A super refreshing cake made with fresh mint, lemon juice and zest, making for a wonderful combination. There’s no need to bother with frosting or even a glaze. Kept in an air-tight container, it stays moist for days and days.
As you know by now, I am a big fan of a surprise reveal for the interior of a cake (see rainbow cake, cherry blossom cake, see many other cakes here!). On the outside, this one looks like an average tea cake, one you hope will be decent enough to make do with your drink. But, hold up! Inside it’s a beautiful shade of green, made possible by blending in a bouquet of fresh mint.
What’s to love about a green cake?
There are so many things about this cake that make me happy: it is incredibly moist thanks to a glug of olive oil which is emulsified into a fluffy egg and sugar mixture; the taste is super refreshing because, in addition to the fresh mint, there’s both lemon juice and zest, making for a wonderful combination (see limonana).
And, there’s absolutely no need to bother with frosting it or even a glaze. This is literally a bake it, and it’s ready to serve. Kept in an air-tight container, it stays moist for days and days. Aside from being a wonderful cake for short-notice guests, I anticipate it will make a wonderful summer potluck cake when you don’t want to be in the kitchen too long and when you want to show up with an intriguing cake to unassuming guests who then ooh and aah at your awesomeness.
But sam! You already have a fresh mint cake with both lemon and olive oil on the blog! This is true… The other is different in a few ways but mainly in texture; there is a slight crunch from the semolina. I loved it when I made it but if you put both in front of me I would choose this one. Texture wise, I tend to favor moist cakes over crumbly and this one is a total gobble-worthy moist level. This one also has both more mint and more lemon and so the flavor is intensified.
Notes on making Mint Lemon Olive Oil Cake
This recipe is adapted from Samantha Senenvirante’s olive oil cake via nytcooking (which btw is glorious!): my main addition is the mint, of course, but I also cut the recipe by a third to fit into the more common 8inch cake pan.
Senenvirante has you sprinkle sugar on top for a bit of a crunchy topping which I did as you see in the photos. If you prefer to serve this with a glaze, skip the sugar topping. Make a glaze out of organic powdered sugar and some lemon juice. You could even add mint to the glaze by pulsing it with the powdered sugar in a food processor. Or, like I did in this aforementioned cake, press some raspberries through a mesh sieve and mix the juice with the powdered sugar.
In my trials making this, and according to many reviewers of the original recipe, the cake rose too high to fit into a 2” tall pan. Thus, for best results use a 8×3” cake pan. Don’t have one? Amazon sells this one which is perfect for this cake and any other eight incher. I highly recommend all of Fat Daddio’s cake pans – I have them in 5, 6 and 8” round, all at 3” high. The anodized aluminum material is the best for baking cakes because it’s non-reactive and bakes up an even, light cake. Read more about it in this article on Serious Eats.
Recipe for Mint Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Mint Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lemon and mint join forces here to make up a full flavored incredibly moist tea cake.
I made this a couple times, and am already planning a third go! It was easy to follow and produced the most lush cake. Super moist, super flavourful, such a big hit even with those that shied away from citrus. It was a perfect balance of lemon and mint once I really packed in the cup with mint leaves. A new favourite!
I love this recipe! It definitely inspired a lifelong love of olive oil cakes and was the perfect thing to bake in the spring. I used a bundt pan and it came out just as wonderfully!
Is there any particular type of mint that you recommend, my cake lacked the minty taste and the intense colour that yours has. Wondering what went wrong. Tasted lovely, more lemon than mint tho. Very moist.
Sheela, you probably didn’t add enough mint. It shouldn’t be a loosely packed cup, you want to really pack it in.
Amazing! Tastes a little like a mojito 🙂
The cake was a wonderful surprise! The balance of mint and lemon together with the olive oil in a cake was eye-opening! My husband loved it too.
Sam, keep making these amazing and uncommon flavour combos in bakes…we really appreciate it!!!
Could you make this as a loaf?
Lovely cake! Very refreshing – thanks for such an awesome recipe!!