Lemon-Olive Oil Cake with Cranberry Glaze

"This cake is unfussy, it stays moist and the cranberries make the most gorgeous naturally colored glaze," says Molly.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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For the Cake

Unsalted butter, for the pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)

3/4 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

For the Glaze and Topping

1/2 cup cranberries, thawed if frozen

1 tablespoon water, plus more if needed

1 cup confectioners sugar, plus more if needed

Pinch of kosher salt

Assorted decorations (Molly uses halved cranberries, sliced almonds, fresh thyme, candied rose petals and sugar pearls)


  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, almond meal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds and lemon zest. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and yogurt until very smooth. In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar and olive oil until combined, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the almond extract. Whisk in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the yogurt mixture in two batches, whisking well after each addition. 
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Combine the cranberries and water in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, smashing the cranberries with a rubber spatula as needed, until they start to break down and release their juices, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on the solids with the rubber spatula and scraping off the bottom of the sieve. Add the confectioners' sugar and salt and mix until the glaze is smooth and spreadable. (It will seem like a lot of sugar at first but it will eventually incorporate.) If the glaze is too thick, add a couple drops of water. If it's too thin, add a pinch of confectioners' sugar. 
  5. Spread the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing some to drip down the sides. Decorate as desired.