Semolina, Olive Oil, and Honey Cake with Cherries

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This Semolina, Olive Oil, and Honey Cake is so easy to make, it almost feels like you missed a step in the process. The glaze at the end keeps the cake incredibly moist. Serve with seasonal fruit like strawberries, cherries, or blood oranges. This recipe comes from our friend Eden Grinshpan and is adapted from her fantastic new cookbook Eating Out Loud.

Recipe and photo by Eden Grinshpan

Serves 8


Semolina, Olive Oil, and Honey Cake

  • Unsalted butter for the pan
  • 1¼ c all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 c semolina flour
  • 1¼ c granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ c whole milk
  • 1 c Imperfect Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ c honey
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange

Honey Lemon Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Whipped Crème Fraîche

  • 1 c heavy whipping) cream
  • ¾ c crème fraîche
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 scant tsp vanilla extract


  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 c pitted cherries or other seasonal fruit


Semolina, Olive Oil, and Honey Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch round nonstick cake pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the semolina flour, all purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. 
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, olive oil, honey, and lemon and orange zest. 
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, whisking thoroughly to combine.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a knife or cake tester comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. 
  7. Brush with the glaze and let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan before serving.

Make the honey-lemon glaze:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, honey, and ¼ cup water. 
  2. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the lemon juice and turn off the heat.

Make the whipped crème fraîche: 

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer or a whisk), whip the cream on medium-high speed until it reaches soft peaks, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the crème fraîche, powdered sugar, and vanilla and whip again until the mixture is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

To serve: 

  1. Lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar. 
  2. Serve with the whipped crème fraîche and cherries (or other seasonal fruit).

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • You can top this honey cake with just about any fruit. Cherries are great, but figs, pomegranate, and apricots would be lovely, too. Just go with whatever you have on hand. 
  • The top of this cake will get quite dark as it bakes. If you’re ever worried about it burning, cover the top of the pan with foil halfway through baking.

1 Comment

  • Rudy Joan Lubov
    December 8, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Dear imperfect foods.

    You have an Imperfect sweet for Hanukkah. Honey cake is for Rosa ha Shona. (The celebration of the New Year usually in September). Brisket is also served then, though there is no prhabition to serving on Hanukkah. Most importantly, Hanukkah is the celebration about the miracle of a small amount of oil lasting eight nights, so it is associated with fried foods like potato pancakes and doughnuts. If you really wanted to be more than an imperfect, last week’s grocery list would have featured different kinds of potatoes, and your menus featured recipes about fried foods, especially vegetables.


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