Maialino's Olive Oil Cake -- Lemon Version

May  6, 2019
1 Ratings
Photo by Betsy Hoffman
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes one 9" cake
Author Notes

This is my lemon version of Maialino's Olive Oil Cake that I first encountered here on Food52 and enjoyed immensely. I figured that as oranges and olive oil go together well, lemon and olive oil should also. This lemony olive oil cake has mostly the same attributes of the original: a "cracking crust" and "aromatic oil rich middle" -- it, too, is moist and dense, not really requiring an icing or frosting of any sort, to be enjoyed. —Betsy Hoffman

What You'll Need
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup limoncello
  • butter for the pan
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put out the milk, eggs and limoncello to warm up somewhat (room temperature is ideal) while you prepare the lemons and while the oven preheats.
  2. Zest the two lemons; you should end up with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of zest. Then juice one of the lemons which should yield approximately 1/4 of juice. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the cake pan: butter it, cover the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the paper also. You will be baking a relatively liquid batter so you want a pan that's at least 2" high. I used a spring-form pan which worked well.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients -- the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attached, mix together the wet ingredients: the lemon zest and juice, the olive oil, limoncello, eggs and milk.
  6. With the whisk running on slow speed, add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in a slow but steady stream until just combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for an hour, or until done. When done the cake with have a golden honey brown top in its center, and a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake will come out clean.
  8. Place the cake on a wire rack for 30 minutes. At the end of that time, run a thin knife around the edge of the cake to ensure that it will come out cleanly, and invert on to another wire rack.
  9. Now remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake, and using another wire rack, turn the cake upside down so that it is again top-side up and let it cool completely, which will take about 2 hours.
  10. Once completely cool, the cake is ready to be iced or frosted, as you wish, or served plain as is. My family likes it served just with fresh berries (blueberries and raspberries in particular) and a dollop of whipped cream.
  11. This moist cake keeps well for several days when wrapped up and stored at room temperature.

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