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

50 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandra says:

    Thank you!!
    Am making this today
    Cant wait for my first taste!

    1. Sandra, did you make it??

  2. What a beautiful, light cake. Perfect for the season. Though it is raining quite heavily here.

    1. Oh, it’s raining here too…perfect weather for cake!

  3. What a lovely, easy cake. Must be olive oil cake season, I just made an orange and olive oil (I also used extra virgin) and it was delicious!

    1. Oh, orange would be heavenly…

  4. I’m generally not big on sweets, but I bet I’d love this!

    1. I’m yet to meet anyone who says no to Ciambella!

  5. Pamela Green says:

    This looks so comforting, as you say. It would be just perfect for an Easter brunch too. What is self-rising flour by the way? Would this be the same as All-Purpose Flour?

    1. 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!

  6. Silvia…I made this last night…posting on my website and linking back to you, too!! Boho’d a tad…amazing amazing!! xo

    1. Thanks, you beautiful lady! Your version is stunning…

  7. Alex says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, and sounds delicious. I want to sit in the sun and eat a slice of this

    1. Yes, sun would be ideal, it’s raining heavily in Sydney right now…

  8. Adri says:

    What an absolutely beautiful ciambella! Complimenti!

    1. Thanks Adri! Raffi made me do it again today…

  9. Su Drzewicka says:

    Made it yesterday. Absolutely delicious! Hope your book sales are doing brilliantly.

    1. Thank you Su! Very happy you liked it!

  10. Stephanie Fawcett says:

    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

    1. Dear Stephanie,
      I hope the cake turned out well!

      1. Stephanie Fawcett says:

        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!

  11. Hi Stephanie,
    I love how baking is part science part instinct!

  12. Stephanie Christison says:

    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!

    1. Oh, that sounds amazing!

  13. Kate says:

    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!

  14. Nadia says:

    I made this on the weekend and my Zia loved it and said it tasted just like hers!

    1. That’s the best compliment!

  15. Jeanette Green says:

    what size cake tin—-thank you

  16. Mary Siljanovski says:

    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.😃

    1. You can use almond milk!

  17. Mags says:

    Hi, Can you confirm the amount of flour for me? Is it 2/3 to 1 cup? Or is it 1 and 2/3 cups. Is a little confusing.

  18. diemmie64@hotmail.com says:

    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.


    1. Thank you! I think It’s my favorite too!!

      1. Nancy Greco says:

        Silvia, I love your recipes and your show as well. You have such a beautiful soul. Question, in your episode you added ground almonds, can I add them to this recipe? If so do I reduce the amount of flour? Tanti Auguri

      2. Yes, good thinking

  19. Darlene says:

    How do you make it into a loaf like your picture what size loaf pan

    1. My loaf tin is 22x10cm

  20. Monique says:

    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.

    1. Oh, I Iove to hear it! W i nonni! x

  21. Conny scheffker says:

    Hello. May i ask were I can nut the tin u used for the ciambella?

    1. Any home wares shop should stock them

  22. 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 🇳🇴

    1. Thank you so much! xxx

  23. Claude says:

    what size tin do I use for the cake?

    1. You can use a regular sized bundt cake tin

  24. Paula Daniel says:

    This is my favourite cake, so moist and wonderful with coffee

    1. Yes, it’s the best!!

  25. Josephine Bruzzese says:

    Making this at the moment. Is it 1 and 2/3 cup of flour? The amount of flour is not very clear. Please clarify thanks so much xx

Leave a Reply to Claude Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s