As you all know by now, I am a big fan of a surprise reveal for the interior of a cake (see rainbow cake, cherry blossom cake, see many other cakes on the blog.. lol). On the outside, this one looks like your regular tea cake that you hope will be decent enough to accompany your afternoon. But, hold up! Inside it’s a beautiful shade of green, made possible by blending in a bouquet of fresh mint. I dunno about you, but just the idea of that really excites me!
There are so many things about this cake that make me happy: it is incredibly moist thanks to glugs of olive oil which are emulsified into a fluffy egg and sugar mixture; the taste is super refreshing because, in addition to the fresh mint, there’s both lemon juice and zest, making for a wonderful combination (see limonana). Lastly - there’s absolutely no need to bother with frosting or even a glaze. This is literally a bake it, and it’s ready to be a show-stopping cake. Kept in an air-tight container, it stays moist for days and days. Aside from being a wonderful tea cake to serve to short-notice guests, I anticipate it will make a wonderful summer potluck cake when you don’t want to be in the kitchen too long and when you want to show up with an intriguing cake to unassuming guests who then ooh and aah at your awesomeness.
But sam! You already have a fresh mint cake with both lemon and olive oil on the blog! This is true... The other is different in a few ways but mainly in texture; there is a slight crunch from the semolina. I loved it when I made it but if you put both in front of me I would choose this one. Texture wise, I tend to favor moist cakes over crumbly and this one is a total gobble-worthy moist level. This one also has both more mint and more lemon and so the flavor is intensified.
Mint Lemon Olive Oil Cake
This recipe is adapted from Samantha Senenvirante’s olive oil cake via nytcooking (which btw is glorious!): my main addition is the mint, of course, but I also cut the recipe by a third to fit into the more common 8inch cake pan.
Senenvirante has you sprinkle sugar on top for a bit of a crunchy topping which I did as you see in the photos. If you prefer to serve this with a glaze, skip the sugar topping. Make a glaze out of organic powdered sugar and some lemon juice. You could even add mint to the glaze by pulsing it with the powdered sugar in a food processor. Or, like I did in this aforementioned cake, press some raspberries through a mesh sieve and mix the juice with the powdered sugar.
In my trials making this, and according to many reviewers of the original recipe, the cake rose too high to fit into a 2” tall pan. Thus, for best results use a 8x3” cake pan. Don’t have one? Amazon sells this one which is perfect for this cake and any other eight incher. I usually find my cake pans in TJ Maxx or Home Goods for cheaper than amazon. I highly recommend all of Fat Daddio’s cake pans - I have them in 5, 6 and 8” round, all at 3” high. The anodized aluminum material is the best for baking cakes because it’s non-reactive and bakes up an even, light cake. Read more about it in this article on serious eats.
200g milk (about 3/4 cup) milk
1 cup mint, rinsed and patted dry
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
⅔ cup olive oil
180g flour (about 1 ½ cups) flour
Heaped 1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
freshly grated zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Heat oven to 375. Butter and flour an 8” round, 3” high, cake pan.
In a food processor or blender, blend the milk and mint until the mint is totally combined. It will look light green at first, and will darken as you make the cake batter.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or bowl fitted with a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, zest and sugar until thick and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
While mixer is running, drizzle in the olive oil slowly, allowing it to emulsify and thoroughly combine.
Add mint milk and lemon juice, and beat to just combine.
Add dry ingredients and beat to just combine.
Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of granulated sugar.
Bake and check for doneness at 30-35 minutes.