Olive oil cakes are nothing new, but they’re becoming more and more popular for several reasons. Extra virgin olive oil is a wonderful alternative to butter and other cooking oils because of its nutritional benefits and unique flavor. It’s also a great way to keep your baked goods moist. In this blog, we explain when to use it, how to bake with it, and why you are going to love it.
What’s the best kind of olive oil for baking?
Quality and flavor are critical when selecting an olive oil for baking. Extra virgin olive oil or EVOO is always going to be the best option because it comes from the first pressing, which means more health benefits and more flavor. Using anything labeled “extra light olive oil” won’t reduce the number of calories, it just means less flavor and less nutritional value. That’s because extra light olive oil is a mix of highly processed olive oil and other cooking oils like vegetable, peanut and canola. For baking, we suggest using a mild extra virgin olive oil that’s buttery, fruity and not so bitter – like our Pasolivo Cucina Extra Virgin Olive Oil. If you are looking to add a dash of flavor to your baked items, you can also try a flavored oil. We love our Tangerine Olive Oil in brownies and our Lemon Olive Oil in chocolate cake. The important thing to remember is that you don’t want the flavor of the oil to overpower the rest of the dessert. More robust and peppery olive oils like our Tuscan Olive Oil or Classic Olive Oil are better for salads, steaks and potatoes, but not necessarily baked goods.
How and when do I substitute olive oil?
Olive oil can replace butter and margarine in almost every recipe. However, be wary of recipes that call for room temperature butter. Creaming butter makes a cake light and airy, but that doesn’t always work as well with olive oil. The best recipes for using extra virgin olive oil are slightly denser desserts like brownies, cookies and chocolate cake.
When you’re substituting, we suggest using slightly less oil than butter. So, instead of a one-to-one ratio, use three parts olive oil to four parts butter, meaning if it calls for a cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of olive oil.
What are the benefits of baking with olive oil?
Many bakers use olive oil as a substitute for butter because it’s healthier and dairy-free. If you’re consuming high-quality extra virgin olive oil, the health benefits are numerous. Scientists from around the world have discovered extra virgin olive oil can help protect against heart disease, stroke, and even weight gain. In addition to fighting off disease, the high number of antioxidants are great for strengthening the immune system and protecting against aging. So not only can extra virgin olive oil make you live longer, it will also make your cakes stay fresh, moist and flavorful.
Recipes to try
We’ve included a couple olive oil recipes for you to try at home including Pasolivo’s Tangerine Olive Oil Brownies and Chocolate Lemon Olive Oil Cake.
Pasolivo’s Tangerine Olive Oil Brownies
Once you’ve tried this brownie recipe, you’ll never use a boxed mix again!
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil
2 Tbsp water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate broken/chopped into pieces
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan, or line it with aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda.
Microwave sugar, Pasolivo Tangerine Olive Oil and water in a large microwave-safe bowl on high (100%) power for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture bubbles, stirring once. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until melted.
Stir in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda and salt; stir well. Stir in nuts. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out slightly sticky. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Lemon Olive Oil Cake
If you didn’t tell a soul this was vegan, no one would know!
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup Pasolivo Lemon Olive Oil
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups cold water
Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13-inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour Pasolivo Lemon Olive Oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with a fork.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing.
For more recipes, click here.