Olive Oil Cakes

Nom nom nom!

I’m a stress baker these days. It’s pretty much where this blog came from.

The second my life starts to get busy, when it’s a little more difficult to breathe but I’m nowhere near suffocation, I start baking. I consider ingredients, flavors, and shapes. Do I want something with fruit or chocolate? Both perhaps? Neither? What kind of fruit?  What kind of chocolate? What can I add to make it a *little* bit different, to give it that tiny hint of something new? And what form will it all take? Is this a cookie, a cupcake, a full-blown cake, or muffins? Do I want to try a new shape or technique?

The possibilities are endless.

And the prospects are sometimes much more interesting than the idea that baking all of this will eventually give me diabetes and perhaps hypertension so maybe it would be useful to do the studying I’m supposed to be doing instead of dreaming of disease-causing treats.

But, I digress.

Baking. It calms me.

I sometimes let it be my reward.

Sharlene, if you do 50 questions and get at LEAST 60% right (I realize that percentage isn’t great in grade school but in med school it’ll have to do lest I go insane) you can bake a batch of brownies.

Sharlene, if you finish writing up that history and physical you can eat a brownie you just made.

Sharlene, if you read up on atrial fibrillation, you can eat your third brownie since you have no self-control.

Who are we kidding, Sharlene. We all know you need to eat half the tray and feel sick to your stomach at this second because since eating the first brownie you’ve gotten 7 questions wrong since you’re concentrating on EATING ANOTHER so much.

My inner monologue.

At this point in time, my abs (can you talk about your abs even if you’re unsure they’re there under the layer of blub?) are screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Luckily, that blub is there to muffle their screams.

These little cakes are a bit addictive. I added some strawberries and it was seriously a party in my mouth. Highly recommend the addition. I ate 2-3 a day until they were gone. Boy liked them too. He would have had seconds had I left him enough to do so.

Pioneer Woman never fails me.

Olive Oil Cakes
adapted from Ree, but originally from Food Network Magazine

Yields 12.

For cake:
1 tbsp melted butter
2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c whole wheat [I’m trying to use more whole wheat flour because it’s healthier.. this small alteration wasn’t even noticed!]
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 eggs
1/4 c olive oil
2/3 c milk
4 strawberries, sliced

For glaze:
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350F.

Butter up a muffin pan and dust with a bit of flour. Whisk together the flour, the baking powder, salt and thyme in a small bowl.

In a blender, pulse the sugar and lemon zest in a blender until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, then gradually pour in the olive oil and milk, pulsing about 30 seconds or until it becomes a thin batter. Don’t overblend! Pulse pulse pulse, check, pulse a little more, check, check, check, pulse. You get the idea.

Add the dry ingredients to the blender in 2 batches until just combined. [See above note on pulsing and checking if you need some guidance.] Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake. Ten minutes into baking, take pan out of oven and layer several pieces of strawberry on top. Place back into oven for another 15 minutes or so [about 25 minutes total of baking time] until the cakes just start to pull away from the sides of the pan and spring back when lightly touched.

While waiting, make the glaze by combining the three ingredients until smooth. You can add more lemon juice if you want it a bit more sour. Drizzle over the cooled cakes and garnish with a thyme sprig.

Sorry I couldn’t save you any 🙂

– Sharlene


  1. Joanne Said:

    Your inner monologues sound suspiciously like my inner monologues.

    And I know what you mean about 60%…it’s amazing how med school makes us lower our standards.

    As for diabetes and hypertension. I’m not too concerned. i maintain it’s fast food that gives you those things and not home baking. Somehow I don’t think the people in this country are obese because they made one too many key lime pie.

    These cupcakes sound awesome! I don’t bake with olive oil enough…need to get on that.

  2. Sues Said:

    I was totally cracking up the whole time I was reading this. Hilarious! And partly because I do the exact same thing when I’m working. “Write 2 more articles and you can eat a cookie.” But then I remember I’m an adult and I can do whatever I want and I eat them before I finish. Anyway, these olive oil cakes look and sound absolutely delicious! Pioneer Woman has never failed me either!

  3. Jessica Said:

    Oh geez! You are calling my name with these! And your “Nom Nom Nom” just proves to me I must make them! 😛

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