rules of life and a rosemary olive oil cake

Rosemary Olive Oil CakeMy new rule is that I’m going to try to go to bed by 10pm to read…

But never mind that. I want to talk about this rosemary and olive oil cake which I found on the food blog What’s Cooking – the food blog of Amanda, an NYC lawyer and writer.

Her photographs are serious works of art. If you don’t believe me take a quick look at this shot of lavender and rosemary. And she’s a fabulous cook. I know because I cook her stuff. Like this cake.

I made the recipe pretty much exactly as Amanda did – except I didn’t have any lavender and I used brandy instead of Grand Marnier. I did look longingly at some lavender growing in a front garden down the street but in the end – I just used my own rosemary which I grow year round in a pot. It was a gift from a good friend. This is a beautiful, moist cake which feeds a crowd and also freezes well. Don’t hesitate to use at least 1 tbsp of chopped rosemary – the flavour is not overpowering at all.

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

What you’ll need: springform pan or equivalent, whisk, grater

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar (you will likely need this even though it seems like a lot – it makes a big cake)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
  • large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • a splash of brandy if you have it on hand

Heat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and rosemary. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, almond milk, eggs, orange zest, juice and brandy. Add the dry ingredients; whisk until just combined. It seems like a lot of liquid but don’t panic. It all works out in the end.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes – then check – and return to oven if necessary. Should bounce back when gently pressed and a cake tester should come out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely, 2 hours. Dredge with icing sugar. Serve it to your friends and family and if there’s any leftover – send it away with them in the spirit of J.M. Barrie.