The idea of putting olive oil in a cake baffled me. I had always associated olive oil with roasting vegetables and making classic vinaigrettes, never ever with baking. Nicole, our executive pastry chef, made this for us as a muffin-of-the-month flavor. The muffin was so fruity and rich! I was hooked. In addition to the basic muffin, we’ve made this into a gluten-free version and a vegan version. But I like it best baked as a whole cake, glammed up with juicy, sweet grapes on top.

This recipe is excerpted from PASTRY LOVE: A Baker’s Journal of Favorite Recipes © 2019 by Joanne Chang. Photography © 2019 by Kristin Teig. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Pastry Love received the Cookbook of the Year award from The Readable Feast awards.


Makes one 9-inch cake, to serve 8 to 10 

  • 3/4 cup/180 grams plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup/165 grams olive oil
  • 3/4 cup/150 grams superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs (about 100 grams), at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks (about 40 grams), at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 large lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1¼ cups/175 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup/75 grams almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes (about 5 ounces/150 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with a parchment paper circle (see page 23) and set it aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, superfine sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and almond extract. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and fold them together until fully combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan. Slice the grapes in half and arrange them cut side up in concentric circles on top of the batter.

3. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, rotating the cake pan midway through the baking time, until the cake springs back when you press it in the middle and a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. When cool, carefully invert the cake onto a flat plate and lift off the pan; peel off the parchment. Place a serving plate on top of the cake and turn it right side up so the grapes are on top.

4. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the cake evenly with the confectioners’ sugar to finish.

5. Leftover cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.