Dessert, Food

Cherry, Almond and Olive Oil Cake

Nicoletta September 1, 2015

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There are flavors that are part of me, of my roots, my memories, my life. Flavors that reflect who I am, what I love, and where I want to be. Flavors that take me back in time, to beautiful familiar places, surrounded by intimate faces, contagious laughs, placid settings. My family has an olive tree grove up on a marvelous hill not far from Rome, enclosed by foothills and serene small towns towering over top. It was my grandfather’s and now it’s ours, our pride and joy, and a source of an excellent first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, not much, but enough for the family. My grandfather is still alive, he is 95 and other than being a little deaf on one ear and blind on one eye he is doing pretty good for his age. Until last november my grandma was still with us, too, she was 97 when she passed away, leaving a hole in our lives that we’re trying to fill with all the enormous remembrances. I feel so very lucky to have had all those years with them. What a blessing.



When my grandpa was feeling that old age was getting on him, he divided that piece of land with the olive trees among his sons and daughters for them to take care of. I have so many great memories of picking olives all together on a beautiful sunny fall day (usually at the end of november, beginning of december): joyful voices scattered all around, the sound of the olives falling on the covered ground or in baskets, my father climbing to the top of the trees to shake the branches and my mother yelling at him to be careful. And at lunch time we would take a break and have a nice picnic under the olive trees, our appetite voracious from the hard work. The sky deep blue, the sun warm on our faces, so precious. I am a city girl but even a city girl likes a little time in the country 🙂 .

cherry, almond and olive oil cake

This brings me to the cake I am baking today, a cake where the olive oil is the main character, in flavor, texture and scent. An amazing cake, moist and fluffy, with juicy cherries that burst in your mouth when you bite into them, and almond meal that gives the mild nuttiness and sweetness. Such a perfect cake, this Cherry Almond and Olive Oil Cake, such a revelation. My mother used to tell us stories that when she was little, during the war, she would fill her hungry belly with cherries, still her favorite fruit. She would love this cake.

cherry, almond and olive oil cake6

It is also a gorgeous cake to look at, gorgeous in a modest, humble way, possessing the rustic beauty that you find in the countryside, just a dab of powder, a touch of cherry rouge.


Try it, you will be amazed at the intriguing flavor of this Cherry, Almond and Olive Oil Cake, where all the qualities of the ingredients harmonize in a superb, unbellished pastry.

cherry, almond and olive oil cake4


Today’s song, an italian classic : “Volare by Domenico Modugno. Nel blu, dipinto di blu…


The recipe is adapted from Food 52’s Grape, Almond and Olive Oil Cake.


Cherry, Almond and Olive Oil Cake

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch round pan 1x


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pitted halved cherries
  • olive oil spray for the bottom and sides of pan
  • icing sugar for the topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk by hand the yogurt, olive oil, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice until well blended (this could also be done in a blender or stand in mixer).
  3. Add the sugar, flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  4. Spray a 9″ pan with olive oil. Press lightly the cherry halves decoratively into the batter, cut-side down.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until a wood skewer comes out clean.
  6. Let cool on a rack.
  7. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
  8. Enjoy.
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P.s. It is already september…can you believe that? Where did the summer go?? Well, while you’re reading this we’ve just landed in Italy for our most deserved holidays. We won’t abandon you, though, our posts will come out as usual…I told you we cooked up a storm before leaving… 😉 . Check also our Instagram page @sugarlovespices once in a while to see what we’re posting from my beautiful Country!


Disclosure: All links in our post are NOT affiliate links. They are only about products or places we normally purchase and like.  

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  • Avatar
    Reply karrie @ Tasty Ever After September 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Nicoletta, I say this with the utmost respect but you gotta stop posting all these wonderful recipes because I don’t have time to make them all!! hahaha! Seriously, this cake looks awesome and one I will definitely be baking very soon. I love reading about your family and life stories. Also, I’m inviting myself to Italy to visit your family’s olive grove (I’ll help with the harvest) and to cook with you all in your kitchen so I can learn how real Italian recipes/techniques. I tried to grow 6 olive trees when I lived in Tennessee for college in my early twenties. Some local organization was selling all sorts of trees to raise money for Arbor Day and I was the only one to buy the olive trees. Needless to say, the trees didn’t grow so that ended my stint as a olive farmer. 🙂 Hope you and Loreto are enjoying your time in Rome!

  • Nicoletta
    Reply Nicoletta September 3, 2015 at 7:43 am

    This cake is delicious…really! By the way, now that you’ve said so many times that you want to come to Italy, if you don’t come we would be so disappointed! lol Let’s plan it, or even a visit to Canada, it would be a start. Olive trees are beautiful, you were the only one to see their beauty and grace, but they’re not easy to grow. Thanks, we are enjoying our time here immensely, we’re just back from the beach 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Yum Girl October 6, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Welcome to Yum Goggle! We are now following you on all social media and hope you will do the same. We will tag you where we can as we promote your posts on up to 14 platforms. This is a gorgeous cake by the way! Kelli at YG.

  • Nicoletta
    Reply Nicoletta October 6, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you so much, Kelli!

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