Olive oil Lemon Cakes

You can’t get more Mediterranean than olive oil and lemons! Like the Olive Oil Cookies, the oil in these cakes make them simple to make and means they keep fresh for a few days. I love the addition of thyme to the lemon syrup as it complements the herbaceous notes of the extra virgin olive oil.

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
3–5 lemons, depending on their size and juiciness
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
fresh thyme (optional)

Beat the olive oil and 1 cup of sugar together. I used a stand mixer but you could use a hand mixer or do this by hand to the same effect.
Add the eggs, 2 tbsp of lemon zest and ¼ cup of lemon juice and beat well.
Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and add to the batter along with the vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
Pour the batter into a greased 21–23cm cake tin or 8–10 Texas muffin plans or similar.

Bake at 180°C for 40–50 minutes for the large cake, less (around 30 minutes) for the smaller individual cakes.

While the cakes are cooking, make the lemon syrup by dissolving 1 cup of lemon juice and 1–2 tbsp of lemon zest* with the remaining ¾ cup of sugar and fresh thyme if using. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half.

When the cake is slightly cooled, remove from the pan and drizzle over the lemon syrup.

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