i’m jumping hard into citrus season this year, cannon ball style – and i’m trying to drench you all in it’s bright, flowery scented waves.
i’m not feeling as severely depressed as i usually do around this time. i am itching for a vacation though, so badly my heart aches for it. i usually get some pretty traumatizing seasonal affective disorder and i’m super dramatic about it – sleep for 14 hours, look like a zombie, eat 5 plates of pasta a day and binge watch tv from 5pm on… this year i’m more of a functioning human. it probably helps that i’m not going to a soul sucking office building every day and that my days are spent cooking and taking photos, the two things i love the most (bless you, unemployment). i’ve also succumbed to using self tanner on my face which has really improved self esteem lol.
even though we’ve been blessed with only a few snow falls and some really mild temperatures, and even though i’m in love with the dreamy grey light that comes with this weather, i’m still getting a little restless. citrus season is like beacon of hope and a reminder of summer in the bleakest month of the year. and do you know what can always, always make us feel better when things are pretty bleak? cake. i’ve found the best cure for our january blues – so good in fact, that i think i deserve a peace prize. it’s a moist, crumbly, gentle cake spiked with lemon zest and the flowery taste of olive oil. it has only a hint of sweetness, and reminds me of a gentle breeze on a spring day when i eat it. it’s just so lovely.
the cake itself is made with half all purpose flour and half cornmeal, which gives it a wonderful almost cornbread like texture, with a thick vanilla lemon glaze for a touch of added sweetness. because of the olive oil, this cake will last at least a week on the counter and stay moist, but it definitely won’t hang around that long – i can’t stop eating it!
lemon cornmeal olive oil cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup olive oil
zest & juice of 3-4 lemons (depending on the size)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain greek yogurt
preheat the oven to 350. in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the lemon zest to the sugar and mix with a fork until combined (this will smell heavenly). let rest while you combine the flour, cornmeal baking powder, soda and salt in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
add the olive oil to the sugar mixture. mix on medium until well combined, then add eggs, one at a time mixing well after each addition. add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. removed from stand and fold in the greek yogurt.
add to a greased bundt cake pan, and bake for about 40 minutes, checking on it after 35 (cake is done when a sharp knife is inserted and comes out clean). let cool on a wire rack and then remove from pan gently.
to glaze, mix 1 cup of sifted icing sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk or cream and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. stir until combined and then drizzle over cake.