Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate and Rosemary

Olive Oil Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate and Rosemary | Sarah Kieffer | The Vanilla Bean Blog
This little olive oil 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 | Sarah Kieffer | The Vanilla Bean Blog
olive oil cake | Sarah Kieffer | The Vanilla Bean Blog
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 and Mugs of Coffee | Sarah Kieffer | The Vanilla Bean Blog

  • Reply
    Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Hi! This is one of my favorite go-to recipes of all times. And I recommend it to everyone! I want to try it as muffins- have you ever done this before?
    I’m worried they may turn out too dense- or too greasy especially for muffin tin liner paper.
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Raushan Gupta
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Hi, I am a baker from India and I would say this cake looks very yummy. I love baking cakes that’s why I explore too many websites for better recipes and found your website here. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Soon I will let you know about experience with your recipe.

  • Reply
    Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 2:36 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    Monday, June 20, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Any adjustments needed if I use gluten-free flour?

    • Reply
      Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Linda Impastato
    Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 11:30 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Abby | Lace & Lilacs
    Friday, May 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 5:05 pm

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

  • Reply
    Ellie | Hungry by Nature
    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 11:20 am

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

  • Reply
    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 5:58 am

    This cake looks great and sounds really interesting!

  • Reply
    Monday, May 16, 2016 at 5:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    Monday, May 16, 2016 at 12:45 pm

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

  • Reply
    Rachel @the dessert chronicles
    Monday, May 16, 2016 at 12:34 pm

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

  • Reply
    Emma R
    Monday, May 16, 2016 at 9:36 am

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

    • Reply
      Monday, May 16, 2016 at 10:02 am

      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.

  • Reply
    Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Rachelle Harris
    Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Rachelle Harris
    Friday, August 1, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    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

    • Reply
      Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm

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

  • Reply
    Friday, April 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm

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

    • Reply
      Friday, April 11, 2014 at 9:04 pm

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

      • Reply
        Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 4:49 am

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

        • Reply
          Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 8:34 am

          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
            Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 11:32 am

            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.

  • Reply
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 11:34 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Mary Jo
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 4:32 am

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

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      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

  • Reply
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    Monday, January 16, 2012 at 5:12 am

    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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