Dessert Recipes

Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake

This is a rustic cake, deeply cracked and very pretty in its white glaze and lemon zest — and just as moist and springy as can be when you cut into it. The olive oil’s bitter and peppery notes bake right out of it, so what’s left is a mild fruitiness. It adds depth to the cake’s light lemony sweetness, and it gives it that wonderful pound cake crumb, dense yet very tender.

Pound cake is the perfect snack: You don’t have to get out the mixer, and it comes together fast with very little fuss. It’ll definitely set the stage for a relaxing afternoon coffee — it’s so aromatic, it makes the house smell wonderful — but we especially like it at Sunday brunch, where it’s the perfect last, sweet bite after a savory egg dish.

Our tip: When measuring the flours and sugars for this cake (or any, really), take care to spoon them into your measuring cups and level them off with a knife, rather than scooping them out of the bag. You’ll get a more accurate measure, which can make all the difference for both the tenderness of the cake and the consistency of the glaze.

Servings: 10


For the cake:
Crisco, nonstick spray, or butter for the pan
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish (1 to 2 large lemons)
½ cup olive oil

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease the bottom and long sides of a loaf pan measuring 8 ½ x 4 ½ or 9 x 5 inches. Line the bottom and long sides with a sheet of parchment paper. Note: Do not grease the short sides of the pan; the grease will keep the cake batter from climbing.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and lemon zest.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just incorporated.
  5. Fold the olive oil into the batter in three additions, making sure each addition is completely incorporated before adding more.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing.
  7. To make the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in two tablespoons of milk and mix until smooth. If the glaze is too thick or too thin, you can add more milk or powdered sugar — start with a small amount, like a teaspoon.
  8. Using a serving spoon, pour the glaze over the cake, and then finish by zesting a lemon over the top while the glaze is still soft.

Recipe source: A Cozy Kitchen