I have to admit that baking is hardly the healthiest of pastimes, with all of that butter, cream and sugar, and the calories associated with it it’s hardly diet food. And of course being a food blogger, and one who predominantly bakes cupcakes, cakes and pastries, not to mention the occasional batch of fudge, it’d be easy to allow the pounds to pile on and the waistline increase! Thankfully I have some great neighbours, not to mention family and friends, who are happy to try our bakes 😉.
Of course we often make smaller batches too and bake ‘just’ a couple of times a week, but recently I’ve found it fun to temper the ‘naughtiness’ by substituting the butter with olive oil. Regulars to Only Crumbs Remain may recall the pastries of our Vegan Beetroot & Lentil Pie, Apple Rose Tart and Pear and Almond Tart were made with oil rather than butter with great success.
Having enjoyed a handful of pies and tarts made with oil, it seemed logical to try an olive oil cake as well. Not only did lemon seem to be the appropriate addition to work alongside the characteristic flavour of olive oil, it’s most probably my favourite cake flavour too. Even above chocolate cake! So allow me to introduce you to our Lemon Drizzle Olive Oil Cake.
Now, I think it’s pretty safe to say that this cake is no showstopper. There’s no fancy buttercream piped in intricate ways. Nor is there any secret filling to wow and captivate guests with. But what it lacks in cake-catwalk qualities (try saying that fast!) it certainly makes up for in flavour and lightness. It’s the sort of cake which is perfect for an afternoon treat with a cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer). This Lemon Drizzle Olive Oil Cake is a doddle to make resulting in a cake which is wonderfully flavoursome with a moist light crumb. Its predominant flavour is lemon, (as you would hope with it being a lemon drizzle cake!) but the subtle notes of olive oil can still be picked out.
Now, I’m sure you’re fully aware that there are many types of olive oil available in the supermarket these days, each having their own qualities and being suitable for different types of cooking and food preparation. For me, this cake called for a light olive oil rather than one with a robust flavour which could easily have overpowered the lemon. But if you’d prefer a more pronounced flavour why not try it with an extra virgin olive oil instead, and perhaps even consider using a little chopped rosemary in the mixture too – all flavours which work together brilliantly.
Of course, our lemon drizzle olive oil cake isn’t trying to recreate a Mediterranean diet which is packed full of fresh fruit and vegetables, white meat and fish as well as olive oil. Far from it, after all most cakes are packed with sugar. But as Tesco says, ‘every little helps’. It’s all about moderation.
So, here’s how to make Lemon Drizzle Olive Oil Cake!
butter, is perfect for a mid-afternoon treat. What it lacks in
aesthetic qualities it makes up for with flavour and lightness.
Hands on time: about 15 mins Bake time: about 40 mins Yield: 1 x 23cm cake, producing 8 slices
1 x 23cm Clipform cake tin
For the cake Batter
- a little butter / margarine for preparing the cake tin (see note a below)
- 185g Caster Sugar (either golden, white, or a mixture of the two)
- 2 medium Eggs
- 1 Unwaxed Lemon, zest & juice
- pinch Salt
- 80ml Olive Oil (see note b below)
- 67ml Milk
- 200g Plain Flour
- 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 tbsp Lemon Curd (optional)
- 150g Icing Sugar
- 1 medium Lemon, Zest & Juice
a) I find it easier to grease the cake tin with a butter or margarine so I can easily see if I’ve missed any areas. If you prefer use oil instead. b) Use either a light olive oil or extra virgin. The extra virgin will bring a more robust flavour, whereas the light version is far more mellow without overpowering the lemon. c) Consider adding a little finely chopped rosemary alongside a robust olive oil. d) Depending upon the brand of lemon curd you’re using you may need to add a drop of water to help slacken it making it easier to spread over the top of the cake without spoiling the crust. e) Store in an airtight container.
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