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Raspberry Olive Oil Cake

Or, The Cake That Was Almost Thrown In The Trash.

Which just goes to show you, time can heal all sorts of things. Just leave your problems alone, and if you’re lucky, they’ll fix themselves while you’re not looking.

Like this crazy cake.

Moist, soft, with a delicate crumb, and neither too heavy nor too sweet. A perfect afternoon with-your-coffee snack. And to think I’d written this cake off entirely.

My French oven had done one of its up-and-down routines with the temperature for more than an hour, keeping me in the kitchen, setting and resetting the timer and constantly adjusting the dial to try and get the cake to just bake already. Finally, it did. But it was brown. And not as in that light caramelly brown that you want a loaf cake to be, but a deeper, darker color that is just all wrong.

I was over it. And I was worried that the cake would just keep on baking in the pan, so I took it out immediately, put it on the cake rack, and left the kitchen to get on with my day. A little while later, I noticed that I had not only a bien cuit cake, but one that had slumped over to the left side. Now it wasn’t just overcooked, it was ugly, too.

When it cooled, I tried a little piece off of the end. Bleh. Dry. Tasteless. What a waste of time, I thought.

So I just left it there. All day and night.

The next morning, I decided I shouldn’t waste the cake, so I wrapped it up, put it in the fridge, and left it alone. But X didn’t. He just kept on eating it until there was just this little piece (shown above) left and I realized it no longer looked as bad as I’d remembered, so I figured I’d give it another try. Three days later.

I’m so glad I did.

This recipe is based on one that I saw over the summer in my French Elle à Table magazine, and I’d torn it out and vowed to make it once I got back to Paris, where raspberries would still be in season (and they still are, for a tiny bit more time). It’s a simple recipe, not unlike a French yogurt cake, or even my mom’s pound cake, made with olive oil instead of yogurt or butter.

Raspberry Olive Oil Cake

Makes 1 cake



1. Line a 10 x 4-inch/25 x 10 cm loaf pan with parchment. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

2. Whisk the flour, almond powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set this aside.

3. In your mixer bowl, beat the eggs until light yellow; add the sugar and mix well.

4. Add the olive oil, milk, and lemon juice and zest.

5. Now add the flour mixture and mix just until it’s incorporated. Gently fold in the raspberries and pour this into your prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how your oven cooperates with you. It’s ready when a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cowgirl Tip: This cake gets better with age — I loved it on day 3! — so plan accordingly.