Olive-Oil Lemon Cake

Who says I can't cook cake?


If I have to sit through the election TV debate tonight, I want a good hunk of sweet cake to indulge in to keep my bulls**t detector levels alert and my mood levels chipper.

This recipe is filched from Mark Hix’s version in the Independent, although I’ve made a few changes… It uses olive oil rather than butter, which is not only healthier, but adds a lightness and slight nuttiness that suits the lemon flavour really well. Plus I couldn’t find any butter in the fridge…

My version used the following ingredients:

  • 300g brown muscovado sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 120ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100ml milk

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 5. Beat the sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy, which might not happen with the brown sugar, but as long as it’s well amalgamated and smooth as a mixture, it’s fine – use a food mixer if you prefer. Add the juice and zest of the orange and the lemon zest and then stir in the olive oil and milk, slowly, bit by bit. Gently fold in the flour and transfer to a lightly greased (you can use olive oil if you wish) round tin about 20-24 cms in diameter (you can use a square or a loaf tin of similar size). I used a Kugelhopf dish…

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown, use a skewer to test if it’s cooked all the way through.

I glazed my cake with a lemon glaze, using a random mix of icing sugar, lemon juice, milk and lemon zest. I made a thick paste with the icing sugar and lemon juice, then added a dash of milk and the zest at the end. Dust with icing sugar too if you’re a sucker for icing like me.


Not a Kugelhopf!


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