Saturday, March 10, 2012

Olive Oil Cake with Citrus and Amaretto



I really like this cake. I've had the recipe forever and don't even remember where I got it. But ever since I saw an olive oil cake on 101 Cookbooks I was intrigued.

Did someone say a SUNNY recipe? I love European butter for cooking.
It's not as oily and the cows are grass-fed.


But, honestly, I made this with trepidation. I shy away from breads and cakes with a ton of oil because, well, that's usually what they end up tasting like. But the citrus and the liquor cut down on the "greasiness" here. I also subbed some of the olive oil with melted butter to give an added richness. And I added lemon zest. Be sure to use a quality extra-virgin olive oil, one that is fruity if possible. I used Colavita.

To me, this is an "adult cake." It's not overly sweet and has a mature, moist crumb. The citrus lingers on the palate and the Amaretto is a subtle blend. The edges have a nice crust that works well with the stone-ground corn meal. These would be killer muffins. I could also see adding poppy seeds to the batter.

The batter is very thin and I had to go back to the recipe to make sure I hadn't added too much milk. In the oven, it had a beautiful rise. I baked mine in a convection oven at 340 F degrees for about 45 minutes. Be sure to use parchment on the bottom of the pan.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon, packed, citrus zest from one orange and one lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup coarse-ground cornmeal (I used Red Mill stone ground)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash of salt


Heat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray/butter/grease a 9-inch cake pan. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit in the bottom. Place in bottom and spray/butter/grease that, too. 

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. Add the zest and, using your fingers, gently work it into the flour. 

In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until light and sugar has dissolved. About 2 minutes. Add milk, olive oil, and amaretto. Blend.

Add dry ingredients to wet stirring/whisking just until blended. Batter will be thin. Some lumps are okay. Don't over mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until top is brown and set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to rest 15-20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Turn onto rack then place another rack on bottom and flip so it is now right-side up. Allow to cool completely.

This cake has color and texture from the cornmeal.


When cake has cooled, dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut into wedges to serve.





Notes: The original recipe said to allow it cool completely in the pan before removing, but that always makes me a bit nervous. Next time I might add a few drops of almond oil to boost its flavor. My orange was really big, so you may need two. Don't use the zest from an old orange--it's dry and bitter.




2 comments:

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

Have not tried an olive oil cake myself either but would like too. Please send a slice. :-) The last sentence on your post caught my eye about zesting an old orange. Makes sense although I never thought about it before.