Baby Showers and a Recipe for Blueberry Lemon Olive Oil Cake


This will tell you a lot about my age and demographic: Right now, I have invitations on my fridge for three weddings and three baby showers, two of which I’m hosting.

“Three weddings and three baby showers,” sniffs Jon. “It’s like living in a Richard Curtis reject movie.” And, as formulaic as a romantic comedy, we all know that where there is an organized celebration, there probably should also be cake.

And so, in anticipation of baby shower number one, a brunch for baby-bump girl Gelfand, this is that cake. Easy eating anytime of day, but certainly a brunch-appropriate offering, I think, because of the fruit. Fruit seems to make it OK to eat cake for breakfast. The olive oil and lemon aspect keeps things fresh and spring-y. There’s a real elegance to this cake — plus, like all oil cakes (rather than butter cakes), it’s easy to make, because there’s no creaming required.

You can switch up the fruit here for anything that catches your fancy at the market, really. Raspberries and blackberries are an obvious choice, but I’ve also made it with cherries. In a pinch, frozen berries are fine; thaw them first and dab them on a kitchen towel to dry them off a bit. Adjust the sugar as needed. But here, blueberries:

1 cup blueberries
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal (or another ¼ cup flour)
3/4 cup sugar (plus about 1 tbsp for sprinkling)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp crushed coriander seeds (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8 inch spring form pan with a little olive oil.
  • In one bowl mix the blueberries, flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, salt (and coriander if using).
  • In a jug, whisk the eggs, olive oil, yogurt and lemon juice. (It may look a bit curdled, but that’s what it’s supposed to look like, don’t worry.)
  • Pour the wet into the dry and stir to combine.
  • Spoon in to the tin, sprinkle about 1tbsp of sugar over the top, and bake for about 1 hour (check after 45 minutes and cover if the top is browning too quickly). A tester should come out dry, and the cake should spring back to the touch.
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then use a knife to cut round the sides, and spring the tin.
  • This cake is delicious with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, some extra berries, and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest.

In this column, Katherine Knowles divulges recipes you can make in your tiny New York City kitchen.


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