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Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

July 15, 2010
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Just a quick post today, and I’m about to direct you elsewhere, but I just had to share this awesome cake with all of you. I made it for a small Saturday evening gathering with friends shortly before I went on vacation, and it was much beloved. When I first saw the recipe from Heidi Swanson over at 101 Cookbooks, I knew I would have to find an occasion to make it soon soon soon, and thankfully, the perfect gathering presented itself a few weeks ago. This cake is meant for casual summertime parties, the kind that involve cool white wine and sitting around on a patio, conversing about everything and nothing.

It took me awhile to get into 101 Cookbooks. When I first came across it a few years ago, it didn’t grab my attention. Heidi cooks with some rather esoteric ingredients, things that were wholly unknown to me when I first started cooking (spelt? farro? huh?). But over the last few months I’ve re-discovered her site and fallen completely in love. Her cooking style definitely appeals to the way I’ve been eating lately: lots of grains and vegetables and bright, herby flavors. I highly recommend it if you’re looking to incorporate some good vegetarian recipes, and some new and different flavors, into your diet.

This cake isn’t that unusual. Olive oil cakes are all over the place these days, and it’s a pretty simple recipe. The texture is so hearty, I keep misremembering that it contained cornmeal, but it doesn’t. Just a blend of spelt and all-purpose flours. If you can’t find spelt, whole wheat flour will work just fine. I didn’t use a special olive oil, and my general cooking olive oil imparted enough wonderful, fruity flavor on its own.


I cannot recommend this cake enough. It’s hearty and moist, not too sweet and just subtly flavored by rosemary, and the occasional bite of chocolate made me swoon. It keeps well for a few days, too, and I can attest that it is great for breakfast, ahem. It’s simple and fast to make, which means it’s perfect for spontaneous summer gatherings (the best kind of summer gatherings, in my opinion). I didn’t make any significant changes to the recipe, other than swapping brown sugar for almost all of the white sugar. So without further ado, I’m going to send you on over to Heidi for the recipe: Rosemary Olive Oil Cake at 101 Cookbooks.


If you’re smart, you won’t even wait for a party to make this cake. Tonight seems like reason to celebrate enough, right?


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