I can vividly remember seeing a recipe on a TV cooking show many years for a Spanish olive oil cake flavored with oranges. I immediately set out to make it and for years it was a regular in my dessert rotation. When I saw this Italian grape cake -also made with olive oil- I was eager to try it. Like the cakes I made all those decades ago this one is not too sweet and has this melt-in-your-mouth texture from the olive oil. Like the Spanish cake this one has citrus flavors as well, but also has a simple sweetness from the grapes in the batter. I would never have thought up a concept like this on my own, but it works so well.
Makes 12 slices
50m prep time
50m cook time
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra greasing
1 teaspoons lemon zest, from one lemon
2 teaspoon orange zest, from one orange
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups whole seedless red grapes, divided
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9” springform pan. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl combine eggs with 2/3 cup sugar and beat with electric mixer. Add milk, olive oil, butter, citrus zests, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low. Fold in 1 1/2 cups grapes.
Pour batter into pan. Drop remaining grapes on top and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake for 50 minutes or until knife inserted in cake (not grape) comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before attempting to release.