There are times you need to make a cake, fast. I first fell in love with olive oil cake when we had a weekday gathering for Brian’s birthday last year. I came home from work, turned on the oven, gathered my ingredients and made a lovely, moist olive oil cake in no time flat.
The olive oil adds a hint of the savory, and the cake has a light, barely-sweet crumb. Grapes mingle with zest for bright, sweet flavor notes. All in all, an easy, kid-friendly cake with a sophisticated edge.
This recipe can handle a lot of variation. Switch the lemon for another citrus fruit. Feel free to sub out grapes for any fruit you happen to have. If the fruit is very wet you may want to cut back on the yogurt. Also feel free to add herbs like thyme or rosemary for a more savory cake. And finally, you can combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice to make a quick glaze.
Lemony Olive Oil Cake With Grapes
makes a 1-layer round cake
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
zest of two lemons
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9″ cake pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the eggs, and then add the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and the sugar. With beater on low, or with a whisk, add the flour in 2 parts and stir just until combined. Finally, fold in the olive oil with a spatula.
Spoon 2/3 of the batter into the prepared cake pan, sprinkle the grapes all around, and then add the final third of batter. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake is a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle with comes out clean.
Let cake cool for 30 minutes, loosen the edges and then gently flip onto a wire rack or plate to cool. Allow the cake cool completely and then serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.