Giulia Scarpaleggia, Food Writer

Giulia Scarpaleggia

Food Writer, Cookbook Author, Food Photographer

About Gilulia
I am a Tuscan-born and -bred food writer, cookbook author, recipe developer, and cooking class instructor. I started from a deeply rooted passion for simple, traditional Tuscan food which turned into my blog, Juls’ Kitchen, in 2009. I teach Tuscan cooking classes and maintain a blog, a newsletter, and a podcast called Cooking with an Italian Accent. I learned to cook from my grandmother and my mother, and, as a cookbook lover, from cookbooks. I am passionate about seasonal, nourishing, uncomplicated food.

I work with my husband Tommaso, who’s the head taster, photographer, videographer, and podcast producer. Juls’ Kitchen is our family project. We live in the Tuscan countryside with our daughter Livia and our two rescue dogs, Noa and Teo.

About the Recipe
Tuscans worship extra virgin olive oil, it is one of the most loved staples in our pantry, if not the most important. I cook, season, fry, and... bake with olive oil. A soft, fragrant olive oil cake is often my go-to dessert for any family gathering or dinner with friends. I love how easily it complements the best the season has to offer, as in this olive oil cake topped with juicy strawberries. Make it also with cherries, apricots, nectarines, or plums, and you’ll have a delicious, colorful dessert for all seasons.

(Watch the video above)

Ingredients (serves 8-12)

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 grams / 1 cup, plus more to sprinkle over the strawberries
  • 160 grams / ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 80 grams / ⅓ cup Vin Santo (or any other sweet wine you have in your pantry, or even orange juice)
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 240 grams / 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • handful of strawberries, quartered

Garnish

  • 450 grams/1 lb strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice of one lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F and grease and line with parchment paper a 10" round cake pan.
  2. Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  3. Stir in the extra virgin olive oil, the Vin Santo and the lemon zest until smooth: it will seem too liquid, don’t worry, it is like it has to be.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until smooth. It will be thicker than before, but still on the soft side.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, then scatter the surface with pine nuts and the quartered strawberries. Sprinkle just a bit of sugar over each strawberry.
  6. Transfer the cake to the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the cake is golden brown.
  7. While the cake is baking, quarter the strawberries and collect them in a bowl. Sprinkle them with sugar and drizzle with the lemon juice, then stir and set aside to macerate.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a cooling rack, and invert it again so the cake is strawberry-side up.
  9. Pierce the cake all over with a skewer, then pour the strawberries with their syrup on top of the cake. The syrup will soak the cake through the holes you pierced on the cake, making it moist and delicious.

Let it stand at room temperature for at least one hour before serving. It keeps well on your countertop for a couple of days or more.