Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
This luscious, zesty cake originated from a recipe James discovered in Florence. It’s one of our simpler recipes, and can be easily customized to your liking, which makes it a good fit for novice bakers.
Yields one cake.
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush a 2 ¾ inch by 10 inch loaf pan with melted butter or nonstick spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, combine olive oil, sugar and eggs. Mix on low speed until blended then increase to medium speed. Mix until light and sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl whisk together the cake flour, baking soda and baking powder and salt. On medium low speed, alternately add flour mixture and cream in three additions. Mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place cake in a preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Place the sprig of herb in the center of the batter to bake.
- Remove cake to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Stir either of the following ingredient combinations into the final batter before filling the cake pan:
- 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped rosemary, grated zest of 1 orange, and a sprig of rosemary for garnish.
- 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped thyme, grated zest of 1 lemon, and a sprig of thyme for garnish.
- ½ cup fresh orange juice (lemon juice if thyme is used)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Combine orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced and slightly thickened. Brush top of cake with glaze.
You don't have to be a master baker like Metropolitan's James Barrett to make delicious French-inspired delights at home. Here are several favorites—some savory, some sweet—adapted by James for the home chef.