Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Herbes de Provence Glaze

While I'm not always a big sweets gal, I LOVE desserts that combine sweet and savory. I'm not sure what this says about my personality. Perhaps I'm duplicitous, or maybe just have a knack for mismatching. Red lipstick and Converse sneakers... yeah you know me. For a recent dinner party I was looking for a dessert with tang to offset the heavy spiced flavors of dinner and an olive oil cake was the perfect savory sweet balance.

The olive oil keeps things from getting too saccharin and an Herbes de Provence glaze is unexpected and oh-so savory.

I started with a basic yogurt cake recipe from TheKitchn. Easy enough for a non-baker like myself. For full-bodied texture and extra tang, I used Greek yogurt. In all honesty, I rarely bring home the traditional stuff anymore.

A parchment lining for the spring form pan will make serving much easier. It's as simple as using the bottom of the pan as a template, cut out and flip over in the bottom of the pan. Just be sure you put the pencil side down... no one wants pencil cake.

Seriously, this cake is really easy. No complex instructions, just two rounds of combining and stirring by hand. No mixer needed.

Once you've removed the cake from the oven, you can start the glaze. It only takes a few minutes, so it will time perfectly while you let the cake cool at bit.

The glaze isn't anything fancy, in fact, it's just a variation on a simple syrup like the one you use to make drinks (check out my Basil Vodka Lemonade). I find terms like "sauce" or "glaze" or "reduction" can be really intimidating in the kitchen, but if you can learn a few basics, it's not too hard to make variations. Simple syrup is one of these, start by altering the flavors and then you can even mix it up with honey instead of sugar, like I did here.

Side note:  How cute is this little jar of honey? My friend did them as a favor at her garden wedding.

I used an empty tea bag as my flavor infuser... and really dried herbs are too far off from tea, right?

Before you know it you'll be ready to eat. I just serve up with the glaze spooned over the top of your slice.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Herbes de Provence Glaze
For cake
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (2% fat)
2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon

For glaze
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence

Preheat oven to 350. Use cooking spray to coat a 9-10 inch springform pan and use the pan to trace a template on parchment. Cut around circle and place marking side down in the greased pan. 

In a large bowl combine the yogurt, olive oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest; stirring just until lumps disappear. Pour into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the cake begins to get too golden in the oven, cover loosely with foil. Once removed from the oven, allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from springform pan. 

In a saucepan, combine honey lemon juice and water over low heat. Spoon Herbes de Provence into an empty tea bag and place in sauce. Allow sauce to simmer for 15 minutes and then remove tea bag before serving. 

Serve cake warm with glaze spooned over the top. 


  1. Darn,how much flour?? Found your recipe the other day, making it now for guests in 3 hours :( :( boo boo, have to find something else now

  2. Argh...bad blogger! It needs 2.5 cups flour. Good luck!

  3. Tried this out using whole wheat flour, and it was a big hit! So good for dinner and for breakfast, too!


Let's chat! Add your comment here. Note, there may be a delay in posting for comment moderation.