A family friend is Greek and sent me a honey from Ikaria. It is a little smoky and tastes of caramel. Bees never cease to amaze me in what they create. I wanted to bake it into a cake and decided to go with other flavors you might find on that Greek island. Olive oil, of course. It is best known for savory dishes, but I think it is beautiful in desserts. I like a fruity oil, but you can use an extra virgin if you don’t want anything too over powering. Lastly, but not least, cherries. Apparently they abound in Ikaria and they pair beautifully with honey and olive oil, so they were the natural pick. I used sweet cherries, but I think sour cherries would be even better and they are in season at the moment. You could use any other fruit you like and add them in the same way.
Watch the cherry olive oil cake come together in a video on my instagram page.
Cherry Olive Oil Cake
1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (300g) olive oil (I used a fruity one, but an extra virgin olive oil may be more to your liking. You can use any oil you like to bake with, or a combination of the two)
1/2 cup (165g) honey (I used an Ikarian honey from Greece, but use what you have and love)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make your own)
2 tablespoons kirschwasser (cherry brandy) or brandy
3 cups (382g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cherries
1 tablespoon flour, for tossing cherries
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream (may need even more to make pourable)
1 tablespoon Kirschwasser
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
To bake (see video on my instagram page):
Preheat oven to 325°F
Grease a 10-cup Bundt Pan with lots of butter and then dust with flour, tapping out any excess.
Whisk together the sugar, oil, honey, eggs, vanilla, and kirsch in a large bowl. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then fold the dry into the wet, until there are no lumps or dry flour. Toss cherries with flour (this prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the cake).
Pour a 1/3 of the batter into prepared pan, scatter some 1/3 of the cherries over the batter. Try to avoid having the fruit at the edge of the bundt, since they like to stick to the pan. Repeat with another 1/3 of the batter, then cherries. Repeat with remaining batter and cherries.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs, but is not liquid.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes. It should still be quite warm when you turn it out of the pan or it may stick. If you turn it out right away the cake may fall apart.
Invert the cake onto a cooling rack or directly onto a serving plate and let it cool completely.
The cherry olive oil cake is good enough to eat just like this, but the glaze is fantastic!
To make the glaze:
Stir the cream, honey, kirsch, vanilla bean and cherries (crush the cherries to release their juices and color) together in a small bowl. If the glaze is too thick add more cream. If the glaze is too thin, add more sugar.