Lemon and Olive Oil Ciambella

DSC_3497 Quite simply, my personal idea of comfort food. I suppose you can trace this back to when I was a child and mum would invariably turn to this treat for a Sunday afternoon tea. There was nothing more soothing then hearing those familiar kitchen sounds from my bedroom, where I’d be pretending to do my homework. By the third egg shell being cracked, I’d turn up in the kitchen offering to lend a hand, which in my world meant lick the bowl (and all the utensils). And so these days I make this cake for my two boys. The ritual is the same, I slave, they lick, but once the cake is out of the oven, we can all rejoice!

INGREDIENTS, serves 10/12

2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks

1 cup of caster sugar finely grated

zest of 1 lemon

seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste (or extract)

1/2 cup of olive oil (go extra-virgin if you like a bit of extra flavour, like I do)

1/2 cup of buttermilk

1-2/3 cup of self raising flour


1. Preheat your oven to 180 C, 350 F. Grease and flour a bundt cake tin

2. Beat the eggs with sugar until pale and fluffy

3. Add lemon zest, vanilla and oil and whisk well DSC_3469 4. Add the flour and mix gently, alternating with the buttermilk to create a smooth batter

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and a cooked through. Insert a wooden skewer in the centre of the cake to make sure it’s baked to perfection. If it comes out clean, happy times! Otherwise give it another 5 minutes in the oven

6. Cool at room temperature in its tin for at least 1 hour, before turning out onto a platter


Silvia’s Cucina is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Silvia’s Cucina the cookbook is available in stores and online Author-Bio1-Silvia

42 thoughts on “Lemon and Olive Oil Ciambella

    • Hi Pam, self raising flour is popular here in Australia, it’s an all purpose flour already mixed with baking powder. You you can’t find it, just use all purpose and add 1 tablespoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Ciao!

  1. Hello Silvia, making this wonderful recipe today but at an elevation of 1055m will there be any changes of temperature or length of cooking time in this recipe (or any other of your lovely baking recipes)? Thanks

      • Dear Silvia,
        The flavour was delicious, but too dry and coarse in texture. Your photo of the cake resembles a pound cake which is quite moist and dense. I am making this recipe again and will convert temperature (increase by about 11 C with less time baking); increase liquids and decrease sugar by a teaspoon and or two to compensate for our high altitude in the Canadian Rockies. Ah, who knew high school science would come in handy in baking? Wish me luck!

  2. Hello Silvia,
    This is now my “go to” recipe for a dessert! I have just experimented by using orange zest and the juice of half the orange and a two teaspoons of Cointreau. Adding 25 to 50 ml of liquid helps at this altitude. I also make it with an icing sugar glaze oozing down the sides of the cake. I love your new site and wish you success with your new show and book. Congratulations! Hopefully I’ll be able to see it soon on Youtube. Next up is the chicolate chip tea cake!

  3. I just made this last night and it is sooo good! I added lemon juice to mine though since I wanted more lemon flavor. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  4. Silvia Hi, would really like to make this cake but I just noticed it has buttermilk, I have Lactose intolerance, could I use Lactose free butter and milk, if so could you please let me know how is the best way to make this. Thank you.😃

  5. Hi Silvia,
    I made this and the Ciambellone yesterday and this morning and it turned out beautifully and very scrumptious! The Lemon and olive Cake is definitely my favourite. Thank you.


  6. This is the best Ciambella recipe !…works every time I whip one up for Nonna & Nonno to have with their morning espresso. Except I need to make two at a time, because they eat half a cake each !!! Thanks Silvia.

  7. Thanks Silvia!
    I’m Brazilian and live in Norway! I just love your program! This cake I guess is wonderful! Your small boy helping you was sweet! Regards from Norway 🇳🇴

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