The first time I had olive oil in a dessert—that is, olive oil that was present and proud and of its olive oiliest self—was in this genius cake from Maialino in Gramercy Park. It was a revelation: The cake was simultaneously moist and light, perfumed with the grassy, spicy flavor of the olive oil.
Since then, I've become an olive oil-baking convert. I substitute it for other fats (following Alice Medrich's guide, of course) in cakes, cookies, puddings, and quickbreads. I've used this liquid gold to whip up a silly easy press-in crust, or pair it with bright citrus (in custards and tarts) or chocolate of all stripes. If you want to dip your toe into the world of olive oil baking, we've rounded up 14 recipes to get you started:
Do you have any favorite desserts that make good use of olive oil? Tell us in the comments!