A slice of this Greek Isles Cake is perfect for crisp clean days! An olive oil cake—perfumed with lemon— is covered in a frosting trifecta perfection of butter, cream cheese, and mascarpone!
The Greek Isles Cake evokes a warm, summer time feel. However, the month of October commences the olive harvest. Though it’s only September, I wanted to highlight something other than apples and pumpkins.
Olive oil cake does not rise like the typical butter or oil cake. The cake puffs up, then slightly stinks. It’s texture appears thick but it’s impeccably moist, yet oddly light. Olive oil in desserts just sounds so fancy! This Greek Isles Cake is for the rich minimalist who only eats their proteins sous vide and drives to upstate farmers markets in a 2007 Forrester.
I then destroy all refinement by calling this frosting “trident” frosting. A blend of butter, cream cheese, and mascarpone. But seriously, make it and taste it. The tang of the sharp cream cheese and soft mascarpone are smoothed out by butter. Mascarpone is delicate and can’t be over beaten. Adding the mascarpone last, after the powdered sugar, prevents grittiness.
Corny as it is, the white and blue frosting cake design makes for that quintessential “Greek” look we Americans mentally conjure up. How close the colors are to real things, I can’t say, but I’d love to think such vibrancy exists in the world! So celebrate the olive harvest early with this Greek Isles Cake!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole milk, room temperature
- ⅓ cup full-fat Greek yogurt, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
- blue food gel
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease three 6-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, set aside.
- In another bowl combine oil, milk, yogurt, eggs, zest, and extracts, whisking well.
- Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, pour in wet mixture and whisk wet into dry until pockets/lumps of flour disappear and batter becomes mostly smooth. Divide batter among pans and bake for 24 to 30 minutes rotating halfway. This cake will not rise much and a toothpick test will yield a super moist, not wet, cake crumb. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes before gently inverting onto wire racks to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, this will produce a moister cake.
- Cream butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment at medium-high speed, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl. With mixer on lowest speed, gradually add powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Raise speed again to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add mascarpone and beat to combine, about 20 to 30 seconds. Tint ¼ cup frosting with blue food gel.
- Dollop a bit of frosting onto a cake board. Secure the first layer, apply an even layer of frosting, repeat with the second layer, top with the third layer. Base ice the cake and chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set the frosting. Apply a thicker, final layer of frosting, Chill 10 minutes. Decorate with blue lines around the cake.