To Wed; To Eat: Olive Oil Cake

September 5, 2009


Breakfast, Fall, Holidays, Local Eating, Recipes, Seasons, Spring, Summer, Winter

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Nobody tells you that when a boy gets down on one knee and asks you to be his bride that you will become a slave, slave to the nuptial process. Don’t get me wrong, if ever there were occasion to be indentured, this is it, but it is a big, big time suck. You end up devoting your life to fittings and phone calls to make sure that everything goes just right, and even when you’re not getting things done—like personally addressing 200 invitations—you’re constantly bearing the weight that there’s more to do and that you might forget something. Or that God will just laugh on your big day and pelt you with a hailstorm.


This lead-up is half the fun, I suspect: all of the hope, all of the suspense, all of the dreams—for the rest of my life. But at the end of the day, I just want to be in love and eat cake. Olive oil cake, preferably, in the morning, because that is when I find it most tasty. I am imagining myself now, a Mrs., sitting on a white rocking chair, wearing a big flannel shirt, a soft woolen blanket and nothing else, while my husband brings me a slice of olive oil cake on a sunny Autumn morning. I don’t dream about my train, dragging down the aisle, or how the photographs will turn out. All I want is to sling my bare feet up on a balcony banister, rock back and forth with a cup of coffee, gaze longingly into Christopher’s eyes and swallow rich, golden crumbs lightly drizzled with maple syrup. Christopher—are you reading this?

I made this cake to pass an afternoon, wondering what I could do that wouldn’t require a trip to the grocery store. It turned out to be much more delightful than I expected, not too sweet, not too rich, but perfect straight from the oven. For a few days (it lasted three!) I toasted my slices and spread them with butter and a thin drizzle of maple syrup. Who would have thought? Maple syrup and olive oil? Yes. Well, turns out olive oil goes great with vanilla ice cream, too. Though I’m afraid it’s not quite schmancy enough to make a wedding cake out of.


Olive Oil Cake

Adapted from Bon Appetit, Serves 6

1 ½ c flour
1 cup sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
¾ c whole milk
½ c olive oil
2 tsp orange zest

Preheat oven to 325.
Grease a 9 inch cake pan.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt in a large bowl.
In another bowl whisk eggs, milk, oil and orange zest.
Gradually blend wet ingredients into dry–yes, you read that right.
Pour into pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
Cool for at least 20 minutes and serve.

Garnish with a sprig of rosemary, maple syrup and / or vanilla ice cream.

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