I baked my share of olive oil cake so BAKED Explorations’ recipe for Mom’s Olive Oil Orange Bundt did not initially excite. The recipe may even seem a bit fussy with the extra leavening step of folding whipped egg whites into the batter. I decided early on to play around with this recipe to add a few of my own personal touches.
Instead of orange, my choice of citrus is lemon for this cake. This started as a simple matter of saving an extra trip to the grocery store. However, once I decided on lemon, pairing it with thyme made a lot of sense. I always love the herbal pairing of lemon and thyme especially in shortbread cookies. So why not a bundt cake too?
Although the recipe said this cake is delicious with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar, I could not resist the allure of a puckery lemony glaze. I once made David Lebovitz’s Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze. I do not remember much about the cake but the unexpectedly crunchy glaze left me wanting more. Rather than only using confectioner’s sugar, granulated sugar is added to the mix. Before the granulated sugar has a chance to melt, the glaze is applied to the cake and thus creating a nice crunchy texture. Just a small change in ingredient and the result is completely different.
After all my little tweaks, my cake is more appropriately named Olive Oil Lemon Thyme Bundt with Crunchy Lemon Glaze.
I really enjoy the mix of refreshing lemon and herbal thyme. This combination works particularly well with the fruity olive oil background note in the cake. In order to draw out maximum flavour, I rubbed the grated lemon zest and thyme leaves into the sugar until fragrant. Rubbing releases the oil which are the carrier of flavour. Aside from this minor change, I followed the direction of the original recipe closely. The extra leavening from the whipped egg whites cause this cake to rise to tremendous height, filling up the entire 10-cup bundt pan effortlessly. I really like the tight crumb of this bundt cake.
The olive oil lemon thyme bundt is delicious on its own without garnish. It fits right in at breakfast or tea time. However, if I pair the cake with a bit of mascarpone spiked with limoncello, it can easily transform to an elegant dessert. You can get the original recipe over at BAKED Sunday Mornings and of course see what other bloggers did with this week’s recipe.
More olive oil cake from the archive: