Lemon, semolina and olive oil cake

Citrus, semolina and olive oil cake.
Citrus, semolina and olive oil cake. Photo: Marcel Aucar

The olive oil in this fragrant, sticky and lemony cake gives it a large, moist crumb that's best enjoyed while still warm. You could serve this on its own or with cream, custard or ice-cream, and it's also delicious with the sour and savoury tang of hung yoghurt. You can keep the cake for a day or two, just wrap in cling film and store in an airtight container.


4 extra-large eggs

2 lemons, zested and juiced

150g castor sugar

150g honey

350g fine semolina

150g almond meal

2 tsp baking powder 

200ml extra virgin olive oil

100g plain yoghurt 

Lemon syrup

200g castor sugar

2 lemons, zested and juiced


1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan-forced or 180C conventional. Grease and line two 23-centimetre loaf tins.

2. Use a whisk attachment to beat the eggs, lemon zest, sugar and honey until pale and fluffy, about three to four minutes.

3. Mix the semolina, almond meal and baking powder together. Fold half into the egg mix, then fold in the olive oil, yoghurt and lemon juice and keep folding until well combined. Finish with the remaining semolina mix.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and smooth over. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cakes has crumbs on it when removed.

5. To make the syrup, add the sugar, lemon zest and juice and 30 millilitres of water to a small pot, bring to a simmer, stir until dissolved and take straight off the heat.

6. Pour half the syrup over the cakes while still in the tins and set them aside for 10 minutes before unmoulding. Pour the remaining syrup over the top of the cakes, slice and serve.


1. Whisk the eggs until they're really light and fluffy, don't be concerned about over-beating them.

2. Different types of honey will impart distinctive character to this cake, so experiment to find your favourite.

3. Storing almond meal in the freezer will keep it fresh by preventing the oils from going rancid.