Lemon olive oil cake

Lemon olive oil cake

Torta di limone

Sharing Puglia
Alicia Taylor

Olive oil is the ‘DNA’ of Pugliese food and is unsurprisingly the basis of many sweet as well as savoury foods. A treat such as torta di limone was an inevitable outcome. The addition of creamy tangy yoghurt coupled with the strong fruity flavour of the olive oil, results in a rich, moist crumb. The infusion of the sticky lemon syrup takes this cake to another level.


Quantity Ingredient
200g 00 flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
200g caster sugar
4 lemons, zested
3 eggs
50ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
220g greek-style yoghurt
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
icing sugar, for dusting
candied lemon, to garnish (optional)

Lemon syrup

Quantity Ingredient
100g caster sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 lemon, zested


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the sifted flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. Put the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and stir to combine well. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is pale and doubled in size.
  4. Slowly add the lemon juice and yoghurt, mixing continuously on a low speed. Pour in the olive oil in a stream and mix on low until incorporated.
  5. Cut out a 22 cm round of baking paper and place it on the base of a cake tin the same size. Spray the side of the tin with some olive oil spray.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture by hand and pour into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. For the lemon syrup, heat 200 ml water and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon juice and zest and boil for 3–5 minutes, or until very syrupy. Set aside to cool slightly before using.
  8. When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and make many holes on the surface of the cake using a toothpick. Carefully spoon or pour the lemon syrup over the top of the cake, allowing the cake to absorb the syrup. Leave in the cake tin to cool completely.
  9. When ready to serve, remove the cake from the tin, top with candied lemon (if using) and dust with icing sugar.
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