Food The Bite:

Camilla Marcus’ Olive Oil Cake Is Fluffy, Decadent, and Irresistible

Words by Sacha Strebe.

Natalie Black
Natalie Black

When we’re craving something sweet, there’s only one thing that can satisfy our tastebuds and that’s cake. From pumpkin loaf to blood orange bundt or chocolate soufflé, we love them all. There’s just something about the spongy moist, fluffy texture of this age-old dessert that we simply can’t resist. And one of our favorites would have to be the classic olive oil cake recipe. There’s nothing quite like the delectable power of this cake and Camilla Marcus’ California rendition is fluffy, decadent, and downright irresistible. Consider this your new go-to! It’s also a great simple recipe to feed a crowd.

We caught up with Marcus recently for our series, The BITE to learn all about her food philosophy, favorite kitchen tool, entertaining tips, and so much more. Be sure to scroll to the end for her famous olive oil cake recipe and be sure to tag @camilla.marus when you share your creations on Instagram. 

NAME: Camilla Marcus 

PROFESSION: Chef, Entrepreneur, and Activist

INSTAGRAM: @Camilla.Marcus

WEBSITE: westbourne.com 

PHILOSOPHY ON FOOD? Nature offers the most powerful and exciting inspiration, and I am driven to unlock and share the super~natural power of vegetables most specifically. By being more mindful in our kitchens and about what we eat and drink, we can change the planet we pass down to future generations. It starts with returning back to the earth.

A LITTLE ABOUT THE RECIPE YOU’RE SHARING WITH US? This recipe represents my shared love of California and Italy and celebrates the beauty and richness of olive trees. I studied abroad in Rome when I was younger and it was such a formative time in my life. To me, there’s nothing like the holiday season in that city, filled with light and love. This olive oil cake is fluffy, decadent and irresistible, and quickly has become one of my hosting and gifting signatures. For those who want to make dessert easy this season, we are selling a limited-edition olive oil cake infused with chamomile flowers through west~bourne… ready to slice served with a dollop of crème fraîche, drizzled with olive oil, and finished with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt.

Ashley Barrett
Ashley Barrett
Camilla Marcus’ Olive Oil Cake Is Fluffy, Decadent, and Irresistible

COOKING MAKES ME FEEL… alive and connected. It’s my love language.

BRIEFLY, HOW YOU CAME TO DO WHAT YOU DO: I’ve always loved to cook. It is the perfect harmony of science and art. More than anything, I’m passionate about community and bringing people together. Growing up, I learned that community building happened around a table sharing meals.

BIGGEST SINGLE INFLUENCE ON YOUR COOKING STYLE? Growing up in California, the heart of our country’s agricultural bounty. Being raised on local farmer’s markets and knowing the people who grew and made our food was transformative and beyond fortunate.

THE RECIPE OR MEAL YOU’RE KNOWN FOR? I’m known actually for not liking to make the same thing twice. I’m constantly growing, a work in progress, and so are my recipes. I live to experiment and play jazz in the kitchen. Fun fact: I did a big cooking event for 300 people and made four dishes I’d never done before.

ESSENTIAL KITCHEN TOOL? I think a mandolin is highly underrated.

TRIED-AND-TRUE ENTERTAINING TIP? It’s the little touches that make all the difference, and I believe in not being too polished—using something from around your house to decorate the table, going with mixed plate ware, and embracing candles where you can. Personal, human, textured, and relaxed—and the happier the host, the more fun and memorable the gathering. I also believe that even breakfast in the morning with your family (or just yourself) is as good an occasion as any to make an effort.

Camilla Marcus’ Olive Oil Cake Is Fluffy, Decadent, and Irresistible
Camilla Marcus’ Olive Oil Cake Is Fluffy, Decadent, and Irresistible

3 INGREDIENTS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT? Herbs, Meyer lemon, and mushrooms. 

QUIRKY FOOD HABITS? I thrive at the cross-section of sweet and savory and love to bend those boundaries. Spicy desserts, using fruit for savory dishes, and including different herbs in just about everything.

MIDNIGHT SNACK? West~bourne moon pop.

BEST SOURCE FOR FOOD AND RECIPE INSPIRATION? Any local farmer’s market. 

SOUNDTRACK IN YOUR KITCHEN? Chance the Rapper. 

MOST SWOON-WORTHY RESTAURANT? Right now, I’ve got a love affair with Kato and Found Oyster in Los Angeles. And, I always dream of everything Shelley Kleyn Armistead creates at Gjusta in Venice. 

I CAN NEVER RESIST… putting crème fraîche on almost anything.

THEY SAY YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT—WHAT ARE YOU? Persimmon—sweet, savory, and adventurous.

CALIFORNIA OLIVE OIL CAKE

Camilla Marcus

Ingredients

2 large eggs

1 cup olive oil

½ cup milk

1 ½ cups sugar  (can use coconut sugar, brown sugar, or honey)

½ cup fortified wine

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

¼ tsp baking soda

1 tbsp kosher salt

 

To serve, optional: 

Dried flowers 

Olive oil 

Crème fraîche

Method

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Depending on your oven, you may want to bring it up to 350 degrees. 

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter over again. Then put in refrigerator to cool.  

While the cake pan is cooling, whisk eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl then gradually add in olive oil, milk, and wine. Sift in dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and kosher salt). Whisk slowly just until smooth (be careful not to over mix or it will turn bitter).

Pour batter into pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. 

Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. 

To Serve

If you’d like, sprinkle with dried flowers (like chamomile), drizzle with olive oil and/or top with a spoonful of crème fraîche.

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