A Savory Rosemary Citrus Olive Oil Cake


Happy May! Do you subscribe to or have you ever thumbed through Cook’s Illustrated? It’s one of my very favorite magazines and it’s always a happy mail day when it arrives. I enjoy it because of its consistent output of content, beauty, and practicality. Each issue covers two months and contains dozens of recipes, reviews, equipment, and tips that have been tested over and over to ensure quality and care . I have made so many meals from my collection of CI magazines over the years, and almost every one has been a hit with our family. In the most recent issue I came across a recipe for a cake that sounded tasty and simple. Because I am more of a savory gal an olive oil cake really appealed to me. Made from only a handful of good ingredients, this cake makes a beautiful paring with coffee or other warm beverages no matter the time of day. I think it would be really lovely with some vanilla bean whipped cream and berries, and that’s what I am going to start making when we host overnight guests at home.

And I’d be remiss not to mention the stunning illustrations that grace each issue drawn by one of my favorite artists, John Burgoyne. He also happens to be the artist behind our farmer’s market calendar and his work adds so much beauty to our home. I try to hold onto each piece he makes and usually re-purpose them in a variety of ways so not to waste or toss his creations. So as you can see, CI is both beautiful and informative, a perfect magazine for the kitchen.

Here’s my recipe for olive oil cake slightly adapted with the addition of rosemary + orange from Cook’s Illustrated:


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 large farm eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil – I love this brand
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • sprigs of fresh rosemary to top

To prepare, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a round 9 inch pan and whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Using a mixer, whip eggs on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/4 cups sugar and lemon zest, increase speed to high, and whip until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and with mixer running, and slowly pour in olive oil. Mix until oil is fully incorporated, for about 1 minute. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add milk and mix, then add remaining flour mixture and mix well until all is incorporated. Transfer batter to a prepared pan, sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar if you desire, tuck fresh rosemary on top in a pretty design, and bake for 40-45 minutes. When done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes and then remove from the pan and serve alongside berries, cream, or by itself with a cup of coffee.

Also, did you know these are some health benefits of olive oil? 

  • Rich in healthy monosaturated fats
  • Contains large amounts of antioxidants
  • Has strong anti-inflammatory properties
  • Has anti-bacterial properties

What food magazines or blogs do you love getting meal inspiration from? Do you subscribe to any hard print publications? While I love blogs (clearly), isn’t there is something so wonderful about getting a copy of something in my hands to touch and scribble on? I love reading mine on Saturday mornings. And one more question, I have been tossing around the idea of creating seasonal meal plans for this space and am wondering if that sort of thing would appeal to you? I know it would take quite a bit of work to compile this so I am wondering how much something this could help you out. I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have a free afternoon, make this cake!


  • Patricia - I am a huge fan of CI. It’s weird that I don’t have a subscription. I need to change that! I always grab a pile when I visit my in-laws! I have so many recipes I have taken a picture of or made a copy to tuck away in my cookbooks. I really love the tips they give! i just really love cookbooks! I go to the library every few months and checkout a pile! One of my favorite things to do is sit and thumb through them as I drink my morning coffee.ReplyCancel

  • Caren - Thank you posting, this cake looks delicious. I for one would love seasonal meal planning ideas from you. I am trying to meal plan more but it would be nice to get new ideas and more structure for my planning. Grea idea! Keep them coming!ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - I would LOVE a seasonal meal plan!!!! I love your recipes. They are tasty and simple. My daughter and I love to make the “Garden Dressing.” It has led to slightly more adventurous eating on her part.ReplyCancel

  • Katie - A seasonal meal plan would be great!ReplyCancel

  • Quinn - This cake looks amazing. I would SO appreciate a blog post dedicated to seasonal meal planning. It would be so helpful to know what other moms are cooking.ReplyCancel

  • emily - i would adore meal plans…food is my love language.

    i’m so excited for you to read an everlasting meal later on in the book club…one of my favorites.

    we subscribe to bon appetit, get eating well and martha stewart free from airline miles, and i read lots of food blogs as well as buy cookbooks (!) i adore anything by molly wizenberg and heidi swanson. deb pearlman and smitten kitchen never fail me either–i come back to many of her recipes. we watch america’s test kitchen & i am itching to buy a copy of chris kimball’s new magazine…i think it is called milk street?ReplyCancel

  • Stef - absolutely adore Cooks Illustrated. A subscription to both that and Cooks Country remain one of my most treasured gift-that-keeps-giving from my husband. He “gave” it to me for Valentine’s Day in 2013 and we have been receiving them ever since! You hit the nail on the head; they are beautiful, incredibly informative, practical, and timeless. And may I mention I type this as I am watching it on TV (every night at 8:30 on PBS)!ReplyCancel

  • ashley - Hi! I love going through cookbooks and getting ideas. I always feel so much more prepared for the week when I try to meal plan. I would absolutely love seasonal meal plan ideas from you!ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte - I wonder if this cake can be veganized somehow… In any case, your post has inspired me to try out a new cake flavor!ReplyCancel

  • Sonja Bee - Yes to everything…. Yes to reading CI but I have to admit I get it from our local library. Yes to that cake which I have am going to make. Yes to your seasonal meal plan idea, and last but not least at all, Yes to your blog. I just discovered it a few days ago and have devoured it from the beginning. I love it.ReplyCancel

  • Tisse - I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a seasonal meal plan! I just adore your space here, Amanda. XoReplyCancel

  • Krystal Wight Armstrong - Thank you for sharing this! CI sure is a delight.
    My tiny girl has been asking to make a cake for a few days now. This may be a long shot…but do you think you could help me with some alterations?

    First, she’s allergic to egg whites, do you think it could be made with just yokes, or something else to sub for eggs entirely?
    And daddy has the car today, and we don’t have any oranges…do you think there’s a way to utilize some real lemon (or lime) juice instead, since that’s what we have on hand, citrus-wise?

    Thank you for your help & consideration!ReplyCancel

  • April - we made this cake last night and it was superb on a chilly KC night! we enjoyed it after a delicious pot of beef and veggie soup. you sure know how to bring beauty and comfort to all things!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - I think I’ll make this today! Looks like the perfect texture / density. I noticed the ingredients lists orange zest but the description says lemon zest. Which did you use? I imagine either (or both together) would work. Have you ever tried making the herb shortbread cookies from Homeiswherethehartis? She posted it a year ago I believe. Uses basil or rosemary (or any herb) with some citrus – sounds similar to your cake!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Hey Ananda,

    I would absolutely LOVE a food plan series or section! I literally copied you’re entire meal plan post from a couple weeks ago and my family loves the new meals, and obviously I found it to be extremely helpful! Meal planning is so tough for me for some reason and I get into the worst food ruts. I also am making it my goal to bake this cake today!ReplyCancel

  • Slow Days | Oak and Acorn - […] Next time we’ll go old fashioned tomato basil. I also made a olive oil cake! I used this recipe originally from Cook’s Illustrated but found in Homesong’s archives. Yum! We served […]ReplyCancel

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