Honey, Lemon and Olive Oil Cake
Thomas J. Story
Most of the sweetness in this festive cake comes from honey. Any honey works, but we love our Moloka’i honey, produced on a Hawaiian biodynamic farm that sets a standard for honeybee protection. The cake’s bright, citrusy flavor comes from whole lemons (peel and all), and the tender, moist crumb from olive oil. If you like a sweeter cake, drizzle it with the lemon honey syrup and set out the extra so people can add more to their individual slices.
- About 1 tsp. mild extra-virgin olive oil for rubbing pan, plus ¾ cup for cake
- About 1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour for pan, plus 2 ¼ cups for cake
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. fine salt
- 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 2 large lemons or 3 small (10 oz. total), ends sliced off, then cut into chunks and seeded
- ¼ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup organic honey, such as Patagonia Provisions Organic Moloka’i Honey
- ⅓ cup toasted skin-on sliced almonds
For Lemon Honey Syrup (optional)
- ½ cup honey mixed with 2 tbsp. lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt
Putting It All Together
- Preheat oven to 325°. Rub about 1 tsp. oil all over insides of a 9-in. cake pan with sides at least 2 in. deep. Coat the pan with flour and knock out the excess. Line bottom with a parchment-paper circle cut to fit.
- In a medium bowl, whisk 2 ¼ cups flour with sugar, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
- Put lemon chunks in a food processor and whirl until the pulp is almost but not quite puréed. Measure out 1 cup of it, pour into a large bowl, and whisk in ¾ cup oil, sour cream, eggs and honey. Gradually whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until they’re blended together. Pour batter into the pan.
- Bake until the cake is deep golden brown, starts pulling away from the sides, and a toothpick stuck in a couple different places in the middle comes out dry with a few tiny crumbs, 50 to 60 minutes. It’s okay if it’s cracked on top, since you’ll be inverting it. Cool cake in pan on a rack until completely cool.
- Run a thin knife around inner edge of pan and invert cake onto a plate. Peel off parchment.
- Spoon about ⅓ of the honey syrup over cake, if you’re using it, and spread it across the top. Scatter almonds over top and add a few drops more syrup. Let sit for a few minutes before slicing to let the syrup soak in.
How to store:
Keep leftover cake for 3-4 days at room temperature in a lidded container. If you don’t have a container that’s big enough, store the cake under a large overturned bowl.