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Olive oil cakes incorporate olive oil as the main fat ingredient instead of the more traditional butter, vegetable oil, or shortening (yuck). It is a popular Mediterranean dessert that originated in Italy, Spain, and Greece, where olive oil is widely used in both savory and sweet dishes.
The use of olive oil in the cake not only adds a unique flavor but also contributes to the cake’s moist and tender texture. Olive oil cakes have a slightly nutty and fruity taste, with hints of the olive oil’s distinctive aroma.
Once the cake is baked and cooled, it can be served plain with a dusting of powdered sugar on top, or you can add a lemon glaze for extra zing. Adding a layer of lemon curd between the cake layers or topping the cake with fresh berries are also excellent modifications.
Lemon olive oil cake is especially perfect for spring and summer gatherings due to its bright and citrusy flavor. It’s a wonderful treat to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee and makes a great addition to brunch menus as well.
- ¾ cup butter, softened 1 ½ sticks
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced plus the zest of a second lemon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups flour
- powdered sugar for dusting top of cake (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 inch springform pan using butter and powdered sugar; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or stand up mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until combined. Add in the ricotta cheese and blend about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix to combine. In the same bowl, stir in the baking soda and salt. Lastly, add in the flour and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of bowl to full incorporate all of the ingredients.
- Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing the collar and base of the pan. Cool on a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
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