Pine Nut Olive Oil Cake


White wine–glazed persimmons, fruity olive oil, and rich pine nuts come together with tuiles and vanilla ice cream in this simple yet elegant cake.

Pine Nut Olive Oil Cake
Active Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs

Olive oil and pine nuts are the heart of this simple, yet elegant cake. Served with white wine, spice glazed persimmons, wafer-like tuiles, and vanilla ice cream, this tender cake acts as a sponge to soak up the gingery persimmon syrup. Use an oven with uniform temperature and heat circulation to ensure your tuiles come out evenly browned.



  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (about 10 5/8 ounces), plus more for pan

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • ½ cup pine nuts


  • 2 large egg whites

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • teaspoon fine sea salt

Glazed Persimmons

  • 2 (750-milliliter) bottles unoaked dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)

  • 1 medium-size (11-ounce) orange

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 6 whole star anise

  • 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 vanilla bean pod, halved lengthwise

  • 2 pounds firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons (about 8 small persimmons), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges (about 5 cups) 

Additional Ingredient

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil. Line bottom with parchment paper. Lightly grease and flour parchment paper and sides of springform pan; set aside.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together milk and lemon juice in a small bowl; set aside.

  3. Combine sugar, eggs, and lemon zest in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually stream in olive oil, beating on medium-high speed until mixture is well combined and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat until just combined, about 20 seconds. Transfer batter to prepared springform pan, and smooth top using a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with pine nuts.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cake cool in springform pan 15 minutes. Remove sides and base of springform pan, and let cake cool completely, about 1 hour. Do not turn off oven.

While cake cools, make the tuiles:

  1. Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar, and whisk until sugar dissolves, about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Cover and chill until batter is cold, about 20 minutes.

  2. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter for each tuile onto prepared baking sheets, spacing batter at least 1 inch apart (6 tuiles per baking sheet). Using the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula, spread each scoop into a 4-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). Sprinkle evenly with pine nuts and salt. Bake in 2 batches at 350°F until light golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool completely on baking sheets, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Make the glazed persimmons:

  1. Bring wine to a boil in a medium saucepan over high. Boil, undisturbed, until wine reduces to about 1 1/2 cups, 45 to 50 minutes. Peel orange rind into large strips (about 1/4 cup); reserve orange flesh for another use. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in orange rind strips, sugar, star anise, and ginger. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, discarding pod; add seeds to sugar mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. Add persimmons; simmer, stirring occasionally, until persimmons are tender, 20 to 35 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a low simmer. (The liquid should never come to a boil.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer persimmons to a medium bowl; set aside. Pour poaching liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium bowl; discard solids.

  2. Return poaching liquid to saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high. Boil, undisturbed, until liquid is reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, is syrupy, and coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in reserved persimmons.

  3. Cut cake evenly into 12 slices. Top each slice with 1/3 cup glazed persimmons and syrup. Serve with 1 tuile and ice cream.

Make Ahead

Glazed persimmons can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator. Warm over low until heated through before serving.

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