Monday, 21 August 2017

An Olive Oil Cake

After a bit of a break I have been tempted back to join in with The Cake Slice Bakers this month. Each month, the bakers choose a cake from a choice of four from World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey. The choices this month were a Hummingbird Cake, which sounded a lot like a carrot cake but with pureed pineapple, M'hanncha, a nutty filo 'snake' filled with sweet nut mixture, a Strawberry & Marjoram tart and an Olive Oil cake. I admit that I could have quite happily made all four they sounded so good, but in the interest of our waistlines I stuck to the Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches.

As I happened to have them in the house I used nectarines rather than peaches which I'm sure made no difference to the outcome. In fact I think any stone fruit like plums or apricots would also work well. I also opted for a light olive oil rather than anything too heavy and fruity but then changed my mind once I got all the ingredients ready and used half light oil and half extra virgin olive oil.

It was incredibly quick and easy to put together and I had high hopes at this stage!

But when I tested the cake after the recommended 40 minutes it was nowhere near cooked. I kept checking every 5 minutes but the skewer kept coming out still covered in wet batter until it had had almost double the time in the oven. I know that my oven is pretty accurate but think the problem is that I baked the cake in the recommended 7" tin whereas I think it would have worked better in a larger tin, resulting in a shallower cake but one that cooked in the recommended time.

It looked good and had a lovely crumb, but unfortunately it was just too dry from having spent too long in the oven and didn't deliver on the lovely light texture promised.

The flavour however was excellent and it was certainly good with a large dollop of creme fraiche to add some moisture.

Should you wish to try it yourself I have given the tin size and cooking times as specified in the book but I would definitely use a larger tin if I made it again and might even be tempted to add an orange drizzle.

Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches (adapted from World Class Cakes)
You will need  a 7" round springform tin, greased and lined (although I would use at least 8"). Preheat the oven to 180 deg C (160 fan), 350 deg F
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • grated rind from one large orange
  • 140g plain flour, sifted
  • 140g self raising flour, sifted
  • 125 ml olive oil (1/2 cup)
  • 85 ml whole milk (1/3 cup)
  • 2 peaches or nectarines, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of apricot jam, warmed and strained
  •  In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and orange zest until pale.
  • Whisk in the flours in three batches alternating with the oil and milk
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for ten minutes
  • Remove the cake from the oven and carefully arrange the slices of peach on top of the cake.
  • Return to the oven and bake for a further 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out brush the top of the cake with the warm apricot jam and serve warm or cold.

I optimistically had a slice for my breakfast this morning, hoping the texture might have improved overnight but unfortunately it was still a little on the dry side and I couldn't help thinking it would be greatly improved doused in sherry at the bottom of a trifle! But it has been fun joining in with this lovely group of bakers again and I hope to bake more regularly with them in future... having said in my last post there would be a shift in focus in my life from cake to more textile art! The plan is for more sewing today but that is after I have finished the scones, granola bars and cakes for the coffee shop! Do check out what the other bakers have made.




  1. It does sound good Gina...peaches and nectarines are so good at the moment too! You do wonder how timings can be so out when you follow all the instructions, its not the first time that has happened to me as well!

  2. So annoying when the cooking times are not quite right but the cake looks and sounds delicious. I must say the M'hanncha sounds gorgeous but very wicked.

  3. Isn't it disappointing when you make the cake as specified and takes so long to bake!! And then for it to be dry as a result would be frustrating. It sure looks good though! Maybe a spoonful of marmalade would help it go down.

  4. I love cakes made from olive oil. What a pain that the recipe was dodgy. I hate it when it doesn't cook in the prescribed time. Ingredients sound delicious tho. Have a good week :) B x

  5. I like the idea of using oil for cakes but never thought of using olive oil. What a shame the timing was out. I have had this experience with other recipes and it makes we wonder how well recipes are tested before publication. Alas, even dry cake is good in my books! x

  6. Love fruity cakes and yours does look good despite the extra baking time. Such a shame you found the texture on the dry side. When that happened here, I served portions with custard and called it pud!

  7. Well, it certainly looks good Gina -- especially when slathered with cream. I'm afraid I might have chosen the Hummingbird cake -- I can't resist anything with frosting LOL.

  8. It looks delicious. You've made me want to bake a cake now! X

    1. Probably too many cakes baked in this house!

  9. Shame it was dryer than you wanted, but I am sure it was a great taste!

  10. When I first seen this on Facebook I thought you had used peaches. Nectarines are even more interesting! My first choice was the M'hannacha but I didn't want to chance those expensive ingredients.

  11. Nectarines do make a good substitute for peaches! Sorry about the longer than needed baking time you experienced. Was there any left the next day to see if the texture improved further?

  12. It looks good and at least you could moisten it after. x

  13. I made this cake and did not really like it either. I baked half a recipe, and use a 5" pan, and the cake rose really high... like a giant cupcake, and imagine the full recipe uses 7" pan. I thought that when I use the 5" pan, it would be too big for the amount of batter. But looking at the way my cake rises so high, I should have used a bigger pan instead! Oh well, three bakes more to go...

  14. After seeing everyones amazing takes on this cake this month - yours included - I can't wait to bake this one too.


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