This cake is remarkably polarizing. My roommate pretty much hates it, while my officemate has said that it’s “my new favorite anything.” The tangy bits of lemon zest play well with the super moist, slightly peppery/savory olive oil flavor, and the sage ties it all together. Definitely not your typical over-sweet hyper-decadent cake, but I love it! And it’s pretty easy to put together (though I still don’t have much zest for zesting). Also it’s better if you leave it for a day or two, a la fruitcake.
You’re supposed to use a springform pan, and parchment paper, and greasing with this cake, but I have only the last of those three things. So I greased a cake pan with a generous pour of olive oil, and got to work on the wet ingredients: sugar, yogurt, olive oil, and eggs.
You also get to make lemon flour! Zest your lemon directly into the flour. I think the more zest the better- about two lemons worth is very nice. Don’t forget baking powder.
Then “finely” chop up your sage. I say “finely” because I’m not very good at cutting things up but one day I will take a knife skills course at Kendall, really!
Mix your sage into your wet ingredients, and then mix in the dry ingredients. Pour into your pan and bake!
Bake that sucker until a toothpick comes out clean (maybe 25 minutes, maybe more). I took a picture of my toothpick test, then put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
These next two steps are what make this cake SO GREAT. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and a half into a bowl, and add 1/4 c powdered sugar, whisk that syrup so well. It’ll be pretty lemony. Then prick your cake all over with a fork…
And use a spoon to carefully spread the syrup all over the cake.
Then (this is hard) you have to walk away from the cake. If you put on the icing too early, it’ll melt into nothingness as happened with my second attempt at the cake. So leave it for like half an hour, go play candy crush and lose all your lives or something. Then come back and ice it! Squeeze the remaining half lemon of juice into a bowl with much more powdered sugar, and go wild!
Ice it, and cut a piece and give it to your mom for first taste. If she’s anything like my mom she’ll love it.
Lemon-olive oil sage cake, from Blue Kitchen
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt (full fat! Do it!)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh sage
1 c powdered sugar
First, oil your pan- if you have a springform, do your springform thing. If you’re like me, just throw a gob of olive oil in your pan and smoosh it around. Preheat oven to 350 (that’s how fast this cake comes together, I’m telling you to preheat now).
Next: mix the yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, and chopped sage.
Then: zest the lemons into the flour and mix well with the baking powder.
Mix the two bowls of stuff, and bake for 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Mine took 30 minutes. Let cool (about 10 minutes)
Mix juice of 1.5 lemons and 1/4 c powdered sugar. Prick cake all over with a fork, then spoon the syrup slowly over it. Try to get everywhere. It’s so good.
Wait. Go do something else. At least half an hour.
Mix the remaining .5 lemon’s worth of juice with 3/4 c powdered sugar. Really squeeze those lemons to get the last few drops if your icing is too thick. Ice the cake. Eat the cake. It’s not a lie.