Sicilian Olive Oil Cake


  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1½ cups flour, plus a little more for dusting the pan
  • ½ cup cornmeal (coarse is better)
  • ½ teaspoons each: baking powder and baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoons salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with oil, then sprinkle flour over it, tapping the bottom and sides until covered.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until blended well. Add milk, olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Stir well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until blended. Take care not to overmix; allow lumps.
  4. Pour batter into the cake pan. Place in center rack of oven. Check after 40 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes back clean or with just a few crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
  5. Run a knife around the perimeter and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with fruit, lemon curd, or eat it plain.

Seasoned Cook

Zest the lemon first, then cut it for juicing. Bring cold eggs to room temperature quickly by placing whole eggs in a bowl of warm water.


Serves 16. Per serving: 240 calories, 4g protein, 22g carbohydrates (1g fiber), 15g fat (3g sat fat, 12g mono/poly), 113mg sodium