I am not sure how many times I have said it before, but I really do not like spring break. The air is not crisp and cool, but is chilly from the unrelenting winter. If you dream of spending your break in the warm sunshine, you have to plan and fly somewhere deep in south. This year not only was it cold and damp where I live, but it snowed every single day of the week in the vicinity. Finally, we had a small break from snow on Saturday, and I dragged my family out of the house on to a city excursion.
A couple of museums later, I found myself perusing racks of Sur La Tab. I must confess that I was more excited by the display of shiny cookware, fancy chef tools, and expensive cooking accessories than the art in the museum. I lingered in the shop casting longing glances at everything and buying some much needed serving spoons. The shop was offering free samples of espresso and lemon olive oil cake reminding me of the tea time in India. I had seen citrus flavored cake recipes made out of olive oil in Italian cookbooks before, but I have always shied away from them. However this was the first time that I had an opportunity to taste one. A bite of it and I was a convert; I also found my family eating the cake with same gusto. So I picked up the recipe card to try it the same night. I didn’t have any lemons on hand, but had plenty of oranges and I went ahead with them. The cake was luscious with a soft and moist crumb; it was simply melting in the mouth without any hint of olive oil.
Below is my adaptation of the original Sur La Tab lemon olive oil cake recipe
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
I tbsp. orange zest.
1/2 cup milk – I used 1%
¼ cup orange juice
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup orange juice freshly squeezed
3 tbsp powdered sugar (original recipe called for 1 ¾ cup)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease 12 cup Bundt pan with olive oil and dust with all-purpose flour. Shake off any excess flour.
- In a big bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
- Add zest, milk, orange juice oil, vanilla and eggs.
- Beat on medium speed till well combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35- 40 minutes till golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Mix orange juice and powdered sugar for the glaze. Original recipe called for 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar which I thought was a lot; I was also using orange juice instead of lemon which is much sweeter and mixed only 3 tablespoons of sugar instead. My glaze was very watery but it made the cake really moist and not overly sweet. If you stick with lemons, you might want to increase the sugar in the glaze but I wouldn’t go with the full amount.
- Top the cake with the glaze when right out of oven and still in the pan.
- Cool the cake and invert it on a cooling rack. Spoon rest of the glaze over the cake and enjoy.
I also made lemon cake a week later and went with a cup of sugar for the glaze. My kids preferred orange cake over lemon as they found the citrus flavor sublime and not overpowering.