Monday, April 14, 2014

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake (Paleo, Grain-free, Kosher for Passover) acalculatedwhisk.com

Passover starts tonight, and if you have your big seder this evening, I realize I may be getting this dessert idea out too late.  However, it never hurts to have a delicious kosher for Passover snack cake on hand for days 2-8, right?  This cake would also be perfect for Easter--since I celebrate both holidays, I'm planning on making this again next weekend and dressing it up with some eggs and/or bunnies.

This cake is delicious: moist, tender, and perfectly lemony.  I couldn't taste the olive oil, but I think it adds some hard-to-pinpoint depth to the overall flavor of the cake, and it's nice to know you're baking with a healthy, dairy-free cooking fat.  The glaze is cashew-based, but I worked hard to make honey and lemon the prominent flavors, so I think people who don't know cashews are the main ingredient won't be able to figure it out.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake (Paleo, Grain-free, Kosher for Passover) acalculatedwhisk.com

 I have to tell you that although I, and everyone I served it to, loved this cake, it is cake with a bit of a caveat: it came out a little sunken in the middle.  Since it's a bundt cake, this doesn't affect the looks of the uncut cake, but the individual slices had a tiny bit of a tunnel underneath.  I made this recipe several times, playing around with the amounts of eggs, almond flour, and leavening agents, and it always ended up with a little valley in the center.  I subsequently flipped over my bottle of cream of tartar to find that it had expired in 2010, so that may have something to do with it.  (I've since purchased a new bottle, which was difficult to find at my local Whole Foods since the first two employees I spoke to had never heard of cream of tartar before--one began scouring the sauce section, perhaps in pursuit of an elusive bottle of tartar sauce.  Anyway, I have yet to make this cake with the new bottle, but will update this post as soon as I do.)  I recommend that you don't open the oven to peek at the cake until it's been in there for at least 18-20 minutes, since drops in oven temperature caused by opening the door can keep the middle of the cake from rising sufficiently.

I thought about waiting to post this until I'd had the chance to see if I could get rid of that little valley, but this cake is so yummy, so timely, and so easy that I decided to share it now.  Chag sameach and happy Easter, if you're celebrating one of those holidays, and happy (finally) spring if you're not.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake (Paleo, Grain-free, Kosher for Passover) acalculatedwhisk.com

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Yield: 10-12 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 1-2 hours for soaking cashews
Bake time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 and 1/2 cups almond flour, lightly packed
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice*
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest*

For the glaze:

3 tablespoons lemon juice*
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water for 1-2 hours and drained
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest*
2-3 tablespoons water (or more as needed)

*I got enough juice and zest for both the cake and the glaze from two lemons, but I'd recommend having a third lemon on hand just in case.

Preheat the oven to 350, and thoroughly grease a large (12-cup capacity) bundt pan with olive oil.  Place the pan on a baking sheet.

To make the cake, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk together all the wet ingredients and the lemon zest in a medium bowl or two-cup measuring cup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until well-combined.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and put the pan (along with the baking sheet that's underneath it--this is just for ease of transport) in the oven.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out almost clean (a few small crumbs are okay, but no goo).  Cool for about 30 minutes in the pan, then carefully run a thin knife around the inner and outer edges of the cake to loosen it.  You can try to invert it onto a plate at this point if it seems loose, but it might need a little bit more cajoling.  If it does, place it in the freezer for 30-40 minutes, then dip the bottom of the pan into a bowl of very hot water for about 30 seconds.  Invert the cake onto a plate, and it should slide right out.

To make the glaze, combine all ingredients in your blender, or in a large bowl if you plan to use an immersion blender.  Process until smooth, adding water as necessary to achieve a pourable consistency.  Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake (I transferred my glaze to a ziptop bag, snipped off a corner, and drizzled it on from the bag).  Slice and serve!

Lemon Olive Oil Cake (Paleo, Grain-free, Kosher for Passover) acalculatedwhisk.com


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14 comments:

  1. I love the photos ... and this cake was so delicious!

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  2. This looks great and I will, happily, make it whether there is a valley in it or not!

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  3. This is beautiful!! I can't tell that it has sunken in the middle at all either. Love that glaze!

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  4. What a pretty cake! I've been having fun playing around with almond flour lately, so it's nice to see it used here!

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    1. Thank you, Taylor! Almond flour is my favorite thing to bake with.

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  5. Looks so delicious! Love all those flavors!

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  6. Hi There! I have just cooked this cake, using my bundt pan for the first time! Mine is a six-cup bundt pan I think, and this mixture filled it nicely. It came right up to the top while baking and remained quite flat, which was nice. I did a mix of half baking powder and half bi-carb, as I tend not to do straight bi-carb in anything because it's so bitter, and was able to use up two old lemons I had sitting around for the juice and zest! I also used arrowroot starch instead of tapioca, although some people argue that the two are in fact the same. I cooked mine for the full thirty minutes, just to be sure, and also used some leftover vanilla and cream cheese icing I had in the fridge, instead of doing the glaze. I followed your instructions about letting the cake cool in the tin, and after 30 mins of cooling I was able to flip it out onto a cooling rack without any troubles whatsoever. I didn't even have to use a knife to loosen it. I think this is because I greased the pan so well with butter, though. All in all, a lovely, simple, lemon cake recipe! Thank you! :D

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    1. You're welcome! Thank you so much for the wonderful, detailed feedback. I am so glad you enjoyed the cake!

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  7. What a lovely cake! I love almond flour + lemon and this is perfect for any day of the year, not just passover. I'm interested in the tapioca starch - does that affect the texture of the cake much? I always cringe a little with "starch" ingredients because I'm afraid it's going to make the finished product sort of chalky.

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    1. Hi Nora! I almost always add either tapioca starch or coconut flour (or both) to baked goods made with almond flour, since I find that it helps lighten the texture and make it more similar to regular cake. Since I had a couple of bad reactions to coconut, I've been using just almond & tapioca, and I don't find the results chalky as long as the ratio is right. This cake has more than three times as much almond flour as tapioca, and didn't taste starchy at all. I know what you mean about the word "starch", though--maybe I should list it as tapioca flour instead, since they're both names for the same thing :)

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