Sweet Black Olive Cake with Marscapone

Posted by Donna-Marie Pye on

I want you to suspend disbelief - what olives in a cake? If you have ever been to any of our classes, you know that the Sarafino Homestyle Baked Olives are one of our favourites to use in everything from charcuterie to baked dishes. That's because they are preserved in salt and plumped in oil and seasonings and not a vinegary brine. This makes them more buttery in flavour, making them a crazy, good addition to the cake. It's crispy and chewy with an almost "chocolate-like" taste. Feel free to omit the olives and add 1/2 cup cocoa nibs keeping this a dairy-free cake. (Adapted from Food 52, Charlotte Druckman's Olive (Oil) Cake).




  1. Place a 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet in oven and preheat to 350 F. (A 9-inch is fine, it will just take longer to bake).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric hand mixer) beat the olive oil, brown and 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar together on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each egg is added. Then add the vanilla and beat well to incorporate.
  5. Decrease the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  6. Remove the hot cast iron skillet from the oven and carefully brush the bottom and sides with olive oil. Scrape the batter into the hot pan and smooth the top. Scatter the olives over the top of the cake, covering it. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar. Return the pan to the oven (REMEMBER the handles are HOT!...use those oven mitts).
  7. Bake until the cake is golden, about 30 to 40 minutes and a toothpick is inserted into the centre of the cake comes out free of batter.
  8. Wait a good 10 minutes before flipping the cake out of the skillet. First, run a butter or dinner knife (not too sharp) around the outside of the cake to loosen the cake from the pan and if necessary, to to coax the edges off the bottom of the pan. Have two plates ready - one to flip the cake onto and another to flip the cake right (olive) side up.
  9. To serve, cut cake into 8 wedges. Serve with a dollop of Marscapone cheese and a drizzle of olive oil over top.

Bakers Note: Depending on how well seasoned your cast iron pan is, it's possible that the bottom will stick. If it's sticking all over, let it cool and firm up a bit more, then try to ease it out with a spatula (or just serve it from the pan).




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