This is the softest of soft, moistest of moist cakes in the WORLD. Seriously, I could take a nap on it if I weren’t afraid of destroying that fabulous crackly sugar top. It’s simple but super duper flavourful thanks to lots of olive oil and not much else.
This is a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that’s all over the internet and I wasn’t planning to mess with it. It’s perfect in every way and the only addition I made was to include a little bit of vanilla and lemon juice on top of the lemon zest. This way, there’s no eggy flavours and the cake has a slight citrus hint which is just beautiful!
That crust though. It’s like the crackly top of the perfect brownie and all it is, is a sprinkling of sugar just before baking. It melts down and bakes up into this flaky, sweet crust that goes so so well with the moist cake underneath.
This is a very easy cake to make, but make sure you really like the flavour of extra virgin olive oil because that’s the star here. I suspect you could also use light olive oil for a milder flavour. Switching the lemon with orange would also make a lovely flavour combination!
The cake cracks as it bakes and I read everywhere that it’s normal for this particular one. As it cools, the crack will sort of close up and all you’ll see is that beautiful crust. Dive into big slices of it!
Try this and let me know how you like it 🙂
- 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1 and ¼ cups caster sugar
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup whole milk
- Extra 2 tbsps caster sugar for sprinkling on top
- Preheat the oven to 175 C. Grease a 9" springform pan (or a regular round pan though springform makes removal much easier).
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs for 1 minute on medium speed till frothy. Add the sugar and lemon zest. Beat again for about 3 minutes on high speed until the mixture has thickened and looks very fluffy and pale yellow. You can also use a large, deep mixing bowl with a hand mixer.
- Add the lemon juice, vanilla and oil and beat on medium till the oil is fully combined. Now switch to the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer.
- Add half the flour mixture and beat on low for 30 seconds to combine, then pour in all of the milk and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Add the remaining flour mixture and beat till you have a smooth, fairly runny batter, about 30 seconds more.
- Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the extra 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top if golden-brown and flaky and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter. If the top is browning too fast, cover loosely with foil and continue baking till the cake is done.
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving! Tastes best at room temperature but you can store it in the fridge in humid environments. Happy baking!
Shop this recipe!
This post contains affiliate links.