Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake with a Honey Lemon Syrup


Simple, bright, lemony and springy. This Meyer lemon olive oil cake was the dessert I chose to serve for our last day living in New York. As I sat in my living room watching sequence after sequence of lightening and thunderstorms almost supernatural pummeling through the landscape of the Northeast, I reflected on the last two years. With a warm cup of tea in my hand, a slice of this fabulously moist cake in the other, I curled up in the corner of my sofa staring at the skyscrapers across the way. I almost couldn't believe that it was over. No more of those piping hot chewy Manhattan bagels, no more walking to La Maison du Chocolat for a chocolate macaroon whenever it struck me, and no more waiting in line for 20 minutes for the check out stand at Whole Foods.



Midtown East

Two years ago I was reluctant to move here when my husband announced that he was offered a new job, and now I sit here much to my surprise reluctant to leave. I've had a lot of time to reflect these past few months pacing in the evenings through our 1,000 square foot apartment with our newborn Alex. My best memories of this city were with friends going out to new restaurants. I kick myself these days for not going out more often when I had the chance.

Queensboro Bridge

So I start yet another new chapter in my life, one imbued by change. I take with me fond memories of exciting meals with friends, long strolls through Central Park with my husband and the hope that maybe someday our son, the driving force for our departure, will come back to this city and make it a home for himself.

Brooklyn Bridge

Since this is rather a bittersweet moment, lemon olive oil cake seemed appropriate, a reverberation of the old mantra making lemonade out of lemons. While the original recipe for this fabulous lemon olive oil cake calls for plain old jane lemons, I was lucky enough to have sweet Meyer lemons on hand courtesy of my good friend Sherry Page, who generously sent me a box full of this special citrus from her garden. Thank you to my darling friend Sherry!

Lemon Olive Oil Cake
From Gourmet Magazine April 2006
The original recipe does not call for lemon honey syrup, but I thought it was just the antidote to provide a bit more weight to an otherwise lofty and airy cake.  The recipe calls for use of a springform pan however I've successfully baked the cake in a pie pan. Just make sure to butter whichever type of pan you decide to use. 
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (extra-virgin if desired), plus additional for greasing pan
  • 1 large lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 5 large eggs, separated, reserving 1 white for another use
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Lemon Honey Syrup
From Fresh Local and Best
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
Method
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease springform pan with some oil, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Oil parchment.
  2. Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons and whisk together with flour. Halve lemon, then squeeze and reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  3. Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice, beating until just combined (mixture may appear separated). Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.
  4. Beat egg whites (from 4 eggs) with 1/2 teaspoon salt in another large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until foamy, then add 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, and continue to beat until egg whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes.
  5. Gently fold one third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
  6. Transfer batter to springform pan and gently rap against work surface once or twice to release any air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around edge of pan and remove side of pan.  
  7. In the mean time, make the lemon honey syrup. In a small sauce pan, warm the lemon juice and honey over low heat. Stir until combined. With a fork, prick the cake across the surface. Drizzle the lemon honey syrup evenly over the cake. Cool the cake for an hour.
  8. Remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment. Sprinkle the powdered sugar with a sieve on top of the cake. Transfer cake to a serving plate.
Serves 8-12

49 comments:

Mari said...

Great NY pictures! The cake looks delicious, and very appropriate to bring sweet sunshine to a cloudy day. I have yet to try lemon cake with olive oil, but if it tastes as good as it looks I am willing to try it. I can't believe Alex is already having his first big move, congrats and wish you the best in your new home.

Have a wonderful week.

Chiara said...

Wonderful pictures Christine !This lemon cake looks delicious,I love it!have a good day....

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

You've captured NY in your photos beautifully Christine. Love the idea of the Meyer lemon cake to celebrate your move. I married a man who's jobs up the corporate ladder moved us all over the place and quite frequently. I've lost count of how many homes we've had. At first I dreaded moving, but I quickly got used to it and am much better a person for having lived in so many different places. Just think of the places little Alex will go...
Sam

Simply Life said...

what fun cake!

Much to My Delight said...

It must be so difficult to get comfortable and attached to a place and then have to leave. Hopefully you've made some good friends here that will let you sleep in their spare bedroom when you come back to visit (I just laughed at this comment as I don't know anyone with a spare bedroom in NYC).

The combination of flavors in that cake sound so wonderful. I'd love to try!

Best of luck with your move:)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

You have had quite the adventure in NYC - something you'll always treasure. I'm sure the new place holds endless opportunity as well. The cake is a luscious way to conclude your Manhattan adventure.

lostpastremembered said...

The first time I made olive oil cake I was amazed at the beautiful texture. Yours looks perfect and love the lemon syrup addition.

Where are you going??? I am so sorry we never did that field trip to D'Artagnan!!

Have a great time where ever you go!!

Belinda @zomppa said...

What a gorgeous cake! It's PERFECT!! I want some. Ah, it is a bit sad and nostalgic to leave New York. When I moved from there, I was ready for a new phase, but knew I would miss all those things you speak of. I especially miss Central Park. The great thing is that when you return for a visit, it is like visiting home again. Safe travels.

sally said...

Yum! I love the combination of lemon and olive oil! Good luck with your move and settling into your new place.

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Good luck with the move!

El said...

I can't believe you're moving! Where are you guys headed next? Wherever it is may you be blessed with some green space and a good organic farm nearby. Good luck with everything!

El said...

And the cake looks sensational too. I actually have been wanting to try a good olive oil recipe and this looks like the one!

Lauren (Healthy Delicious) said...

you're moving?? :( I've been meaning to drop you a note - we'll be in the city at the end of the month if you're around.

bellini said...

Olive oil cakes I would have to say are my favourite. I once made a Meyer Lemon and Poppy Seed cake which is one of my favourite cakes no matter what. Good luck with your move, and I assume welcome back to the West coast:D

tasteofbeirut said...

You had the luck to live in New York, Manhattan, that is a gift in itself and now that life that gifted you with a darling boy, there are other things to focus on; I treasured my three months spent in Soho till now,,wish I could have been there for thirty years but life took another turn. Love that cake! That's what I call leaving in style!

Kim said...

I hope you love your new home every bit as much as you loved NYC.

You chose a beautiful cake to celebrate with. It's beautifully hued and looks incredibly moist.

Good luck!

nancy at good food matters said...

Change--our only constant! I have enjoyed how you have captured the majestic beauty that is particular to New York City in your blog--the places, people, food. We all look forward to seeing what new beauty you'll find and share from your new home and neighborhood.
all best wishes. Nancy

ps the meyer lemon-olive oil cake looks scrumptious.

Megan said...

Congrats on the move -- even though it seems bittersweet. And wherever you're going, you may still stand in line at Whole Foods for 20 minutes. :)

The cake sounds delicious! Bright, light flavors.

Barefoot Pregnant and In The Kitchen said...

Looks amazing!! I am bookmarking this recipe for future baking. I can't wait to taste it!

Andrea @ HighLowFoodDrink.com said...

Oh my goodness - you're moving? Hope I can pop by before you go - when are you leaving? Email/text me - would love to catch up if we can before you go!

Diana Bauman said...

Oh Christine, I've been thinking about you. I need to catch up with you. Wishing you the very best!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I hope the move is a successful and trouble-free one and that you find much happiness in your new home. The cake is simple and beautiful--looks like a perfect way to close out your time in NYC. ;-)

Lori said...

This cake is gorgeous as are the rest of the photos. I love Meyer lemons, but have some limes to use so I may try them in this.

You are so great with words and create such emotion with them. Best wishes in your move. It is so great that you are always open to new experiences. I think that is one of the most important things in life. Never pass on an opportunity, even if it doesn't seem to be dressed as an opportunity the moment its offered. It will always turn into one.

Odile said...

Un maravilloso pastel. COmprendo tu tristeza por abandonar NY. A menudo pasa eso, no quieres ir a un sitio nuevo, y luego no quieres abandonarlo, es la vida que gira y gira. Feliz mudanza!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

It was great while it lasted but there's a time for everything. I still remember when you were looking for a new apartment :)

Best of luck to you and your wee family on your move, Christine! The lemon cake was the comfort food. It looks delicious!

Wonderful NYC photos!

Otehlia said...

good luck with your move! When one door closes, another opens. At least I try to believe that. The cake looks delicious.

lisaiscooking said...

Lovely photos. The Queensboro Bridge is a beauty from that angle. And, this cake certainly makes lemonade out of lemons. Best of luck with your move!

Amish Stories said...

A very nice recipe with some great pictures of New York city. I love the combo and a job well done!. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon,pa.

Lori Lynn said...

HI Christine - best wishes for the next step in your life's journey. Looking forward to reading about your new town, and Alex.

The cake is so pretty.
LL

Beth said...

You've had so many changes in your life this year. Good luck with the move, and I hope the cake made your farewell a little sweeter.

Sherry said...

Christine, I am always happy to send lemons to you, my dear friend! I think you will absolutely love your new home!

Barbara said...

I know you're going to miss NYC, but you'll have fun making new memories someplace else too. And you can always visit, right?
This lemon cake is the perfect way to say goodbye to a city you've grown to love so much. No regrets, Christine, you'll make good friends, make a new home and find new places to eat wherever you travel.

bunkycooks said...

Good luck with your move and your new home! Moving can be a wonderful thing.

Amish Stories said...

Happy fall to those who live in the big city, and in the country. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon,pa

Emily said...

change is always difficult, but there always adventures ahead to look forward to. :) best wishes!

Gloria said...

This look beautiful!! Happy Fall! lovely pictures, gloria

Amish Stories said...

I had to drop by again and look at your very well done images. Richard from Amish Stories.

Velva said...

What did I miss? You are leaving NYC?
You have lived in some great cities...San Francisco, New York City......Amazing.

There is a new life journey waiting for you. Embrace it. It's going to all be worth it.

This is a beautiful lemon olive oil cake.

Cheers to you!

Velva

Amish Stories said...

Thought id stop by anl look at your images of New York city again. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.

Haddock said...

Spme lovely pictures here, (including the first one)

Yes we move to a place very reluctantly and then we get used to the place ...... happens every time.

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

great cake and wow your leaving u will miss it so much are u headed home

Sook said...

What great pictures, Christine! Also your baby is so cute! Mine is already almost six months old.. Time just flies. :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

I love olive oil cakes, they have the most amazing soft texture and to me, they are much better than the butter based cakes. Your lemon cake looks beyond scrumptious!
*kisses* HH
p.s. no more bagels??? Quelle horreur!!!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I too have recently become a reluctant repat. The inertia of moving places is amazing - reluctant to go there and once there (and one the move), reluctant to change course.

Take care - change and moves are good. You'll see things with fresh eyes, get the chance to 'start' again, the way you want with the impact you desire, there'll be opportunities but you'll long for the old...and loved... and known.

All the very best, XXX

SKIP TO MALOU said...

Best wishes on your move Christine. I certainly could relate as I recently moved too. I know it's exciting, scary and sad all at the same time... indeed bittersweet.
Good luck,
Malou

SKIP TO MALOU said...

Btw, beautiful pictures of NYC!

Jamie said...

What a stunning cake! While everyone is staring at the gorgeous NYC skyline pics, I'll be stealing a second slice of this wonderful cake. I will be making this! And, ah, I laugh as my husband and I stare out our window and try and curb our desire to run away and find somewhere new and exciting to set up home, a new place to discover. You'll find peace and happiness wherever you go with your two men. :-)

Yasmeen said...

It's my first time finding your blog - you've captivated me with your story about leaving NYC and then your analogous cake :)

I love all things lemon and olive oil, so it goes without saying that this cake suits me. I'm also particularly fond of NYC - I now live on the opposite side of the globe, but used to take frequent trips there with my mom (from DC) to catch a show, eat, and just stroll. Good luck on your next adventure!

OysterCulture said...

You are killing me with this dessert, I am such a sucker for meyer lemon. Best of luck on the next phase of your adventure and I cannot wait to see what happens next.