olive oil cake
This little cake was tucked way back in the archives. I decided to give it a new photo and bring it front and center once again, as it is one of my forgotten favorites. It’s from Kim Boyce’s wonderful cookbook Good To The Grain. Throughout the book, Ms. Boyce focuses on incorporating a variety of underused flours in her recipes, not so much for added health (although that’s a nice benefit), but for flavor. Her recipes are spot on – they have been tested and fine tuned, and she has created some unique goodness.
olive oil cake
olive oil cake
A few things: My blog had a nice feature on Food 52 recently, if you want to check it out.

I’m trying to keep up with the kids and started snapchat. I think I like it. If you want to follow along there, you can find me at: sarahkieffer

I recently made Sheet Pan Pizza over at Bread in 5 – my family won’t stop requesting it. It’s adapted from Ken Forkish’s new book The Elements of Pizza (which I highly recommend).

Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate and Rosemary
From Good To The Grain, by Kim Boyce

Olive oil for the pan
3/4 cup (98g) spelt flour
1 1/2 cups (213g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (149g) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (1g) fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces (142g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 350F. Rub a 10-inch fluted tart pan with olive oil.

In a large bow, whisk the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the olive oil, milk, and rosemary and whisk again until combined. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined. Stir in the chocolate. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top.

Bake for 32-40 minutes, or until the top is domed, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for 2 days.
olive oil cake

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31 Responses to olive oil cake with bittersweet chocolate and rosemary

  1. Show you says:

    This final yr I happen to be functioning with adding herbal remedies to my baked goods, and i experienced been so delighted to are available throughout this recipe.

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  2. Mary Jo says:

    Can you share why we need to use spelt flour? What will happen without it? What does it do for baking?

    • Hi Mary! The spelt flour just adds a dimension of flavor – it has a slightly ‘nutty’ taste. I am pretty confident you could swap it out for all purpose flour, if you didn’t want to buy a specialty flour. -Sarah

  3. […] amazing savoury sweet combination and when I googled a recipe for a Rosemary Chocolate cake I found this one. The only things I changed were the spelt flour for all-purpose whole wheat flour and dark […]

  4. eme says:

    this was really different, and exactly what I wanted. i made a half batch and used a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and quinoa flour. delicious.

  5. Paul says:

    Did you use a standard tart pan with a removable bottom to make the cake?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Paul, I used a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.

      • Paul says:

        Thanks. I wondered about leakage using a tart pan for a cake batter, but I will give it a try.

        • Sarah says:

          You could always set the pan on a sheet pan if you are nervous about it. I didn’t have any trouble with it, but I will add a note to the directions just to be safe. 🙂

          • Paul says:

            Thanks, I just saw your note. I had already decided to set the tart pan on a sheet pan and was glad I did because some of the olive oil did leak out (none of the cake batter). Happy I used the tart pan though instead of substituting a cake pan because the fluted edge looks great and may have helped with some extra crispiness there. Cake has a very interesting flavor profile, my wife loved it.

  6. […] this Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Dark Chocolate.  I think this is a cake that even the self-proclaimed non-dessert people would like.  It’s […]

  7. Aimee says:

    I’m going to make this for my book club next week! It sounds like the perfect recipe.

  8. […] Rosemary and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake. Ph: The Vanilla Bean Blog […]

  9. Rachelle Harris says:

    Hi, this looks and sounds amazing. Would you know if I could put it a regular cake pan? I’m assuming I’ll need to line it up with parchment paper to come out clean? What would you suggest? Thanks in advance

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Rachelle – I have never tried it in a cake pan, but I think that it should work. And yes, I would suggest lining the bottom with parchment, and making sure the sides are very well greased with butter or a pan-spray. Let me know how it works for you!

  10. Rachelle Harris says:

    Making this today, but making six 4″ cakes (making a stacked cake) and will update you. Did not find spelt, so just using the same amount of all purpose flour. I hope it turns our delicious

  11. Brynne says:

    I made this just today ’cause I wanted to bake something sweet and so very glad I did. The flavors are genius as you say. It wasn’t just a cake, it was a mood, or — oh I don’t know — something really, really just what was needed.

  12. Emma R says:

    This looks lovely, but I’m a bit wary of trying to bake with rosemary. What’s it like in a sweet cake?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Emma- I love using herbs in my baked goods; they add a unique flavor, and work well with sugar (I make rosemary buttercream, ice cream, and cake). If you are a big fan of rosemary in general, I think you would like it. But, you can always omit the rosemary and just add the chocolate! It will still taste delicious.

  13. This is such a beautiful, yet simple cake. Perfect for a brunch or afternoon get together!

  14. Allyson says:

    I have and love Good to the Grain, but have yet to make this cake. Thanks for the push to finally do it.

  15. Kari says:

    Is this a sweet cake, like for dessert or is it a little more savory?

  16. Medeja says:

    This cake looks great and sounds really interesting!

  17. I will be making this for my dinner club next week – I love olive oil in cake!! and chocolate. and rosemary 🙂

  18. Gemma says:

    What a beautiful cake! I love that kinda rustic look, it screams homemade, which is something I always adore!

  19. Such a gorgeous cake, Sarah. I’ve made this recipe from your archives at least twice in the past, and it is always lovely. <3 xx

  20. Linda Impastato says:

    First of all I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful place to come to at the end of a stressful day. Your blog is both uplifting and provocative. The recipes make me want to get into the kitchen and start measuring and mixing, always.
    I’m an American and I live in the north of Italy so the spelt flour, the olive oil and the rosemary are ingredients I use often, but I thought the bitter chocolate was a brilliant addition. There was a great silence in the room while my Italian friends ate the cake. I noted that some of them even had their eyes closed. Brava!

  21. Erin says:

    Any adjustments needed if I use gluten-free flour?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Erin- sorry for the late reply! I haven’t tried it with gluten free flour so I can’t give you a concrete answer, but I think your basic go-to gluten free mix should work okay here. Let me know if you try it!

  22. B says:

    I wasn’t able to find spelt flour so I just used AP. How dense is the cake supposed to be? Has anyone tried cake four?

  23. daria says:

    hey this sounds amazing! do you think it would be possible and work well if I’d change the milk to rice or almond milk?
    (I know it sounds harsh 🙂 but milk and I aren’t best friends) thanks!

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