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Olive Oil Cake with Pine Nuts, Lemon & Thyme

February 16, 2010 | Desserts,

It’s rare, but every once in awhile I get the urge to bake something. Last week one of my Operation Frontline students asked me about substituting olive oil for butter in baking, and that inspired me to create this cake.A friend recently asked me where all of my recipes come from, how I create them. I usually start with something in mind – in this case a cake using olive oil instead of a less healthy fat where I would incorporate some whole wheat flour into it. Then I scan for base recipes - for this, I pulled my Lemon Thyme Cornmeal Cake post and an olive oil cake recipe, both of which were recipes from Giada. From here is where I got creative. I looked over these recipes for ideas on ratios (since I’m not a pastry chef) and decided that 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 3/4 cup of olive oil would be the base. From there, I started playing.Beat together eggs with sugar and lemon zest until really fluffy. Add plain yogurt and olive oil.Mix dry ingredients together then add to wet ingredients with the mixer on low.Add thyme leaves and pine nuts and mix just to combine.Spray a round cake pan with cooking spray then pour the batter in and bake.Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes on a rack before inverting it onto a cake plate.Then decorate it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and some thyme sprigs for garnish before digging in.

Olive Oil Cake with Pine Nuts, Lemon & Thyme
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from one lemon)
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ⅔ cup pine nuts
  • powdered sugar, optional, for garnish
  1. Beat eggs with sugar until fluffy. Add lemon zest, oil, and yogurt and mix until combined. Stir together flours with baking powder and salt, then add to wet ingredients with mixer on low just until incorporated. Add thyme and pint nuts, mixing on low to combine.
  2. Pour into an oiled 8″ round cake pan and bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove to a cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.




10 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Ooh I was just reading about an olive oil cake, but I love this version with lemon- my favorite!


  2. so amazing.I have made a similar one but never thought of putting thyme.Great idea!Love your blog and photos. You should do a cook book!ciao from Rome


  3. Olive oil is very tasty and it has very low saturated fats.’.~


  4. Cake recipes are the specialty of my best friend, my favorite ones are those exotic fruit cakes`~”


  5. olive oil is a great additive on foods since it has low saturated fat,-`


  6. i love to eat cakes and bake them too that is why i am always on the lookout for cake recipes.;-


  7. i love to munch cakes and i bake receipes based on different cake recipes that i can find on the net**”


  8. the taste of olive oil is very very good, it is one of the best tasting cooking oils out there:.;


  9. the cake recipes on the internet are all very delicious and i want to try and bake all of them..


  10. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this web site!


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