need to pull off a dessert.

In this case, it was just right with freshly picked strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream. Enjoy!

Olive Oil Cake (Adapted from The Frankies Spuntino)
Makes one 10-inch cake. Serve in modest slices.

You Need:
5 eggs
1-1/4 cups Sugar
2 cups extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon sea salt (extra for garnish, optional)
1-1/8 teaspoons baking powder

To Make:
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Whisk eggs and sugar until evenly combined. Add olive oil in steady stream while whisking.
In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to wet ingredients in three stages, whisking continuously until the batter is smooth and even.
Rub the inside of the cake pan with olive oil and fill with batter. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. (A toothpick inserted into the center should come out dry.)

P.S. Frankies was one of our favorite restaurants in New York. (Olive oil pictured) Also, more In Season recipe inspiration.

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