Chef's Note: This is a simple basic cake for olive oil lovers. Any extra virgin olive oil you like—from delicate to robust—will be good in the cake. Feel free to make it a day ahead. It keeps well for days, and slices taste good toasted too.
- 3 cups (13.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flavorful California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 cold large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 10- to 12-cup tube or Bundt pan or two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans
- Electric mixer
Step 1: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the pan(s), or line the bottom and sides of the loaf pans with parchment paper.
Step 2: Sift the flour and baking powder together. Set aside. Using the electric mixer, beat the sugar, salt, oil, and vanilla in a large clean, dry bowl until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3 to 5 minutes. Add one-third of the flour mixture and beat at low speed just until blended. Add half of the milk and beat just until blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and then the remaining flour.
Step 3: Scrape the batter into the pan(s). Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan(s) on a rack for about 15 minutes.
Note: If using a tube or Bundt pan, slide a skewer around the tube, then slide a thin knife around the edges of the pan to release the cake, invert the pan, and then turn the cake right side up on a rack to cool completely. Or slide a thin knife around the sides of the loaf pans (unless they are lined with parchment paper), invert the cakes, and turn right side up to cool on the rack. Once cooled, the cake keeps well at room temperature, wrapped airtight, for at least 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months; bring to room temperature before serving.
Lining loaf pans with parchment paper eliminates the need for greasing and prevents the bottoms and sides of the loaves from overbrowning.
Turn a pan upside down on the counter and center a 6-by-12-inch piece of parchment on it. Fold the paper down against all four sides of the pan and crease the folds. Overlap the corner “wings” against the ends of the pan, creasing the folds. Remove the paper and insert it into the pan, adjusting the folds and creases.
Recipe credit: Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts (Artisan Books, 2012)
, by Alice Medrich
. Photograph by Sang An