Olive Oil Cake


  • olive oil, for greasing
  • 125 g/ oz plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 eggs
  • 125 g/ oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp sweet wine or sherry
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • soft fruit or whipped cream, to serve


Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/ gas 2. Cut a circle of baking paper to fit the bottom of a 25-cm / 10-inch springform cake tin exactly Brush the sides of the tin with olive oil and dust with flour, shaking off excess.

Sift the flour into a bowl. Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat at high speed until it reaches the ribbon stage, that is, offwhite and stiff. Add the orange zest and lemon zest.

Turn the mixer to low and pour in the flour in a steady stream to combine with the egg-and-sugar mixture. Quickly add the sweet wine or sherry and the extra-virgin olive oil. Switch off as soon as you have poured in the oil. It will not be fully incorporated.

Remove the mixer bowl and fold in with a spatula. Do this by stirring gently, starting from the centre at the bottom and working outwards and upwards, while rotating the bowl one-quarter turn. This should be repeated 3 more times, which means the bowl will have been turned full circle.

Working quickly, pour this mixture into the prepared cake tin, using the spatula to scrape the last of it from the mixing bowl. If the mixture collapses when you are folding in the flour, go ahead and bake anyway, though the result will be heavier than it should be.

Put immediately into the centre of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Do not open the oven door for at least 15 minutes. After 20 minutes, insert a small knife into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done, so remove it. If the mixture clings to the knife, cook for a further 5–10 minutes, by which time it should be cooked, but there is no harm in testing again as oven temperatures do vary.

Leave to cool on a cake rack, removing from the tin as soon as you can handle it by running a small sharp knife round the edge before undoing the spring clip to release. Leave the paper on the bottom and return to the rack to cool completely.

To Serve

Lightly dust with icing sugar then cut into wedges. It is nice with any soft fruit or with whipped cream.