Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

On November 4th, the 1st Anniversary of Food and Gladness, I planned on writing about the lemon rosemary olive oil cake I made, but it turned out a little dry and dense, so I wanted to try it again before posting the recipe.  I'm still not 100% happy {maybe 90%} with this cake, but this cake is much improved.  It rose higher than the first and is lighter in texture, but it lacked the pronounced lemon-rosemary essences like the first cake had.  I also noticed that this cake had a distinct crumb crust which I was not excited to see.  In the first recipe I used a combination of butter (1.5 sticks) and olive oil (1/4 cup), which if I had to guess, produced a soft, tender crust.  The first recipe did not call for as much liquid as in the second attempt {again I'm guessing}, which made the cake dense.   

Yes, I'm still posting this recipe, but just keep in the back of your mind you may want to bump up the lemon zest and rosemary. The perfectionist in me knows I'll try conquering this cake one more time.  This cake is quite good, lighter than a pound cake, but a little heavier than a traditional cake.  You'll definitely taste the savory olive oil undertones, so make sure you pick a quality oil.  How do you know?  In your grocery store,  look for the term 'extra virgin' olive oil.  This is the oil derived from the first cold press from the olives which produces excellent flavor.  This oil is usually greenish in color and should be stored in dark glass in a cool area.  A great oil you can find at the store is Colavita.    Another option to find your oil is by taking a trip to Maplewood, MO and visiting Vom Fass.  You can sample dozens of oils.  If you can't tolerate tasting a sample spoonful of oil, don't put it in your cake.  

I garnished the cake with candied lemon peel and candied lemon slices and rosemary.  Refer to my post on candied lemon peel (http://foodandgladness.com/food/2012/12/5/candied-lemon-southern-italy) for techniques.

My husband and I have enjoyed eating this lemon rosemary olive oil cake with our morning coffee and as a late night snack with a cold glass of frothy milk.  Let me know what you think of this cake.  Or, if you have any suggestions how to make the perfect Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil cake, please feel free to share your tips!  As always, let's give thanks to God for good food and gladness!


Ingredients for Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Makes one- 7 inch square x 2 inch deep cake, or 1- 9 inch round cake.  Recipe adapted from Mario Batali.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (sifted)
  • 0.5 cup '00' flour (sifted)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest 
  • 2 Tbsp rosemary- minced
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven = 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with electric mixer about 1 minute.  Gradually add in sugar, continue to beat.  Add in olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and rosemary.
  4. Add dry ingredients to egg/sugar/oil mixture, about 1/3 at a time.  Do not over mix.
  5. Prep cake pan (butter and line with parchment).
  6. Pour batter into cake pan.  Bake 30-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. After baking, allow cake to cool.
  8. Drizzle cake with lemon glaze. Glaze is made with powdered sugar (1/4 cup) and lemon juice (2-3 Tbsp).  Garnish with candied lemon peel and rosemary sprigs.