For years I was in search of a recipe for a loaf-style cake made with olive oil and sweetened with dessert wine. I wanted something moist enough that it would be delicious on its own, but also plain enough that if served with, say, berries, it would let the berries stand out. I was never able to find the right recipe in my cookbooks or even after searching online. So eventually, I just started tinkering with pound cake recipes until I created what I was looking for. I am happy to say that it has satisfied me and everyone I have shared it with. If you are a wine lover, you will love the way the essence of the dessert wine comes through. You might want to sip some of that same dessert wine with the cake.
When you make this cake, do not skip adding the glaze. It’s essential to add that extra bit of moistness and flavor. If you are serving this to someone who abstains from all alcohol, you could substitute lemon juice for the couple of tablespoons of wine used to make the glaze. The wine used in the cake is cooked, so that should be less of a concern. But to be honest, this is a cake for people who like wine. There are so many other cakes for everyone else. But the perfect wine cake has taken me years to obtain, so pardon me if I encourage you to share it with your friends who love wine.
Although you may be tempted to eat the slices all by themselves, there is something about this style of cake that cries out to be served with perfectly ripe berries. Strawberries are my favorite, but an assortment of raspberries, blackberries or even blueberries would be delicious, too.
- 1 5 x 9-inch metal loaf pan
- Parchment Paper
- Stand Mixer
- 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup unbleached organic cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup cup olive oil
- ⅔ to ¾ cup dessert wine late harvest or Moscato wine, use up to 3⁄4 cup for a moister cake
FOR THE GLAZE
- 2-3 tablespoons dessert wine
- ½ cup organic powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350° and position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Lightly butter a 9- by 5-inch metal loaf pan. Line the bottom and the two longer sides with parchment paper.
- Sift to combine the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
- Beat the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and then add the vanilla extract and the olive oil, continuing to beat for approximately 5 minutes. Add the mixture of dry ingredients alternating with the wine a little at a time while beating at low speed just mixing until everything is incorporated. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, and bake for 45–50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- While baking whisk 2–3 tablespoons of dessert wine into the powdered sugar until smooth and pour over the cake when it comes out of the oven. Cool the cake on a rack before taking it out of the pan. Slice and serve by itself or with Strawberries in Pinot Noir. The cake is even better the next day.
Photo by Erin Feinblatt