When I was a kid my grandmother used to make a Bundt cake almost every week of the year. She always wanted to have something ready to offer when a visitor, usually unannounced, arrived at our home. I always remember her cakes, and other baked sweets, with a lot of love and tenderness. Our home always had that welcoming smell of baking that still resonates with me and radiates joy. You see, my grandmother lived with us until her death and generously shared her love and care through her delicious dishes and hugs.
What I didn't know about my grandmother's cake is that it's quite healthy! It is a Mediterranean take on the classic Bundt cake and substitutes butter with extra virgin olive oil. A lot of people are afraid that the distinct taste of olive oil will be too pronounced - I respectfully disagree. If your extra virgin olive oil is of good quality, then there will be no aftertaste. On the contrary, the cake will have a delicate aroma, and it will be moist, especially if you will also use Greek yogurt instead of milk. I hope you will enjoy one of my childhood favorites as much as I still do!
2 ½ - 3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Philippos Hellenic Goods extra virgin olive oil, plus 1-2 tbsp for oiling your mold
2 cups sugar (or 1 1/2 if you don't have too much of a sweet tooth)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup greek yogurt (nonfat works, too)
1 tbsp lemon and/or orange zest (optional but very flavorful!)
A few tbsp of powdered sugar for garnishing (optional but very Greek)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Oil a Bundt cake mold using a brush and 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil. Add 1-2 tbsp of flour, shake to make sure every part of the mold is dusted with flour, and toss the excess. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix really well with an electric mixer or a hand mixer the olive oil and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is fluffy.
Add one by one the eggs, continuing to beat everything together.
Add the yogurt, vanilla and zest and mix well.
Start adding the flour, half cup at a time. You might only need 2 1/2 cups of flour, depending on the kind you use. You want your batter to be fluid but not too fluid nor too thick....as my grandmother used to say, "you just know!"
Pour the mixture into the mold and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean and dry.
Let the cake cool on a rack. When cool, invert it on a cake plate and enjoy.
If you want to add a last Greek touch, top it with powdered sugar using a sifter or sieve. In Greece, we love to have a piece of cake with our afternoon coffee or tea, at breakfast, as an after-school snack...pretty much any time of day!
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Pasta night goes Greek thanks to our friends at Pinwheel Provisions.
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