Ligurian Olive Oil Cake

Ligurian Olive Oil Cake Recipe

A favourite from our Ligurian Cookery Class

This cake is raved about in our Ligurian Cookery Class.  It’s absolutely delicious – a little bit like the texture of a Madeira cake – but slightly moister and lighter.  It is a great one to keep in a tin to eat at coffee or tea time, or dress up a little with a rhubarb and blood orange compote with creme fraiche for a lovely dessert.

Ligurian olive oil is ideal in this lovely, light cake, because it’s more delicate and less buttery than many other cakes.  As you can see from the length of the recipe, it’s pretty easy and straightforward.  You can experiment with pouring syrups into it when warm (a bit like lemon drizzle cake ) either a simple syrup or flavoured orange or rosemary and lemon.

Try it – we think you’ll like it.


100g unsalted butter, melted, plus a little more for greasing

200g plain flour, plus more for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

175ml extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature

4 large eggs, at room temperature

200g sugar

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons or tangerines

Preheat the oven to 180°. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan.

Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the olive oil and milk.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar and citrus zest until pale and thickened, about 3 minutes. Alternately beat in the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the side pulls away from the pan. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool before serving.

The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.