It’s officially spring, baby!! Take one look at my social media feeds and you’ll see that I’m obsessing over all things spring and all its offerings; the perfect weather, beautiful florals, and an overflowing of fresh produce. I cannot wait for my local farmer’s markets to start back up again so I can buy ALL THE FRUITS! With spring in full swing, I have decided to make a seasonal cake that highlights the flavors of the late winter months and embraces the warming scents of the forthcoming spring with open arms. Who’s ready for a slice?
I am so excited to be teaming up with Colavita on this post. They sent me an array of olive oils, pastas, vinaigrettes, and so much more. My mind starting racing with recipe ideas galore. One of the items in the box was their Lemon Olive Oil, which made me very excited. The packaging says it’s a cooking oil and is ‘mainly’ used for salads, drizzles, and/or sautéing, but you know me, I’m a rebel! I wanted to utilize the wonderful, citrus scent of the olive oil and jam pack it into a gluten-free cake. What I got was something quite special.
The cake is light and airy with the taste of lemon bursting through with every bite. The chamomile tea added a subtle hint of aromatic flavors that worked wonderfully intermingled in the batter. The candied Meyer lemons on top were the perfect balance of tart and sweet as well. Then you add that thick, luscious drizzle of icing and it was pure citrus heaven. So sweet and so, SO tasty! Cutting into a slice, I wanted to lay back, drink a cup of tea, skim through a cookbook, and enjoy the early spring afternoon in style and relaxation. Cheers, friend!
Lemon Chamomile Olive Oil Cake with Candied Meyer Lemons (Gluten-Free)
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
For the cake
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (with 2 tablespoons removed)
2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1 tablespoons dried chamomile tea leaves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 large lemon, juice and zest
5 large eggs, separated, (keep 5 yolks and 4 whites, reserving the 1 white for another use)
¾ cup + 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
¾ cup Lemon Olive Oil
½ teaspoon salt
For the icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons coconut milk
For the candied lemons
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups water
2 Meyer lemons, sliced ¼ inch thick
For the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan with some olive oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, chamomile tea leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar on high speed until mixture is thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed and slowly add the olive oil and juice from the previously zested lemon. Gently fold in the flour mixture until just combined.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt on a medium-high speed until foamy. Then add a ¼ cup of sugar a little at a time. Beat until the egg whites hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
Gently fold one third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites until evenly combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar. Bake until the cake is puffed and golden brown (and a wood skewer comes out clean), about 25-30 minutes. If the top of the cake is browning too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil.
Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and remove the cake gently. All cake to cool at room temperature before removing the bottom of the pan and icing and decorating.
For the candied lemons. In a large skillet, whisk together the sugar and water. Heat mixture over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon slices and cover the surface with a sheet of aluminum foil, reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer gently until the rinds are translucent, about 30 minutes. Gently transfer lemons to a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
For the icing. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and coconut cream. Drizzle over cake and top with candied lemons. Use immediately or store in an airtight container.
Huge thanks to Colavita for sponsoring this recipe. Be sure to share your baking creations with the hashtag #terminatetorbake so we can obsess about baking together. And as always, all opinions, ramblings, stories, and recipe/adaptations are my own.