Rosemary Olive Oil Cake {recipe} – Sanity During the Holidays

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
We’ve been thinking a lot about Holiday foods here in the TasteSpotting Kitchen since we’re in the final stretch of the Ultimate Holiday Recipe Contest sponsored by our friends at Thermador, and one of the questions that we’ve been asking ourselves (and answering), “What exactly IS a Holiday food?”

(By the way, yes this is definitely a BIG, notsosubtle reminder that you have the rest of this week and the weekend to get your recipe AND PHOTO together to enter into the recipe contest to win a SIX THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED DOLLAR double wall oven from Thermador!)

Naturally, we think of golden, glowing roast turkeys, perfect prime rib roasts, stuffings, side dishes and desserts with familiar flavors like pumpkin, spices, and cranberries for the Holiday dinner table. But we also think of foods that appear much more frequently during these months. Edible gifts like infused oils and vinegars, homemade vanilla extract, and jars of pretty little pickled things. Cozy weekend brunches with house guests (as if you couldn’t tell from our Bacon, Sweet Potato, and Sunny Eggs Breakfast Tart).

And for us, it’s this Rosemary Olive Oil Cake.
Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
The Holidays are Level 11 Insanity for us and everyone else who is obsessed with food and dining and entertaining. There is never one minute of quiet from baking away the leftover Halloween candy to the middle of January when you box up your wreath-shaped Bundt and assorted multi-cultural Holiday cookie cutters.

Not one minute of quiet except when, on some, random rare Thursday afternoon, you find yourself with half a moment to breathe between numbers 372 and 373 on your Holiday Prep To-Do list. Bake this Rosemary Olive Oil Cake. It will surprise you the way it surprised us. Something about the fragrance of rosemary is ultra relaxing. It satisfies a sweet craving without an overload of sugar. The cake comes together easily. It bakes quickly. And it pairs perfectly with sanity in a glass, aka “wine.”

Of course you’re hosting some sort of dinner party that night (it is a Thursday during the Holidays after all!), so you can serve the rest as dessert, not-too-sweet by itself, or a little bit fancy dusted with powdered sugar, drizzled with honey or red wine syrup, or served with an ice cream or gelato with a complementary flavor (olive oil gelato!).

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Slice

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake {recipe}

almost completely the recipe in Mario Batali’s Babbo cookbook, with our notes.


4 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt


Preheat oven to 325⁰F. Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

(TasteSpotting Kitchen Note: We used a 9″-inch round cake pan. The kind of pan you use will slightly affect your baking time.)

In a bowl of an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to beat the eggs for 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Using a spatula, gently stir the rosemary into the batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even color. The cake is done when it is golden brown, springs back when touched, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

(TasteSpotting Kitchen Note: Our cake in a 9-inch round cake pan baked in 40 minutes.)

Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling.

fresh rosemary sprigs

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Batter in Pan

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Slice

by Sarah J. Gim on November 8, 2012 · 6 comments

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

e / dig in hobart November 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm

this falls into the same category as making cakes with lavendar flowers – i’d love to try it, but i’m not confident i’d like it! i do love rosemary, but usually on roast vegies.


Shea January 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Looks so delightful… any suggestions for a gluten free version? Not sure which flour to use as a substitute without botching this up, and I really want to try this ASAP! Please help. Thanks.


Nessa February 4, 2013 at 7:13 am

This isn’t my website, I was just looking at the recipe too, and thought I could help you out with your enquiry. You could use rice flour quite easily as a gluten-free replacement, and just make sure your baking powder is gluten free too – it should say on the ingredients list.

Meghna February 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I didn’t have any rosemary and replaced it with “Carnal Sin”
Let’s see what happens !


wendy June 16, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Not sure about gluten-free, but using half almond flour half flour makes this cake lighter and it stays moist. Perhaps you could try the chick pea/fava flour with almond for gluten-free.


Sadie August 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm

I was disappointed in the texture of this cake and ended up throwing it out. It was dry. I found th3 2 tbsp rosemary a bit too strong for my tastes but it was the texture of the cake that was the most offputting. I regret not having seen the review about subbing almond flour for half the flour before making the cake and may try again to see if it’s more moist. The cake definitely wasn’t overbaked. It baked for 43 minutes in a 9×5-inch loaf pan. My oven temperature is accurate so I can’t blame a “hot” oven for the dryness. There are other versions of rosemary olive oil cake on the internet and many of them have milk, buttermilk, or yogurt in the batter, unlike this one where the moistness is dependent on the eggs.


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