Olive Oil

Kim Boyce's Olive Oil Cake

January 22, 2014

In anticipation of this year's Piglet, we'll be sharing articles, recipes, and tips from past winners over the next three weeks. First up: Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain. Learn more about this year's tournament here, or head to Provisions to add some of the titles to your bookshelf!

Today: An olive oil cake with a secret ingredient.  

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If you have yet to try your hand at baking an olive oil cake, you might be a bit hesitant, thinking it might be too oily, or questioning the wisdom of pouring pricy olive oil into a cake batter. But this cake is amazing. It has a fine crumb from the spelt flour, and the unlikely combination of rosemary and chocolate bring out the spice and fruitiness of the olive oil. And since you're substituting oil for butter, it's neither greasy nor particularly more expensive. You don't need to use a specialty olive oil for this cake, but if you have one that has a lot of flavor, the cake will be that much better.  

Olive Oil Cake 

Makes one 9 1/2-inch round cake

3/4 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 70 % cacao), cut into roughly 1/2-inch pieces

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Photo by Quentin Bacon

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • MilletteofSd
  • twinjadojo
  • AntoniaJames
  • CHeeb
Kim Boyce

Written by: Kim Boyce

baker/cookbook author


MilletteofSd April 8, 2023
I LOVE this recipe so much because it highlights spelt, chocolate & EV Olive Oil. I’ve made it several times and haven’t made any substitutions nor additions, it is just perfect as instructed. So, I’ve decided to serve it for Easter Sunday breakfast as well. Thank you Kim & Food52 for releasing this to the baking world.
twinjadojo January 22, 2014
I'd say that you all are posting all of my favorites from GtotheG, but then you'd just have to republish the entire book on here. This cake, though, inspires poetry. It is easy enough for a child to make, tastes very grown-up, and is a perfect foil for all of these chilly, snowy days. Make it as soon as possible!
AntoniaJames January 22, 2014
This looks really interesting! Can barley flour be used instead of spelt? I always have that on hand, as well as the other ingredients, so this holds the promise of becoming a wintertime pantry-dessert standby for our frequent impromptu gatherings. Thanks! ;o)
CHeeb January 22, 2014
MrsLarkin,hardlikearmour, and cynthia all said in a response to your inquiry a few years ago, spelt was a suitable alternative for barley; so, I would think barley, in reverse will fill in OK for spelt. Let us all know how the new substitution worked out...ch