Food Emperor

Lemon and olive oil cake

By October 28, 2014 Cooking, Sweet

I’m not really into generic sponge cakes. They’re rarely moist, because recipes call for way too long oven times, and people tend to over bake them and/or hold back on the fat, making the cakes stale after just a couple of hours. And then there’s this idea that you definitely need chemical leaven (baking powder or baking soda) to make a cake fluffy. The problem with baking powder and baking soda, is that it does give the cake a chemical flavor. It can be minimized by carefully making sure that there’s just enough acid in there to neutralize the sodium bicarbonate, but I find that the method often fail. Unlike yeast leavened creations, where one could very much say “I like the yeasty notes”, I don’t think a lot of people would say “I like that metallic sodium bicarbonate flavors in there”. There’s something called Irish soda bread often with just that flavor. Not very good compared to a freshly baked sourdough loaf. However, as a matter of fact, you can make a cake leavened mechanically by whipping air into it. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with this one. And the generous amount of olive oil not only gives it a wonderful flavor, but also keeps the cake moist for a long time. It’s probably one of my favorite sponge cake recipes.


Time it takes

About 15 minutes to prepare the ingredients, and to mix it all up. And then about 30 minutes in the oven, but don’t look at the time. Look at the inner temperature!


  • 160 g of sugar (a little more than 2 dl)
  • 20 g of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg yolk (yes, real bakers will say that it depends on the size of the egg, but come on…)
  • 110 grams of egg white (so egg white from about 3 average eggs)
  • 25 g of lemon juice (2,5 cl, so about half a lemon)
  • 3 vanilla beans (just the seeds, scraped out, or a teaspoon of pure real vanilla powder)
  • 3 g of lemon zest (from about half a lemon, that is)
  • 115 g of wheat flour (that’s about 1.92 dl, so just under 2 will do, it’s not a life or death situation. Some will say you need the industrially blenched stuff to get the right texture, but I prefer my organic one)
  • 160 g of extra virgin olive oil (a little more than 1,7 dl, so just put in about 1 and 3/4 dl, and you’ll be fine)
  • 8 g of salt (that’s about three pinches of salt. Use a good flaky sea salt, it tastes better and its quite pleasant to touch)
  • And you’ll need two bowls or containers in which you can mix stuff.

This is how you make it

  1. Combine about 110 g of the sugar (1.2 dl), the egg yolk, all the lemon juice, all the vanilla bean seeds, and the lemon zest. Whisk it, either by using a stand mixer or the classic hand held type.
  2. Sift all the flour into the sugar mix, while mixing. Gradually. If you have a friend holding a hand mixer, then you’re all set. If not, then I guess you have to stop, sift in a little, mix, and then stop again.
  3. Now pour in olive oil in a slow stream. You don’t want the thing to separate, you want a nice consistent batter. So take it easy (there’s lemon juice in there, which is full of water, that doesn’t like fat). Set the mix aside, and prepare a new bowl.
  4. Into the new clean bowl, add all the egg whites and 2 g of salt (about one pinch, that is). Mix on high speed until the eggs are all foam. We’re not looking for meringue foam here, we’ll get to that stage in a moment. Just generally foamy for now.
  5. Gradually add the rest of the sugar (that should be a little more than half a deciliter)
  6. Now mix the heck out of those egg whites, until they form peaks, and you can pretty much turn the bowl upside down without the content falling out)
  7. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. I use a spatula and do it one third at a time, incorporating while at the same time trying not to beat the air bubbles out of the mixture. You see, as I mentioned in the introduction, we’re using mechanical leaven here, the tiny air bubbles are our friends)
  8. Set the oven to 165 °C / 329 °F. I recommend you buy a cheap little oven thermometer, so you can check what the actual heat in there is. Don’t trust your oven knobs. Unless you have an extremely expensive oven that controls the heat in there and keeps it constant.
  9. Coat a 22 cm (about 9″) springform pan with butter and dust it with flour. Pour batter into pan.
  10. Pour batter into the pan, and place it in the oven. Stick a thermometer in there. Using time as a unit of measurement, is really bad. The cake often turns out undercooked or dry. Instead, buy a cheap meat thermometer. Stick it into the cake. When the thermometer shows that the inner temperature of the cake is 95 °C, it’s done. Take it out and let it cool completely.
  11. Once the cake has cooled, mix the confectioner’s sugar with the rest of the salt (about two pinches) and sprinkle it over the cake. It looks very generous, but it’s excellent. The saltiness and the sweetness works absolutely wonderful. As a matter of fact, salt has the effect that it makes sweet taste even sweeter.


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  • Dominyk October 29, 2014 at 21:38

    Jakie to kurrrwa dobre!

  • Kurwa, takie niesamowite ciasto! | VidShaker October 30, 2014 at 06:52

    […] The full recipe is here! […]

  • Rufus October 30, 2014 at 18:45

    Zrobiłem i coś zaczęło spadać z nieba !

  • Luca October 31, 2014 at 18:36

    Hey Food Emperor, what’s up? Luca from Italy here.

    Had to bake a cake yesterday so I gave yours a try, needless to say it was delicious. My batter didn’t turn out as smooth as yours did, and the cake is also a bit thinner but the taste amazed pretty much everyone that tried it!

    Photo evidence of what’s left of the final result (as you can see, even the plate is wet):

    Thanks again for your videos,


    • The Food Emperor November 3, 2014 at 13:57

      Look at that! Amazing! Can I use your picture on my Facebook site?

    • tuhaj December 12, 2014 at 00:39

      use good butter. if u cant get it – make it (damn troublesome)(but worth it) gl anyway 🙂

  • Lex November 2, 2014 at 17:58

    Give me a song title please !

    • The Food Emperor November 3, 2014 at 13:55

      It’s a specially written soundtrack!

  • Gr4b4rz November 6, 2014 at 00:03

    Cześć! Prosze Cię abyś dał mi tytuł piosenki! Uwielbiam twoje filmiki!

  • MartaMinako November 7, 2014 at 03:19

    Con questa torta romantica mi hai conquistato! Vieni in Sardegna a cucinare per me! 😀 Ti adoro FoodEmperor! <3

  • Massimiliano November 9, 2014 at 16:25

    Hi mighty Food Emperor! Today I tried this cake, the result was fantastic! Here a picture (you can use it in your fb page!)

    • The Food Emperor November 9, 2014 at 16:38

      Fantastic! I published your picture on Facebook =)

  • Przemek November 11, 2014 at 18:51

    Czy muszę używać takiego termometru z kablem, bo w domu mam taki do mięsa co się wbija i cały siedzi w piekarniku?

    • The Food Emperor November 18, 2014 at 11:21

      You can.

    • The Food Emperor November 18, 2014 at 11:22

      Możesz używać taki zwykły termometr!

  • Ted November 18, 2014 at 02:25

    Bardzo ciekawe ciasto. Trochę przypomina babkę cytrynową. Faktycznie – oliwa musi być najlepszej jakości i nie można przetrzymać ciasta w piekarniku.
    Oto co mi wyszło (płaskie bo nie mogłem znaleźć mniejszej blachy):
    Najważniejsze, że bardzo smakowało Małemu:
    Dziękuję za przepis, bardzo smaczne sweek&salty.
    Będę próbował kolejnych przepisów i gratuluję pomysłowości!

    • The Food Emperor November 19, 2014 at 23:26

      Dziękuję bardzo. Mogę pokazać te fotki na Facebook i w następnym filmie?

      • Ted November 20, 2014 at 16:10

        Oczywiście. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.

  • Paweł November 27, 2014 at 01:14

    Hey Food Emperor 😉

    It turns out that I have only bigger rectangular baking tray at home – so the cake should be taller to make an effect. In that case, may I just double (or multiply by 1,5) the ingredients proportions or will it kill the recipe, because e.g. the edges will overburn while the inside will be raw? Should I decrease the temperature a bit then to avoid burning (provided the bigger proportions)?

    BTW. Thanks a lot for what you`re doing here. I made Kurczak Pierdolony last Saturday and it was aweeesome. It may not look that pro as yours, but you bet it was great! 😉


    • The Food Emperor November 27, 2014 at 16:24


      I’m glad you like the recipes. Multiplying by 1,5-2 will work, because it’s cooked on quite low heat. Use a thermometer to make sure you don’t overcook it, though. The old trick of sticking a pin into it and see if it comes out clean, only tells you if it’s undercooked or not hence it doesn’t tell you if it’s over cooked. Don’t make the cake too thick, though, or it will take too long to cook through and might become dry close to the surface.

  • Paweł November 27, 2014 at 20:31

    Thanks a lot! will test it soon then 😉

  • Ines Moskal November 29, 2014 at 00:25

    Just tried the ‘raw’ batter and it tastes bitter. It tastes like olive oil, I hope the heat will heal it 😀 Poczekam kurwa.

  • getroxetrox November 30, 2014 at 23:31

    Mighty Emperor!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    I’ve recently done some of your great dishes and your cake … and it’s more than wonderful 😀

    Of course, here are some photos 🙂

    Thanks to Konrad they are more than HQ, you can use it if you wish so 🙂

  • pigropandagropanda December 11, 2014 at 21:01

    Hi, Food Emperor!
    I gave a try of this magnificent cake, yesterday, and I can’t send you any decent photo because it was over almost immediately.
    After reading the comments to the post, I tried to multiply the ingredients for 1,5, since my only pan is 26cm, with some adjustments because I don’t even want to think to cut a yolk in half (I’m very far from a Real Baker)… It worked! But the bottom of the cake tried to burned (that bastard), I suspect that’s because my oven is mean (+ I didn’t find a oven thermometer yesterday).
    I found very interesting the technique of using a meat termometer to check the inner temperature of the cake. How did you learn this technique? Is there any book/blog you would recommend in order to get this kind of “scientific” information?
    Con immutata stima, la saluto,

  • kasiorka December 13, 2014 at 09:36

    can i just ask: for how long did you keep the cake in the oven? tylko orientacyjnie

    • The Food Emperor December 13, 2014 at 13:14

      About 20 minutes. But time isn’t the best way of measuring it. I really recommend two thermometers. One external to tell you your true oven temperature (because ovens lie), and one to measure the temperature inside your cake/meat to know when it’s ready.

      • kasiorka December 14, 2014 at 10:21

        Thank You Food Emperor!!!

        • The Food Emperor December 22, 2014 at 23:03

          You’re welcome Kasiorka!

  • delstar December 15, 2014 at 05:19

    Super ciasto. Co zachwyca to, ze zadnej chemii nie ma i ze skladnikow, ktore zawsze sa w domu. Zrobilem wedlug przepisu lecz pozniej zdjelem cukier puder i zrobilem lukier cytrynowy – wisienka na torcie 🙂

  • meimei December 17, 2014 at 22:03

    Wow. If this one doesn’t get you laid, I don’t know what will.

    Perfect (took 35 mins in my oven, though..):

    Thanks! 🙂

  • meimei December 29, 2014 at 00:07

    Oh, I did. But your cake would better for afters 🙂

  • Magda December 30, 2014 at 12:11

    May I use spelt flour?
    Pozdrowienia z Polski!

    • The Food Emperor December 30, 2014 at 13:29

      High-ratio cakes like this one need bleached wheat flour. You’ll get a too dense and flat cake if you use spelt although it is a very tasty flour indeed. But not for this cake. Generally I don’t recommend 100% spelt flour for anything that needs to be fluffy or chewy. When you make pizza, use half spelt and half regular flour.

      • Magda December 30, 2014 at 15:06

        Thank you Food Emperor

  • Przemysław Osłowski January 14, 2015 at 13:23


    kilka dni temu zrobiłem ciasto na podstawie tego przepisu. Wyszło rewelacyjnie. Mięciutkie, kruche. Czekam na inne Pana przepisy.


  • zaraza January 18, 2015 at 01:09

    What about apple pie…?

    • Przemek January 18, 2015 at 11:33


      ciasto jabłkowe jak najbardziej..!

      • The Food Emperor January 23, 2015 at 19:13

        Uspokój się!

    • The Food Emperor January 23, 2015 at 19:13

      It’s actually coming!

      • zaraza January 24, 2015 at 10:55

        Whoa! Hellyeah! Can’t wait for it! Hope it’ll be awesome <3

  • Szymon Rychlik February 28, 2015 at 19:00

    Mój panie, mistrzu, kapitanie statku życia, królu wszechwładny, co gromisz plebejuszy – Food Emperorze!

    Zrobiłem to przefantastyczne ciasto dokładnie stosując się do Twych bezcennych poleceń. Jest wyśmienite tak, że z radości merdam swoim leniwym chujem, który przed wzięciem pierwszego kęsa obleciał już całą polską okolicę 9000 razy, aby głosić chwałę tej kulinarnej kreacji. Wybacz mi tylko jedno… W euforii źle posmarowałem blachę, przez co mój szlachetny wypiek przykleił się trochę do niej. Próba wyjmowania go z formy zakończyła się sromotną klęską. Jest to perła smaku, która przybrała kształt końskiego gówna. Jeszcze raz wybacz. Następnym razem zrobię to perfekcyjnie, obiecuję. Tutaj przesyłam zdjęcie :

  • Czesław March 24, 2015 at 21:34

    Dear Emperor,
    There is a small mistake in recipe with ingredens. There is written: “160 g of extra virgin olive oil (a little more than 1,7 dl, so just put in about 1 and 1/4 dl, and you’ll be fine)” but 1,7 dl is almost 1 and 3/4 not 1/4. I know it is a small mistake but maybe you want to change it.
    PS. Nie bądź leniwym kutasem albo leniwą pizdą i popraw.


    • The Food Emperor March 24, 2015 at 21:38

      You’re right. I’ve corrected it now.

      • Czesław March 25, 2015 at 17:25

        No, you didn’t

        • The Food Emperor March 25, 2015 at 21:23

          I mean now!

  • toffik June 14, 2015 at 20:14

    Z żółtkiem i resztą to mieszyamy zwykły cukier czy cukier puder? Mam wątpliwosci bo na filmiku jak bym widzial zwykly cukier a tu pisze puder.

    • The Food Emperor June 23, 2015 at 13:26


  • Kasia June 26, 2015 at 16:32

    in the oven! 🙂

  • Kasia June 28, 2015 at 11:03


  • Emilia July 18, 2015 at 17:41

    Oh my fucking God! Made it, tasted it, loved it. You are genius! The best sponge cake I have ever had. Poland loves you and I love you from now on.

    • The Food Emperor July 29, 2015 at 14:38

      You are the best Pole in all of Poland!

  • Anita September 23, 2015 at 22:20

    Pycha!! Tylko strasznie mało tego wychodzi. Ja bym podwoiła składniki.

  • Adam November 27, 2015 at 12:44

    That sucks i think , sorry man , i did all how it should be and it is a piss of crap, other cakes i made are good but that is “kurwa jakie to chujowe”