I made this lemon olive oil cake as a dessert to go with the herbed balsamic chicken with blue cheese I made the other day. I wanted something light and refreshing to go with dinner. I was very surprised by the list of ingredients. No baking powder or baking soda, but there were a lot of eggs! Of course, this puts me on edge because I’m not a huge fan of eggs or eggy desserts, but I plowed through and made the cake. I will admit to going a little overboard with folding in the egg whites, but the cake rose to a decent height. I was supposed to wait for about an hour and a half before cutting the cake, but I couldn’t wait and cut it after half an hour.
The cake had a very interesting texture. It was definitely like a sponge cake with little to no crumb. And the flavor was perfect! The lemon was very nice and light, and the cake overall wasn’t very sweet. I took it home to Miles and he really loved it. He loved it so much that I couldn’t take it to work! I tried another piece the next day and the lemon flavor intensified slightly, but not overpowering in any way. The texture changed as well. It was more like a traditional butter cake; tender with a slight crumb. Miles got my hopes up when he asked if I could make this for his birthday. I thought that finally, I wasn’t going to have to make sculpted cakes anymore. When he realized that I couldn’t make a Pokémon out of this cake, he changed his mind.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
- ¾ cup olive oil (extra-virgin if desired)
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
- 5 eggs , separated, reserving 1 white
- ¾ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 9- inch spring form pan , parchment paper (parchment paper will be your new best friend)
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the spring form pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.
Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 ½ teaspoons and whisk together with flour. Squeeze and reserve 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
Beat together yolks and ½ cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil and lemon juice, beating until just combined (mixture might appear separated). Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture gently, until just combined.
Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with ½ teaspoon salt in another large bowl at medium-high speed until foamy, then gradually add ¼ cup sugar, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture, then fold in remaining whites until thoroughly combined.
Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 ½ tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate.
Adapted from epicurious