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The Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Basil Syrup is a beautifully balanced dessert that combines the zesty flavors of lemon with the rich, fruity notes of olive oil. The cake is incredibly moist, thanks to the use of olive oil, and is drizzled with a sweet and aromatic basil-infused syrup, which soaks into the cake, adding an additional layer of complexity and flavor. Garnished with fresh basil leaves, this cake is not only delicious but also visually stunning.
Olive oil, often associated with savory dishes, is also a fantastic ingredient for baking. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, which contribute to a moist and tender crumb in cakes. Olive oil also has a distinct fruity flavor that can enhance and add depth to a variety of baked goods. When used in cakes, especially those with citrusy notes like lemon, it imparts a unique richness that is both subtle and delightful.
The Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Basil Syrup is versatile and suitable for various occasions. It can be served as a refreshing dessert at summer picnics or garden parties, or as an elegant finale to a dinner party. Moreover, its vibrant flavors and elegant presentation make it a great choice for celebratory events such as birthdays, anniversaries, or even bridal showers. It’s also perfect for a teatime treat, paired with your favorite tea or coffee.
List of kitchen tools and equipment necessary for making the cake:
- 9-inch round cake pan
- Parchment paper
- Medium mixing bowl
- Large mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Zester or grater
- Juicer (for lemon juice)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Saucepan (for basil syrup)
- Toothpick (to check cake’s doneness)
- Wire rack (for cooling)
- Spoon or brush (for applying basil syrup)
List of ingredients for the lemon olive oil cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
List of ingredients for the basil-infused syrup:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Optional: Lemon slices for garnish
Making the lemon olive oil cake batter:
i. Preheating the oven and preparing the cake pan.
ii. Zesting and juicing the lemons.
iii. Mixing the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
iv. Whisking together the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
v. Gradually adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mixing until just combined.
Baking the cake:
i. Pouring the batter into the prepared cake pan.
ii. Baking in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
iii. Allowing the cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Preparing the basil-infused syrup:
i. Combining sugar, water, and basil leaves in a saucepan.
ii. Bringing the mixture to a simmer and allowing it to cook for a few minutes.
iii. Removing the saucepan from the heat and allowing the basil to steep in the syrup.
iv. Straining the syrup to remove the basil leaves.
Finishing the Cake
Drizzling the cake with basil syrup:
- Using a skewer or fork to poke holes all over the cooled cake.
- Slowly pouring or spooning the basil syrup over the cake, allowing it to soak in.
Garnishing with fresh basil leaves:
- Plucking fresh basil leaves and optionally giving them a rough chop.
- Sprinkling the fresh basil leaves over the top of the cake for a burst of color and flavor.
How to serve the Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Basil Syrup:
- Cutting the cake into desired sizes (slices or squares).
- Serving it at room temperature or slightly chilled.
- Offering extra basil syrup on the side for those who like an added touch of sweetness and flavor.
- A cup of hot tea, especially herbal or green tea.
- A glass of lemonade or sparkling water with a splash of lemon for a refreshing combination.
- A light and crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, if serving the cake as a dessert at a dinner party.
Storage and Leftovers
a. How to store the Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Basil Syrup: i. Allow the cake to cool completely before storing. ii. Place the cake in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. iii. Store in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and maintain the moist texture.
b. Shelf life: i. The cake will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. ii. If you haven’t drizzled the basil syrup over the cake, you can also freeze it for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Substitutes for ingredients:
- Can I use a different type of oil?
Yes, you can use canola or vegetable oil, but olive oil is recommended for its unique flavor.
- Can I use dried basil?
Fresh basil is recommended for the syrup, but in a pinch, you can use dried basil. Just use a smaller quantity as dried herbs are more potent.
Alterations for dietary restrictions: For a gluten-free version, substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. To make it dairy-free, use a dairy-free milk alternative like almond milk or soy milk.
This Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Basil Syrup is a delightful and refreshing dessert that combines the citrusy tang of lemon with the aromatic flavors of basil and the rich taste of olive oil.
It’s perfect for various occasions, be it a casual family gathering or an elegant dinner party. Don’t be afraid to experiment with additional flavors or garnishes to make it your own. Enjoy!