Rosemary and Olive Oil Pound Cake

My mother always made the most amazing pound cake growing up. She would sprinkle the top with sugar, lemon juice, and nutmeg and my sister and I would fight over who got the crusty, crisp middle piece. Sharing didn’t prevail in my household; it was a dog eat dog kind of dynamic when it came to my mom’s pound cake, the morning bacon, and who got the TV remote. This is a variation on her pound cake.

1/2 olive oil
1 cup butter, plus 2 tbs
2 1/2 cups white sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk (whole is best)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs rosemary
3 cups cake flour

3 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice squeezed

Normal pound cakes call for shortening, but since this one is made with olive oil, that would be too much fat. Instead of the shortening, for this recipe the olive oil is added to the pound cake. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and grease a loaf pan (depending on the size of your pan, you may need to grease two).

The first thing we want to do is infuse the cake with the rosemary flavor. I wouldn’t normally melt the butter, but in this case I am going to. Once the butter starts to get frothy, add the rosemary. Do not heat this on high, as you do not want the butter to burn or get dark brown.

Make your pound cake mix. In my haste I forgot to take photos of the steps; my apologies. Essentially, combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir thoroughly. Next, add the milk, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Partially stir the ingredients, and then add the olive oil.

Take the butter off the heat. Once it has cooled down, add it to the mixture, WITH the rosemary. You want that pretty green color in the cake. Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.

Spray your pan with a little bit of olive oil spray, or smear it with a bit of butter. This cake has a LOT of fat, so it should not stick to your pan, but I do this to just be safe. Pour your batter into the loaf pan and fill it in between 3/4 and all the way full. Squeeze the top of it with the half of lemon, or drizzle over the juice you pre-squeezed.

Next, drizzle the olive oil over the top of the pound cake (the extra 2tbs). Once both are on top of the cake, add the 3tbs sugar to create that delicious crust.

Bake at about an hour and fifteen minutes at 300 degrees.

You will see the cake puff up in the middle and split open like pound cakes usually do. Enjoy for breakfast or dessert, or as an afternoon snack with tea. I brought my cake to my friend Rebecca’s wedding party to give to her family for the next morning.

Katie and I at the party


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