Recipe: Olive oil and Sauternes cake

By Rosalind Rathouse, December 22, 2011

This is a glorified sponge cake enhanced by the addition of olive oil and Sauternes. It is based on recipes by Alice Waters and Alistair Little, but this version is less temperatmental. It is beautiful served with freshly sliced or grilled fruit and a glass of chilled pudding wine.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves 8


● 5 large eggs
● 125g sugar
● Grated zest of 1 lemon or 2 limes
● 170g plain flour
● Good pinch of salt
● 120ml light olive oil
● 120ml Sauternes or other pudding wine


● Preheat your oven to 375˚C and prepare a 20cm spring-form tin by oiling and flouring the tin and lining the bottom with baking parchment.
● With electric beaters or a food mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until VERY thick and creamy - approximately 5 minutes.
● Add the zest and mix in gently.
● Gently fold in the flour and salt but do not overmix. It does not matter if some of the flour is not incorporated at this stage.
● Add the olive oil and Sauternes and fold in rapidly but gently.
● Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes before turning the oven temperature down to 325˚C and baking for a further 20 minutes to ensure the cake is well set.
● Test it is cooked by inserting a skewer. The cake is ready if the skewer comes out clean.
● Cool the cake in the tin on a cooling rack.
● When it is sufficiently cool to touch, remove the tin but allow the cake to cool completely before removing paper from base.

Rosalind Rathouse is the owner of Cookery School and Rosalind's Kitchen.

Last updated: 11:38am, December 22 2011