Lemon, thyme & olive oil cake | Taste of Provence

Written by on April 27, 2020 in Desserts

Small cake made with olive oil, lemon and thyme from Provence, decorated with strawberries

There are three ingredients that always make me think of Provence and the South of France – olive oil, lemons and fresh thyme…

Olive trees were introduced to France more than 2500 years ago and flourished due to the dry soil and agreeable climate. Groves of olive trees can be seen throughout Provence which now accounts for 70% of France’s olive oil (known as “green gold”) production.

Lemons are celebrated throughout southern France, most notably at the Fete du Citron held every year in Menton.

Many herbs grow wild in Provence and savvy home chefs know where to harvest thyme should their “potager” not suffice.

These delicious little cakes really are a taste of Provence and, garnished with berries, they’re mouth-wateringly delicious.

How to make Olive Oil, Lemon and Thyme Cakes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish

Preheat the overn to 350 degrees.

Brush a 6-cup or 12-cup mini Bundt pan with the melted butter. Lightly dust with flour and shake out the excess.

Pulse the granulated sugar and lemon zest in a food processor equipped with the metal
blade (or use a blender) until combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, then gradually pour in the olive oil and milk, pulsing until emulsified into a thin batter, about 30 seconds. Don’t over-blend or the cakes will be too puffy.

Whisk 1 cup flour, the baking powder, salt and 1 teaspoon thyme in a small bowl. Add to
the food processor in 2 batches, pulsing lightly until just combined; stop to scrape down
the sides of the blender as needed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cakes just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and spring back when lightly touched, around 28 to 30 minutes for a 6-cup Bundt pan and 20-22 minutes for the 12-cup pan.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a small knife and tip the cakes onto a rack. Allow to cool completely.

To serve, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh berries.

By Martine Bertin-Peterson of Gout et Voyage, cultural and gourmet tours of Provence where you’ll make heart-warming memories and visit the most magical markets…

Related Articles

Easy recipe for French chouquettes

Like the sweet sister of savoury Gougères, those oh so French cheesy puffs, chouqettes are delicious sugary dough balloons. The light pastry was invented in Italy in the 16th century and perfected by French chefs and renamed choux pastry in the 17th century. It’s used extensively in French cakes – eclairs, Religieuse cakes and chouquettes, […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for chocolate mousse – parfait

Chocolate mousse is a classic dessert of French restaurants. Served in glasses or parfait jars and topped with fruit, cream, crème fraiche, nuts, grated chocolate – whatever takes your fancy, it’s a really simple dish to make but oh so delicious. Chocolate mousse for four 6 egg whites 2 tbsp golden caster sugar 150g 70% […]

Continue Reading

How to make chocolate fondant cake

This gooey-centred chocolate pudding is irresistible! It’s not known exactly who invented it or when though french chef Michel Bras claims to be the creator. But, whoever it was, we should all be thankful for this mellow, melt-in-your mouth classic. Here’s how to make chocolate fondant cake at home… Ingredients for 4 2 oz bittersweet […]

Continue Reading

How to make Paris-Brest cake

How to make Paris-Brest cake

Written by on October 24, 2019 in Desserts

The Paris-Brest cake was invented in 1910, by pastry chef Louis Durand of Patisserie Durand in Maisons-Laffitte. It was inspired by the famous cycle ride between Paris and Brest in Brittany. The round elements represent the wheel of a bike. The cake is made from choux pastry, filled with praline cream and garnished with flaked […]

Continue Reading

Easy recipe for Millefeuille with strawberries

The origins of the famous millefuille (which can also be spelled mille-feuille) cake aren’t known though a cake that was somewhat similar was said to have been first made in the 17th century. It wasn’t the millefeuille as we know it today, that took years of perfecting by various chefs including the famous King of […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.