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Lemon and Olive Oil Pound Cake

April 28, 2009


I cleaned out my spice cabinet the other day. As I was arranging my little bottles of extracts and spices, the urge to bake something overwhelmed me. Something sweet and dainty. Like a cake.

As I usually do when this urge arises, I turned to Smitten Kitchen for inspiration. What follows is an adaptation of her adaptation of an Ina Garten recipe.

This isn’t the type of thing that I usually post here. I like to post healthy recipes, for dishes that are going to contribute to the physical well-being of those who make them. This recipe is not exactly that.

Does having yogurt in it make it healthy?

How about lemons? They’re a fruit.

Or, what about the fact that it uses olive oil instead of butter. Monounsaturated fat!

The answer is no, no, and no, but this isn’t the unhealthiest pound cake you could eat. And it’s moist and tangy, with a complexity of flavor lent from the olive oil. It tastes better the next day, so don’t go crazy and eat it all in one session.

This would make a great summer dessert, under some ice cream or sorbet.

I listed the ingredients I used in the recipe, but you can change it up if you want to. Got wheat flour, not spelt? Use it. Eggs instead of egg replacer? Be my guest, and your cake will rise higher than mine did. But don’t try to cheat and use bottled lemon juice. You will regret it. If you want to fancy things up, though, you can use Meyer lemons instead of standard lemons. To be honest…I like regular lemons better. Don’t tell anyone.

For cake:
1.5 cups white spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt (dairy or non-dairy will both work)
1 cup turbinado sugar
3 eggs worth of egg replacer
2 tablespoons lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For lemon syrup:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar

For glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a standard loaf pan with parchment paper; grease and flour the pan.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, egg replacer, zest, vanilla, and almond extract.

3. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ones until well combined.

4. With a spatula, fold the olive oil into the batter, making sure it is fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. While the cake is baking, simmer the lemon juice and sugar for the lemon syrup together in a small pan for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

6. When the cake is done baking, pour the lemon syrup over the cake and allow to soak in for ten minutes before removing the cake from the pan and cooling on a rack.

7. When the cake is cool, whisk the confectioner’s sugar with the lemon juice. Pour over the cake. (You may want to put something under the cake to catch the glaze that will run off, instead of pouring it all over your counter like I did.) Serve in any way your heart desires. The cake will stay moist for longer than you thought possible.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lisa Piccone permalink
    April 29, 2009 4:13 am

    Yet another mouth watering photo!

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