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Semolina Olive Oil Cake

Semolina Olive Oil Cake

Semolina Olive Oil Cake

I went to brunch with a friend and she said I had to taste a piece of this lovely citrusy rustic cake.  One bite and I knew I had to try to recreate it. I thought it might be a semolina olive oil cake infused with citrus (It was an Italian Restaurant). I researched some recipes and came up with this recipe that I adapted from Epicurious.  They made it in a 9″ springform pan ( I thought I had one but didn’t) so I decided to use a loaf pan. Their recipe also had candied orange slices on top which I decided not to do but instead rely on the juice and zest of the citrus to provide the citrus flavor. The cake is very moist and sweet, while the cake is hot you poke small holes with a thin skewer all over the cake and pour the warm syrup all over it, let it soak in and then pour some more. I am including the recipe with the original proportion of sugar in the cake but next time I make it I am going to reduce the sugar by half because the syrup really sweetens the cake. The loaf pan is oiled with olive oil and the cake develops a lovely almost crisp exterior on the bottom and sides of the cake.

Syrup:
2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup orange or tangerine juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
Zest of small orange or tangerine and lemon
Place all ingredients in saucepan, bring to a boil on high heat, reduce to med/high and boil for 10-15 minutes or until syrup reduces by approximately half.  Set aside.
 Cake:
1/2 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour (pasta flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush loaf pan pan with oil. Whisk both flours and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup oil in a large bowl for 1 minute. Beat in yolks, then flour mixture. Beat in yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter just to blend in 2 additions. Transfer to prepared pan; smooth top.Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Pierce hot cake all over with a skewer. Slowly drizzle 1/4 cup warm syrup all over. When syrup is absorbed, slowly pour 1/4 cup more syrup over. Reserve remaining syrup for serving. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack. Run a thin knife around edge of pan to release cake
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52 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh. My. God. This is so up my alley. I love, love, love this cake. I love the photo, and how it sounds. I’m going to be thinking about this until I go to sleep now. I am absolutely going to have to make this. I’m going to a potluck wine tasting party in another week or so, and this may be my dish to bring. Love!

    January 28, 2013
    • Thanks Susan, it’s a wonderful cake. I love the citrus flavor and just love olive oil and semolina. At the restaurant they put thinly sliced almonds on top, I didn’t have any or I would have.

      January 28, 2013
  2. I have semolina flour to make pasta with, but I’ve never used it for a cake. Does it make it more tender? Or what?

    January 28, 2013
    • No it won’t make it more tender, it actually gives it more body so it holds up to the syrup that is poured on the cake. It’s funny when the cake comes out of the oven the crumbs is fine but after you add the syrup it takes on a different look. It’s really delicious.

      January 28, 2013
  3. The cake looks great. I had no idea of Semolina flour in cake recipe. Good one!

    January 28, 2013
    • I love semolina in bread and even sweet baked goods, it gives an undeniably rustic quality that is so good. Thank you so much,

      January 28, 2013
  4. I just love the look of this. I’m going to try it and replace the all-purpose flour with GF… The texture looks perfect 🙂

    January 28, 2013
    • Oh Please let me know how it turns out with GF flour. It’s a great cake so simple and really delicious. Thank you so much.

      January 28, 2013
      • I made it with spelt flour which isn’t GF but is wheat-free obviously. It was divine – a really great texture as I though and the spelt lends a slightly nutty flavour too which isn’t overpowering…

        February 4, 2013
      • Thank you so much for letting me know how it went, I am making this cake for a dinner party and I am going to try spelt flour instead of AP, gluten free doesn’t matter to me I just love the taste of spelt. Thank you again.

        February 4, 2013
  5. That looks amazing! I think you’re right on reducing sugar, I think the bread should sing for itself. That said, I am sure it was super delicious!

    January 28, 2013
    • You are so right. When I make it again I am going to use 1/4 cup when making the batter and add 2 Tbs when whipping the egg whites. I think it will make a difference. The original recipe must have been really sweet as they add 1 1/2 cups syrup to pour over the cake. I used very little in comparison. Thanks so much.

      January 28, 2013
  6. Oh what a great post – I love the look and sound of this cake – way way up my alley! The problem with food-blogging is all the food – much too tempting!

    January 28, 2013
    • I know, it’s just me and the pugs here and I can’t possibly make every recipe I would like to, I wish I could it is way too tempting!! Thanks so much.

      January 28, 2013
  7. This looks delicious! My son will love it! Thank you! 🙂

    January 28, 2013
    • Thanks so much Crystal, if you do make it I hope you and your son like it.

      January 28, 2013
  8. Sounds absolutely scrumptious. A definite addition to my baking list. Thank you!!

    January 28, 2013
    • Thanks so much Jeanette, it’s my first ever semolina olive oil cake, I really like it.

      January 28, 2013
  9. Look delicious, I’d like a piece with my tea right now 🙂

    January 28, 2013
  10. I adore syrup-soaked cakes, Suzanne, and it looks like you created a marvelous one! Also love the addition of olive oil. I made a lemon olive oil cake for the first time last year and appreciate its taste and texture. I look forward to baking a loaf of yours!

    January 28, 2013
    • Oh me too, thanks so much. I would love your feedback if you make it. Thank you!!

      January 28, 2013
  11. Your cake inspires me to use olive oil more freely in baking because your cake looks do moist!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    January 28, 2013
    • I really like using oil in cake whether olive or vegetable oil, it produces a finer crumb and very moist cake. Thanks so much.

      January 28, 2013
  12. As soon as I can find decent lemons I’m going for this! I love olive oil cakes. Many thanks for this recipe!

    January 28, 2013
  13. That looks so good. The picture is just perfect. (I still can’t believe what you take your photos with!). I agree on the reduction of sugar.

    January 28, 2013
    • Thank you so much, the cake is great and thank you for saying my photo is good, I am getting a real camera but until then it’s the ole iphone which does ok. You are so right, the sugar has to be adjusted.

      January 28, 2013
  14. petit4chocolatier #

    Suzanne, you definitely need to put together a cook book. This is a top rate cake. The ambiance of the citrus is amazing. I love all the olive oil. The entire cake is perfect and looks scrumptiously moist. I wish I had a slice right now 🙂

    January 28, 2013
    • You are so sweet Judy, I am so flattered, Thank you so much. The cake is really delicious, very very moist and if you are a citrus lover, like I am it’s perfect. Thank you again.

      January 28, 2013
  15. Ok, Suzanne this is hands down one of the yummiest looking cakes I’ve seen. I have heard of these olive oil cakes, but yet to try one. I love how incredibly moist it looks and I really LOVE that you infused the citrus flavor instead of using the candied orange slices…such a better idea! I’m a bigger fan of fruit flavors than chunks of fruit in cake. Chunks gross me out! What a clever lady you are and it’s just too beautiful for words!

    January 28, 2013
    • Thanks so much Brandi, yes it is a very moist cake, I bake cakes frequently that use oil rather than butter but have never made an olive oil cake before this, I also have never used semolina. It is a wonderful combination, the cake is rustic and refined at the same time. I thought adding the candied orange would be overkill it is really good with just the citrus soak. Thank you again.

      January 29, 2013
  16. This looks delicious! I have always wanted to try a semolina and olive oil cake – love eating them at restaurants, but never made them at home – thank you for the inspiration!

    January 29, 2013
    • Thank you, before last week I had never had one and really loved it. I knew I had to find a recipe, this one is good, still needs some tweaking. I actually liked using the loaf pan instead of the round springform and next time less sugar.

      January 29, 2013
  17. Suzanne,
    I have never heard of semolina olive oil cake. Thank you for introducing it to me. It’s looks awesome (so moisty). It’s a must try for me! 🙂

    January 29, 2013
    • Thank you so much Francesca, it really is delicious and very moist. I hope you like it if you give it a try,

      January 29, 2013
  18. I adore the healthy combo of semolina and olive oil…the cake looks rustic and wholesome.

    January 30, 2013
    • Thanks so much Angie, it really is a wonderful cake. I love simple unadorned cakes like this, you can dress them up or simply enjoy it on its own. Thank you again.

      January 30, 2013
  19. Here in greece we use semolina a lot when making cakes and it gives a very distinctive taste in them. I love your cake and I am sure the lemon gave it a very aromatic taste. You can find a similar recipe in my site too called Orange Flavored Ravani. Just to get ideas!

    January 31, 2013
    • I will definitely check that out, I have only used semolina in savory dishes until I made this cake. Thank you so much, I will look at your recipe right away.

      January 31, 2013
    • I saw the cake on your blog, it’s beautiful but I cannot figure out how to comment, I also loved the lemon syrup soaked cake. They are both beautiful and looks so delicious.

      January 31, 2013
  20. Easy. Moist. Lemony. These are words that describe this cake, but they in no way do it justice. Amazing? A little better. Below is this deliciously amazing guest post recipe from Winnie Abramson at Healthy Green Kitchen .

    February 1, 2013
  21. Such a great idea!!

    February 2, 2013
  22. I’m so happy to have discovered your blog today. Earlier this year, my husband and I were visiting friends and they took us out to an Italian restaurant that served a similar cake. Now I can recreate it at home.

    February 3, 2013
    • Hi Karen; This was my first time (to my knowledge) tasting a semilina cake and I just loved it. If you do make it I hope you enjoy, Thank you so much.

      February 3, 2013
      • Thank you, I know I will.

        February 3, 2013
  23. Oh, dear, I feel like this is dangerous, yet it sounds rather healthy with the ingredients! This is my cup of tea (and would be good with a cup of tea, too!) CC

    February 7, 2013
    • Thanks Christina, yes the olive oil and semolina make this cake a bit virtuous but even if it isn’t it is definitely something to be enjoyed and is perfect with a cup of tea. Thanks so much.

      February 7, 2013
  24. Ooh, Suzanne, I must make this ASAP! Looks absolutely marvelous!!! many thanks!

    February 8, 2013
    • Thanks so much Emily, its a wonderful cake I am making another one soon.

      February 8, 2013
      • i hope to make it this weekend!!

        February 13, 2013
      • Thank you Emily, if you do make it let me know what you think. Thank you so much!

        February 13, 2013

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