Spiced Pumpkin Cake from Zut! Restaurant in Berkeley


From our Winter 2012 article,  The Making of an Olive Oil Culture


Photo by Stacy Ventura

This lovely cake will be appreciated on any winter holiday table. Try a medium, peppery extra-virgin olive oil

Serves 8

1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup (4 ounces) pumpkin purée
¼ cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 325° and prepare a 9-inch cake pan by brushing the inside with a little olive oil.

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream together olive oil and sugar. Beat in the egg and then add the pumpkin purée, combining thoroughly.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape bowl well to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the center springs back to a light touch.

Serve with candied walnuts (below), a generous dusting of powdered sugar, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Candied walnuts

1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 cup chopped or halved walnuts

Melt brown sugar in a pan with water. Toss walnuts to coat. Turn out onto a sheet pan and allow to dry thoroughly before using.