The August Cake Slice Bakers choices of cakes this month were very interesting: Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches, Hummingbird Cake, M’hanncha, and Oliver Peyton’s Strawberry and Marjoram Cream Tart. I was tempted to make the South’s legendary Hummingbird Cake, but I have a long-time love-hate relationship with banana cake and just couldn’t bring myself to make it, as beautiful as it is. Couldn’t figure out the M’hanncha, and have already made many strawberry bakes lately.
It came down to the Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches and since I’ve made quite a few peach bakes this summer, I decided to use currants (you can substitute raisins for them if you’d like).
This was the first olive oil cake I’ve attempted and was pleased with the baked texture. I was worried that it would either have a heavy olive oil taste or be oily, and double-checked that I was using very fresh extra-virgin olive oil. The cake came out dense and close-crumbed and tasted a lot like pound cake. Be sure and use the jam glaze for a lightly fruity finish that soaks into the top of the cake.
Using olive oil instead of regular oil or butter is supposed to be better for you. You can just taste the olive oil, but it’s not overpowering; somehow it works. Oh, and the rehydrated currants were a nice addition and gave each bite a little tang.
Be sure and check out the August cakes from the Cake Slice Bakers (links below recipe)!
Adapted From Roger Pizey's World Class Cakes.
- 1/2 C currants (or raisins)
- 1/4 C fresh orange juice
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp finely grated orange zest (about 2 oranges)
- 1 1/3 C sugar
- 1/2 C olive oil
- 1/3 C whole milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 C all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 C self-rising flour, sifted
- 1/4 C plum or apricot jam, warmed and strained
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 8" high-sided round pan, lining the bottom with parchment paper.
Put the currants into a small bowl and pour the fresh orange juice over them. Stir and set aside, stirring occasionally.
Beat together the eggs, orange zest, and sugar until well combined (3-4 minutes). Scrape down sides of bowl if needed.
Stir the vanilla into the milk. Add the sifted flour to the egg mixture and mix on low. While mixing, alternate adding the oil and milk until well combined.
Stir the currants and orange juice they were soaking in into the batter until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, checking at 40 minutes with a toothpick. Toothpick will have a few crumbs, but no liquid. (Mine took almost an hour - check every 5 minutes after 40 minutes.)
Remove from the oven and let rest about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out the cake onto a rack. Cool for a few minutes, and while warm, brush with warm jam for a glossy finish.
Tips and Stuff:
The original cake recipe called for a "deep 7" round springform cake pan" which would work great, but I didn't have one, so used the 8", high-sided cake pan.
Make sure to use good quality, fresh olive oil.