January 6, 2012

Olive oil-almond cake with vanilla mascarpone cream

This cake was a New Year's Day dessert I made from one of my new cookbooks that many of you are likely familiar with, Melissa Clarks's Cook This Now. This is the first recipe I made from this book and I must say that I was pleased with the results. I marked this recipe right away as one to try because it sounded so intriguing to me, especially the addition of buckwheat flour in a cake. We have a couple birthdays we usually celebrate on New Year's Day, so I decided that I would give this interesting cake a try. While it's called an almond cake, I'm not sure I would say that the almond flavor stood out most to me, but it is in the background... I don't know how to describe the flavor properly though either. It's an earthy cake, but still light. The cake received positive reviews, especially the mascarpone cream. So, if you are looking for a unique cake, this one should be on your list.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe is that I made less cream because I could only find a small container of mascarpone and didn't think we would use enough to warrant purchasing two. I was correct - we only needed one cup of cream, but if you like a lot, make two cups (and increase the amount of vanilla bean and confections' sugar). This recipe will make one 9-inch round cake.

Olive oil-almond cake with vanilla mascarpone cream
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds (grind in a food processor)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour through salt).

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or vigorously by hand in a large bowl), whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the olive oil and whisk until the mixture is lighter in color and slightly thickened. Whisk in the vanilla extract and orange zest, followed by the orange juice.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold them together by hand until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.

Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and an inserted tester or toothpick comes out cleanly. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a knife. Then, use the back of the knife to scrape of the seeds/pulp. Place in a small bowl along with the mascarpone and confectioners' sugar. Mix/whisk well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cut the cake into wedges and serve with a dollop of the cream.

What was I cooking one year ago?: chana palak
Two years ago?: tomato-basil soup


  1. I love the ingredients in this cake! The olive oil, almonds and marscapone! Looks moist and tender!

  2. I have a very large bag of buckwheat flour in my pantry that I'm trying to use up so I think I might give this a try! I love baked goods with olive oil and I bet it adds a lot to this cake.

  3. sounds delightful! especially love the inclusion of buckwheat flour :)

  4. Holy crap, yum!! I love almonds and I love mascarpone. This must be one great cake!

  5. I've never baked with olive oil before but I can imagine how lovely this must taste. And yeah, if I'm making this, I'll probably use two cups of mascarpone ;)

  6. wow! what a great idea for cake- I've never had anything like it! That mascarpone cream just takes it to a new level!

  7. The texture of this cake looks amazing! I love that it's topped with mascarpone rather than whipped cream. Makes it extra special!

  8. Wow.. I love unique cakes & yours looks really awesome a not forgetting with a touch of mascarpone, which I love!!

  9. I haven't had great success making cakes with olive oil, so maybe I'll give this one a try!


I love to hear from you!