Saturday, April 14, 2012

Citrus Scented Olive Oil Cake

Thursday night in the Bay Area we were provided with a magnificent light and sound show in the sky. We experienced a rare thunder and lightning storm. Other parts of the country, this is rather common place however we rarely witness such wonderment from nature. According to news reports we had over 700 lighting strikes; even hitting an airplane that departed San Francisco International Airport. Luckily, a quick acting pilot dumped fuel over the ocean and returned safely to SFO. No one was hurt.

Hubby and I were watching TV and would pause the show to listen to the immense thunder and opened the blinds to see the powerful lightning and the brightness in the sky. It was quite an amazing event indeed.

About a month ago, my dear friend Helen and I ventured to San Francisco to Tante Marie’s Cooking School to take a class from our favorite teacher {and friend} Tori Ritchie. Tori does an amazing job with teaching and sharing her favorite recipes from all parts of Italy. This is actually our 3rd class with Tori and each time we walk away with amazing recipes that are repeated over and over again.

The last class was titled – “Italian Soups, Stews and Ragus” and all of the recipes were incredibly easy and full of flavor. Tante Marie's Cooking School is a full fledged cooking school during the week and the weekends are set aside for anyone to take a class. {Quick Tip: Classes fill up quickly, so sign up well in advance.} The entire class is 5 hours and really hands on, which is the fun part. If you have questions, Tori is there to answer or her assistant for the day, who is typically a cooking school student.

With approximately 12 students per class, you are able to see or assist with almost everything being cooked and choose something you want to make from the numerous recipes selected for the day. This time, Helen and I actually did not pair up with each other to cook, but rather were paired up with other folks. It was almost fate that I was paired up with a super nice gal named Lisa and found out she was also a food blogger – what are the odds? After we chatted about food blogging, she got re-energized and decided to resume her blog, Ravishing Hunger again after being on sabbatical.

Lisa and I were on dessert duty and made this wonderful cake called – Citrus Scented Olive Oil Cake. It was ultra easy to make with the flavor and texture an extraordinary delight for the palate. As I mentioned earlier, Tori’s recipes are very repeatable and this cake was no exception. I made it last weekend and almost ate three slices in one day – it was that good. I found that the first day is the best day to enjoy it, since it remains crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Served it with a dollup of Lemon Curd from The Bay Tree. Enjoy!

Citrus Scented Olive Oil Cake

Recipe from Tori Ritchie via Domenica Cooks

½ C. Mild olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
½ C. Dry Marsala
1 ¼ C. All purpose flour
½ C. Finely ground cornmeal
2 t. Baking powder
1 t. Salt
2 to 3 grinds of fresh nutmeg
2 C. Shredded carrots (about 3 large)
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8 inch round baking pan with olive oil and a dusting of flour. In a large bowl, whisk together the ½ cup olive oil, sugar, eggs, lemon and orange zest, and Marsala until well blended. (the sugar will not all dissolve)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sea salt, and nutmeg. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture, whisking all the while to avoid lumps. Using a silicon spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the shredded carrots. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and set it on the rack to cool to room temperature. Dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar right before serving. Makes one cake.


  1. What a beautiful cake! I bet this made your whole house smell amazing!

  2. Looks gorgeous Lisa! I will have to try this recipe;-)

  3. This looks AMAZING...and that lemon curd is gorgeous! Have a great Sunday, Lisa!

  4. I am so glad to see that you made this cake in your own kitchen and shared the recipe with everyone! It looks beautiful and the lemon curd is a perfect touch! It was a lot of fun learning how to make it together in class. Thanks, Lisa!

  5. Thanks for the shout-out Lisa and you do a better job at describing my classes than I do. And I'm so glad you linked the recipe to the original source because I can't take credit for creating this phenomenal cake.

  6. I love using light olive oils in yields such a lovely delicate flavour. This citrus cake looks absolutely delicious!

  7. I've never made an olive oil cake, but it looks and sounds divine! I love how the flecks of carrots add bursts of color.

  8. That was some storm that passed through, wasn't it? It took me a while to fall asleep as I don't like thunder at all!

    I love olive oil cakes, especially those infused with citrus flavor. As I'v also recently learned, the cornmeal adds a nice texture to this type of cake. Love the addition of carrots, too. What a winner of a recipe. :)

  9. That sounds like such a fun day. I love meeting other bloggers. The cake looks delicious.

  10. Lisa, that cake looks so moist and divine. I could eat a slice right now for breakfast!
    I've always hear great things about the classes at Tante Marie. If this cake is any indication - the rumors are right;)


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