Serves a Crowd

Sherry and Olive Oil Pound Cake

October 31, 2014
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes one Bundt cake or two 5- to 6-cup loaf pans
Author Notes

Extra-virgin olive oil with a hint of fresh orange zest produces a subtle and flavorful cake, not overly sweet, with the satisfying texture of a pound cake. This cake improves over a day or two and toasted slices are nice for breakfast, even as much as a week later.
From Pure Dessert (Artisan 2007) by Alice Medrich. —Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cold eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
  • 1 cup medium (amontillado) or dry sherry
  • Equipment
  • A 10- to12-cup tube or Bundt pan or two 5- to 6-cup loaf pans
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour the pans or line the loaf pans with parchment.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt thoroughly and sift together onto a piece of wax paper. Set aside.
  3. Pour the sugar and oil into a large mixer bowl. Grate the zest of the orange into the bowl. Beat with the whisk attachment until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and add one-third of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended. Stop the mixer and add one half of the sherry. Beat just until it is blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, followed by the remaining sherry, and then the remaining flour.
  4. Scrape the batter into the pan(s). Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes for either the tube pan or the loaves. Cool the cake in the pan(s) on a rack for about 15 minutes. Slide a skewer around the tube, then slide a thin knife around the sides of the pan(s) to release the cake(s). Invert the pans and invert again, setting the cake right side up on a rack to cool completely.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Susan Edmond
    Susan Edmond
  • Natasha
  • Magi Shagi
    Magi Shagi
  • DPJ
  • PRST
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

16 Reviews

Susan E. February 17, 2024
I made this for my daughter’s birthday a couple of years ago! I made it as a Bundt Cake. It was magnificent! Thank for the recioe
Natasha July 26, 2020
This is a wonderful, moist cake with a delicate orange flavor. I make this cake again and again and people always find it superb. Thank you, Alice Medrich!
beejay45 May 11, 2018
I'm always looking for cakes like this that are sturdy enough to slice and toast. When I was a kid, my godmother used to make a kind of marzipan meringue on toasted pound cake squares. The whole thing was run under the broiler to get a nice golden crust on the topping. It was heaven. This sounds like it would be perfect for that and with a more complex flavor due to the olive oil and sherry. Thanks, so much!
Magi S. January 11, 2017
I made it last night and it was divine! Made half a batch with 2 eggs, brown sugar, white wine instead of sherry and a lot more orange zest (2-3 tbsp). Topped it up with some sour cream and it was so so yummy! Everyone at home loved it.
HenOfTheWoods May 30, 2016
I made this today and it was delicious. Used only 4 eggs as that's all I had, and 1.5 cups sugar - it probably needs the full 2. And no orange zest. White wine instead of sherry. Still delicious. Baked in 55 mins and rose high. I tented it with foil after the first half hour. Promptly ate a quarter of the cake, still warm.
beejay45 May 11, 2018
;) You created a whole new cake, Sharmila. That's what I love about Food52 -- people know how to cook and are able to sub ingredients, sometimes many of them, to make something totally new and equally delicious.
DPJ March 24, 2015
Scrumptious! I used 1/2 c natural brown sugar and 1/2 c white sugar and 1/2 c evoo adm 1/2 c blood orange infused olive oil.
DPJ March 25, 2015
Oops sorry. I meant 1 cup each brown and white sugar n
PRST November 8, 2014
Why didn't you specify the weight of flour in grams? You did for the sugar....
Rosalind P. September 29, 2020
LOL. I was just going to write the exact same note! I don't understand why contemporary culinary professionals aren't doing recipes in weights. Tired excuse: American kitchens don't use scales. Not true. I keep hoping.
Annaliese November 5, 2014
I have made this cake several times, and love it. I think cream sherry will work, but will taste a bit different (obviously!), but still be delicious. I think orange juice and/or amaretto would be an interesting counter to the sherry, but have never tried it. Be sure to use a delicious-tasting olive oil here! The olive oil taste is very strong in the freshly baked cake, but mellows within a day or so of sitting.
Teresa G. November 3, 2014
I only have cream sherry, will that work instead of dry?
Food O. November 3, 2014
Can recipe be halved for one loaf cake?
Lori S. November 3, 2014
What can I substitute for the sherry, please?
chris November 3, 2014
I used the last of my sherry, in last night's stir-fry; but, want to make this cake, right now! I googled your question. Lots of options, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic:
Kate31 November 6, 2014
Chris, Thank you so much for this link! Very useful.