Lemon Olive Oil Cake – gluten free or not

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake (deliciously gluten-free)

Inspired by the Lemon Blueberry Friands we enjoyed in New Zealand, this is a lovely spring dessert… light and moist with a fresh lemony flavor.


Makes 8 servings

3/4 cup olive oil
1 large lemon
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour or regular all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup Honeyville Blanched Almond Meal Flour
1 tsp baking soda
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar

Equipment: a 9-inch springform pan or 9.5 inch cake pan; parchment paper

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (325 for convection). Grease pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper (very important with GF baking).

Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons and mix together with flours and baking soda. Halve lemon, then squeeze and reserve 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice (2-3 TBSP), beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated). Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.

Beat egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. I like to use a rubber spatula to fold in ingredients.

Transfer batter to pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment, then transfer cake to a serving plate. Sift powdered sugar on top. I like to serve with some combination of fresh raspberries, blueberries, lemon sorbet or vanilla ice cream.

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