Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Do you want a fabulously tart and lemony loaf in your recipe collection? This is definitely the one! It has a wonderful fluffy crumb texture, a very lemony zing from the syrup and the glaze plus the cake itself. It’s moist from the syrup and has a wonderful richness from the olive oil. I’m telling you - you do not need to look any further for a perfect lemon olive oil cake! Its tender, moist, bursting with lemon flavor, and can be made in the food processor!
How did I find this recipe? It actually found me! Appetite by Random House so graciously sent me my very own copy of The Wickaninnish Cookbook and I got to sample and share some of the wonderful recipes from the book.
The Wickaninnish Cookbook is a book with a collection of beautiful recipes based on signature dishes (including their backstories) served at the exquisite Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino BC. It is full of sophisticated dishes that are marvelously prepared, styled and photographed, and many very approachable ones too.
I will pull directly from the Inn’s website to describe this award winning Hotel. “Perched on the edge of the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino combines heritage and elegance with untamed natural beauty. Framed by ancient rainforest and the Pacific Ocean, each room at the Wickaninnish Inn is designed to charm with its attention to detail and connection with nature.” Doesn’t that sound like the perfect escape? You should see the beauty that surrounds it. Beautiful photography of the hotel and its surroundings are included throughout the cookbook along with the food.
I can dream about seaside dining at the Inn one day and hopefully I will get there. In the meantime though, I can enjoy some of the hotels finest dishes in the comfort of my own home through this cookbook. In it is a compilation of the hotel’s favourite signature dishes from past and present chefs. The Pacific Ocean is literally at the Inn’s doorstep so the book has some marvelous seafood dishes. There are also some amazing healthy breakfast dishes that I can’t wait to try along with exquisite desserts and cocktail recipes!! Appetite Random House has kindly offered to give away a copy of the book to one of my followers to enjoy but for the rest I wanted to makes sure you got a little glimpse of some of the recipes in the book.
A cake that can be made in a food processor
I chose to do the lemon olive oil cake and a delicious seafood recipe which I will be sharing soon. Let’s talk about the olive oil cake. I already described it to you but I will tell you about a few changes I made to it. The recipe calls for splitting the batter into two loaf pans but I did not do that. I thought the full batter was the perfect amount for a regular sized loaf tin or for two minis, but not for two regular sized loaf tins. I also did not use the full amount of lemon syrup in the cake as I wanted the cake to maintain its crumb - and adjusted the recipe to suit. That’s pretty much it. My husband loved this loaf sliced and served with a dollop of whip cream (unsweetened) that he thought perfectly balanced the tartness of the cake and mellowed the sweetness. It’s so easy to make. The food processor does all the mixing for you and you end up with a perfect lemon loaf - even better than your average coffee shop lemon loaf. It’s got that delicious bakery quality but made at home. What could be better?
The recipe note below and expert from the book itself explains the SECRET ingredient that bakeries use to get that perfect crumb texture we all love. Adding it to the recipe is optional but I recommend it if you want that same bakery quality texture in your lemon loaf. That ingredient is Invert sugar. I used the light corn syrup instead of the invert sugar because I couldn’t get my hand on any. It worked like a charm. This is THE most perfect lemon olive oil cake. The recipe is delicious, so simple to make and a crowd pleaser.
For the cake
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) invert sugar or light corn syrup (see note)
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup (175 g) sugar
- 1½ cups (220 g) all purpose flour
- 2 tsp (10 g) baking powder
- ½ tsp (2 g) salt
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp (200 mL) olive oil
For the lemon syrup
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (118 ml) lemon juice
For the lemon glaze
- 3 to 4 Tbsp (45 to 60 mL) lemon juice
- 2 cups (240 g) icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two mini loaf pans or and 8x4 one with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, place the invert sugar (or corn syrup) and eggs and blend until the mixture is light and frothy. (Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer.) Once the mixture starts to get fluffy, slowly stream in the sugar and continue to blend until it’s starts to get pale in colour.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the food processor, add the lemon zest, and process until everything is combined. Continue to process and slowly add in the olive oil until fully emulsified.
- Scrape the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pans and bake for (20-30 min if using mini pans) 50-60 minutes for 8x4 inch loaf or until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. If after about 30-40 minutes the top is browning too much, tent a piece of aluminum foil over top and continue baking.
- While the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup: In a small pot, mix together the lemon juice and sugar and heat stirring often, until the sugar is fully dissolved (can also do this in the microwave in 20 second increments) Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Remove the loaves/loaf from the oven and brush with the lemon syrup while still hot. Allow to cool in pan 10 min then remove and brush rest of it with the lemon syrup and then allow it to cool completely on cooling rack.
- Make the lemon glaze: Whisk the lemon juice and icing sugar together until fully blended. The glaze should be thick but still pourable. If necessary, add more sugar or lemon juice until you reach the desired consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cooled loaves/ loaf and allow to set for 20-30 min before slicing and serving.
- Your Lemon Loaf will remain fresh for up to 5-6 days when properly stored, or up to 6 months in the freezer. Store leftover Lemon Loaf in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. Do not refrigerate as this can dry out the cake.
- For long term storage, you can freeze the Lemon Loaf and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Place frosted lemon loaf (whole or slices) on a sheet pan and pop it into the freezer for 2-3 hours. Once it’s frozen, wrap it up in plastic wrap and a layer of foil, then into an airtight freezer container. Unfrosted lemon loaf you can just wrap and freeze.
- Why add invert sugar or corn syrup to baked goods? Excerpt from the recipe notes in the book: Ever wondered why your baked goods don’t turn out the way they do at your favourite bakery? That’s because pastry chefs have some clever tricks up their white sleeves—tools like ice cream stabilizers, gelatin sheets, and invert sugar. The last is a syrup used in confectionery, patisserie and ice cream to prevent crystallization. It gives food a tender mouthfeel, and increase the browning effect. The best-known brand name is Trimoline; unfortunately, it’s not readily available to home cooks. You can use an equal amount of light corn syrup as a substitute.
- It’s ok to use a larger loaf tin like a 9x5 or a 9x6 - just keep in mind that the loaf will likely need less time to bake so keep a close eye on it after the 30 minute mark.
Excerpted from The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge by The Wickaninnish Inn. Copyright © 2018 Wickaninnish Inn. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.