This recipe is a family favourite and a take on my Nonno’s famous Italian Panettone. Famous, as he doesn’t bake much (that’s usually Nonna’s domain) but nobody (yes NOT even Nonna herself) beats his version of this cake. We’ve tweaked a little bit with the recipe here (via the use of spelt/ wholegrain flours and unrefined cane sugar), but it still retains most of its charm and tastes just as amazing! In fact, the only difference really is the darker colour (thanks to the caramelisation of the unrefined rapadura sugar), which I find even more appealing.
I don’t know about you, but I’m all about density and moistness when it comes to cakes (though let’s not apply those two words to any other subject!) and although this is meant to be a peasant style, plain cake (traditionally enjoyed for breakfast with a strong espresso or bowl of milky coffee) it is far from dry and tasteless.
After many repetitions of baking this recipe, we’ve found that using a bundt-style tin results in the most perfectly cooked cake, and the addition of a generous amount of olive oil keeps the cake super moist well beyond the day of baking! In fact, we actually could not believe how the cake actually became more soft and comforting with age, rather than tougher and drier (it keeps nice and moist in an airtight tin for 5-7 days – if it lasts that long!).
In my opinion, this olive oil cake is the perfect accompaniment to a morning or afternoon tea with friends, served along side some steaming hot cups of English breakfast tea.
This cake most definitely epitomises simple, wholesome comfort food to me (don’t you love how food is SO much more than just taste and macronutrients?!) and will always remain a family favourite.
Do you have a favourite, old school, wholesome cake recipe that evokes a similar response? Do share your stories with me below. I love hearing them!
Also, if you can’t half tell I prefer a more substantial, denser style cake (see ya later sponge!) that is at the same time not too heavy and rich, but I’d love to know what’s your cake personality?
Olive Oil Panettone (as a bundt cake)
3 cups spelt flour (or plain/wholegrain flour)
1 cup rapadura or coconut sugar
Zest and juice of medium lemon
1 tsp vanilla bean powder
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk (of your choice)
3 whole large eggs
1 cup olive oil
Splash of citrus based liqueur (optional)
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Grease a large cake tin (we find a large Kugelhopf bundt tin works really well).
Add flour, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, lemon and olive oil to large mixing bowl.
Begin to beat on medium speed (using mixer or handheld beaters) whilst incorporating the eggs in one at a time.
Slowly add in milk and continue beating until you have a smooth, silky batter- do not over beat. The batter should be pourable but not super thin and runny (adjust milk accordingly).
Pour batter into prepared bundt tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into cake removes clean and dry.
Allow to cool for at least 20-30 minutes, before running a knife around the edge of the cake to gently ease it out of tin. Allow to further cool on a wire rack.
Cake will keep fresh in an airtight tin for around 5 days.
Liqueur is optional (the original recipe utilises a splash of Strega- a herbal/citrusy Italian liqueur).