Olive Cake

In the fall of 2015, my husband and I spent a lovely vacation in the Provençal countryside with our friend Stéphane Gabart. If you’re not familiar with him, you should be. He’s a professional culinary guide, chef and photographer. View his inspiring work at his website Stéphane Gabart.

Before this trip I’d already visited him twice – once with my daughter, and the other time with a girlfriend.

This trip was different in that we traveled from Bordeaux through Provence, ending up at le Côte d’Azur. So for two full weeks, we really saw Provence, thanks to the itinerary Stéphane customized for us. I wasn’t familiar with many of the villages, like Boulbon, Gordes, Grasse, and Tourrettes. All were awe-inspiring.

Near Aix en Provence, we visited a working olive farm, Bastide du Laval, had a tasting, and walked the trails amongst the olive groves.

This photo shows Niçoise olives ripening.

At every happy hour in Provence, along with our cocktails, we were served olives. Some were whole, some were made into tapenade, and all were delicious.

At one hotel we were served olives with what I’m sure was olive cake – a savory quick bread baked in a loaf pan, called cake salé in France.

The olive cake I’m making today is reminiscent of the lovely bread I enjoyed while sipping rosé underneath golden sycamores. Who doesn’t love that?!

This is the recipe I’m using, although I can’t credit anyone or any publication; I couldn’t even find it online.

Savory Olive Cake

I pretty much made the recipe as is, except for increasing the cheese to 7 ounces, all grated, and omitting the ham.

 

The bread/cake turned out perfectly.

I served it still warm with cheese, olives, salami and oven-roasted tomatoes.

I think the cake would have been fine with just the olive oil and tapenade, but the chopped olives added a nice texture.

Next time I will make this olive cake the same way.

note: I omitted the ham in this specific recipe, but if you want something more fun, check out my raclette quick bread, pictured below.

It contains sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta, raclette, olives, and herbs. It just shows how creative you can get with a basic savory quick bread recipe!

By Published On: April 13th, 2021135 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

135 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet June 22, 2017 at 6:22 AM - Reply

    Great recipe Mimi and lovely to read of your trip with Stephane

    • chef mimi June 22, 2017 at 6:24 AM - Reply

      It was really an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime trip.

  2. Nadia June 22, 2017 at 6:29 AM - Reply

    A good olive cake for apéro is lovely. I am not a fan of green olives and always use black olives. My favourites are a very spicy Greek olive with birds eye chillis. Addictive, I have 6 with my apero every evening.

    • chef mimi June 22, 2017 at 6:30 AM - Reply

      These are picholine olives, from Provence. Really really good!!!

      • Nadia June 22, 2017 at 6:34 AM

        The choice of olives is quite amazing. My olive seller at the market on Tuesdays has at least 12 different kinds on any given day.

      • chef mimi June 22, 2017 at 6:41 AM

        I’m so envious !

  3. smartvegrecipe June 22, 2017 at 6:56 AM - Reply

    love it,I saved recipe!

  4. chezlerevefrancais June 22, 2017 at 7:55 AM - Reply

    We fight over green olives in restaurants! Love the idea of this cake, especially with the cheese. Think it’s one to try out on the neighbours :)

  5. Kiki June 22, 2017 at 8:11 AM - Reply

    I’d never had thought of making an olive cake savoury (in fact, I haven’t ever made olive cake, but usually the ones you see aren’t savoury ones).
    I just detected a feature photo of you in one of Stéphane’s post – great picture!

    • chef mimi June 22, 2017 at 8:02 PM - Reply

      Oh no, I’ve been with the grand baby today – I’ll have to check that out!!!

  6. A Cookbook Collection June 22, 2017 at 8:37 AM - Reply

    That looks so good Mimi!

  7. M.L. Parma June 22, 2017 at 9:56 AM - Reply

    what a nice picture, and the recipe must be delicious….. >

  8. Darya June 22, 2017 at 10:14 AM - Reply

    Great pictures, Mimi. Cake aux olives is a wonderful picnic staple in France. I love how the olives make it moist and fragrant. I could have it any time during the summer. I once spent a summer in Provence, and a local wine-grower invited me and a some friends to a tasting, but he got really upset that somebody brought an olive cake, as he said it would adulterate our perception of the wine (he was certainly right, but I still enjoyed the two together, rosé and olive cake… yum).

    • chef mimi June 22, 2017 at 8:02 PM - Reply

      Yeah, it seems like the two go really really well together!!!

  9. Kim Bultman June 22, 2017 at 10:31 AM - Reply

    Another stunning recipe (and photos), Mimi… thank you. Thanks for the links to your raclette recipe, too, as well as “My French Heaven.” Good reading and good eating!

  10. Fourth Generation Farmgirl June 22, 2017 at 1:22 PM - Reply

    Sounds lovely. Beautiful photos! :)

  11. Debbie Spivey June 22, 2017 at 1:25 PM - Reply

    I love everything about this and have pinned this for later. What a great vacation!

  12. Jill Caravan June 22, 2017 at 1:39 PM - Reply

    Can’t wait to try this. Hope it works well with kalamata olives.

    • chef mimi June 22, 2017 at 8:00 PM - Reply

      Hi! I think it would, but maybe use a tapenade that isn’t all Kalamatas? They so wonderful, but strongly flavored.

  13. Lathiya June 22, 2017 at 4:53 PM - Reply

    Looks great…thanks for sharing the recipe and your story

  14. Laura @ Feast Wisely June 22, 2017 at 5:24 PM - Reply

    Yum Chef Mimi I love olives and so know I’d enjoy this bread – always nice too when food brings back happy holiday memories 😊

  15. Linda Duffin June 22, 2017 at 7:07 PM - Reply

    The olive cake looks delicious, I’m definitely bookmarking that. I read this post on my ‘phone earlier today and then got home to find not only had you written about Stephane, but he’d written about you! Two of my favourite bloggers all in one place. Lx

    • chef mimi June 22, 2017 at 7:58 PM - Reply

      I haven’t seen that yet! Wrangling the grand daughter today!

      • Linda Duffin June 23, 2017 at 6:50 AM

        Hope you’ve got your chaps and spurs on. :)

      • chef mimi June 23, 2017 at 6:53 AM

        I just need to be able to run faster!

  16. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso June 22, 2017 at 7:43 PM - Reply

    I’m a huge olive fan so love adding olives to breads whether inside or on top. Love this version using Tapenade and cheese. It looks so tasty! :)

    • chef mimi June 22, 2017 at 7:58 PM - Reply

      It’s very good – I think you’d approve!

  17. anotherfoodieblogger June 22, 2017 at 10:07 PM - Reply

    What a fantastic recipe Mimi!The ham would be delicious in it too. I do enjoy savory breads. I enjoyed hearing about your trip again with Stephane.

    • chef mimi June 23, 2017 at 6:40 AM - Reply

      Thank you. Yes, the ham and other goodies work really well, in this cakes i wanted to keep the bread about olives.

  18. Lisa @ cheergerm June 23, 2017 at 1:01 AM - Reply

    Beautiful looking loaf and great memories of a wonderful sounding trip Mimi.

  19. Francesca June 23, 2017 at 4:19 AM - Reply

    Oh Mimi that looks fabulous and one I look forward to doing when the sun returns. Great that Stepahne has returned to blogging too.

    • chef mimi June 23, 2017 at 6:39 AM - Reply

      I know! I’ve been bugging him for months! Good that he’s busy, though.

  20. Loretta June 23, 2017 at 8:04 AM - Reply

    Wow, how unusual, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten an olive cake although the thought inspires me. Isn’t that part of France just so beautiful? I’m trying to convince my husband to let us buy a wee cottage in the south of France, not too sure he’s keen on the idea, although he too loves the area. Rose, and a slice of olive cake, now that’s my idea of heaven :)

    • chef mimi June 23, 2017 at 8:11 AM - Reply

      How could he resist? What a lovely area to have a home.

  21. Kathryn Grace June 23, 2017 at 10:40 AM - Reply

    The second I saw gruyere, I knew I have to make this, I don’t care how many calories it has. Will be interesting to see how it turns out with whole wheat flour. Thanks for the vicarious pleasure of a bit of Provence with my coffee this morning!

    • chef mimi June 23, 2017 at 2:52 PM - Reply

      Absolutely! Such a beautiful part of France.

  22. chefkreso June 23, 2017 at 5:05 PM - Reply

    Looks incredible, what a lovely recipe, thanks for sharing it :D

  23. ladyredspecs June 23, 2017 at 11:30 PM - Reply

    Your delicious sounding recipes makes me hanker after salami, hard cheese and a glass of wine. I’ve bookmarked this, it will be perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon with friends.

  24. Cocoa & Lavender June 24, 2017 at 8:45 AM - Reply

    Discrete looks just fantastic. So moist, and those little bits of all of just make it so savory. I look forward to making it, and checking out Stéphane’s blog.

  25. Healthy World Cuisine June 24, 2017 at 12:23 PM - Reply

    Oh goodness this looks so delicious and how perfect for a little appetizer tray and a glass of vino! Wishing you a super weekend!

  26. Sofia June 25, 2017 at 2:38 AM - Reply

    What a coincidence, I’ve been thinking about making a ham and olive cake!

  27. Frank Fariello June 25, 2017 at 7:26 AM - Reply

    That olive cake does look lovely, Mimi. Nice and moist, and I love the flavor of olives.

  28. Jasline @ Foodie Baker June 25, 2017 at 2:34 PM - Reply

    This is an interesting savoury cake that looks so moist and delicious!

    • chef mimi June 26, 2017 at 8:16 AM - Reply

      If you love olives, you’ll definitely love this!

  29. okiewinegirl2015 June 25, 2017 at 6:45 PM - Reply

    Mimi, thank you for posting this lovely recipe! And it pairs well w Rosé!?! Summer’s flying by but I’m going to try my hand at it. Excited to add a little Provence to Summer!

    • chef mimi June 26, 2017 at 8:15 AM - Reply

      Definitely! And honestly, it would pair beautifully with any wine!

  30. Health and Beauty 4 All June 26, 2017 at 3:40 AM - Reply

    OMG … It looks amazing and whit a glass of a red wine is even better.

  31. myhomefoodthatsamore June 26, 2017 at 10:45 AM - Reply

    This olive oil cake looks just the business ! I want to make it one of these days and in the meantime, I know exactly who to forward your recipe, and you can take it from me she will be delighted !

  32. scarletclark June 26, 2017 at 3:36 PM - Reply

    Beautiful – the words, photography and the recipe xx

  33. eliotthecat June 26, 2017 at 4:11 PM - Reply

    All I want to do at this point is make some of this bread/cake and create a meat and tray platter for the patio!

  34. Angela@grapegravy​ June 27, 2017 at 1:23 AM - Reply

    Oh my goodness! That bread looks amazing! And the cheese and cured meats with some french rose’! Heaven, I tell ya!

  35. Culinary Flavors June 27, 2017 at 7:05 AM - Reply

    I love savory cakes and they are so versatile!

  36. Gerlinde June 27, 2017 at 4:42 PM - Reply

    This savory bread is definitely something I would like to try.

  37. Cassee June 30, 2017 at 12:00 AM - Reply

    Delicious!

  38. indianeskitchen July 3, 2017 at 9:30 AM - Reply

    OMG never heard of Olives used this way! My husband will love this!

  39. Siri July 8, 2017 at 9:33 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious!

  40. jess smart August 30, 2017 at 9:34 AM - Reply

    Olive cake! Looks so good.

  41. olivesandfeta August 30, 2017 at 7:14 PM - Reply

    Olive oil should truly be more popular in cake baking. Delicious and lovely texture btw 🌸🌸😊😊

    • chef mimi August 30, 2017 at 8:35 PM - Reply

      I agree – in both sweet and savory baked goods!

  42. Tiff August 30, 2017 at 8:20 PM - Reply

    Ooo this looks like a yummy alternative to sweet cakes! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely make this 😊

  43. sipofwellness September 12, 2017 at 12:23 AM - Reply

    looks so delicious :) can u deliver plz :)
    good one!

  44. Tuan Tran October 6, 2017 at 1:36 AM - Reply

    Olive is very good, can eat with food, drink with spirits… now can bake a cake… good idea, thank for your sharing :)

  45. Travel Gourmet April 13, 2021 at 7:09 AM - Reply

    Lovely to read your memories of beautiful Provence and this bread sounds great. I’m sure my family would love it and they’re addicted to olives!

    • chef mimi April 13, 2021 at 7:11 AM - Reply

      Oh, then they will love this recipe. I like the tapenade and chopped olives combination!

  46. denibelive April 13, 2021 at 7:33 AM - Reply

    It look delicios, i Will try it.

    • chef mimi April 16, 2021 at 9:10 AM - Reply

      It’s very good, and very moist and tender!

  47. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen April 13, 2021 at 7:50 AM - Reply

    So, what time are snacks today? This looks amazing and I’m definitely bookmarking it!

    • chef mimi April 13, 2021 at 8:45 AM - Reply

      Snacks are always at the ready!!!

  48. BERNADETTE April 13, 2021 at 8:55 AM - Reply

    Your post brought back so many happy memories. We were in that part of France 3 years ago. It is a magical part of the world. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am very fond of olives and my grandson likes to bake bread. We now have a fun project to look forward to.

    • chef mimi April 13, 2021 at 8:56 AM - Reply

      Isn’t it just so wonderful?! It’s a great recipe. You’ll both love it!

  49. Jeff the Chef April 13, 2021 at 9:28 AM - Reply

    That sounds deliriously good! And I love the plates and boards that you’ve built around it. What a cool couple of trips those must’ve been.

    • chef mimi April 13, 2021 at 10:18 AM - Reply

      Oh my goodness yes. Just magical. Of course I am partial to France…

  50. For the Love of Cooking April 13, 2021 at 11:26 AM - Reply

    It looks tender and delicious.

    • chef mimi April 13, 2021 at 4:15 PM - Reply

      Thanks! It’s very moist!

  51. Debra April 13, 2021 at 10:02 PM - Reply

    This is absolutely lovely! I love olives in the first place, but the cake is a winner! I can’t wait to try it, and I will!!

    • chef mimi April 19, 2021 at 9:54 AM - Reply

      I much prefer anything savory over sweet, but a bread with olives is a big win win for me. I love the combination of the tapenade and chopped olives.

  52. sherry April 14, 2021 at 6:53 AM - Reply

    i love olive bread! i have made it a few times; nice with walnuts too!

    • chef mimi April 14, 2021 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      Oh yes! That would be a lovely addition.

  53. kitchenriffs April 14, 2021 at 9:26 AM - Reply

    This does sound like it’d make a good pairing with rosé. Neat recipe — thanks.

    • chef mimi April 14, 2021 at 9:35 AM - Reply

      Yes. Yes, it would!!!

  54. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons April 14, 2021 at 12:06 PM - Reply

    I love the idea of a savory cake with olives. Ditto the person who said a glass of rose would be the perfect pairing. I’m saving this one for alfresco dining this summer. Thank you Mimi.

    • chef mimi April 14, 2021 at 9:04 PM - Reply

      Alfresco dining. Sounds lovely!!!

  55. Ann Coleman April 14, 2021 at 8:04 PM - Reply

    That sounds so interesting! I’ve never heard of that kind of cake, but new things are always good!

    • chef mimi April 14, 2021 at 9:04 PM - Reply

      Yes they are! Just a savory quick bread…

  56. spicedblog April 15, 2021 at 6:27 AM - Reply

    I love olives and I love baking breads, so of course this one caught my attention, Mimi! It sounds delicious. Also, thanks for sharing your culinary guide. I’m bookmarking his website now – we did a similar experience around Florence a couple of years ago, and the memories will last a lifetime! Of course, now we just need to wait until we can travel again…

    • chef mimi April 15, 2021 at 7:02 AM - Reply

      It was so special. Usually when we travel it’s hotels and restaurants. No complaints there. But with Stephane, it was a different market every time, being introduced to new ingredients, and he cooked for us! In between we went to vineyards and castles and fortresses and brocantes. As much as I try to cook from around the world, there are so many foods I can’t play with just because I live in Oklahoma. The internet has helped, but there’s nothing like buying a fresh octopus at the market, cooking it, and eating it. Everything I get is frozen. My daughter and I had the most wonderful sea snails there. Anyway, it’s a real hands on experience with a lovely, knowledgeable man.

  57. angiesrecipes April 16, 2021 at 8:20 AM - Reply

    I adore olives and baked some bread with them before, both quick and yeast. This looks so good and has me crave some now.

    • chef mimi April 16, 2021 at 9:08 AM - Reply

      Olives in bread really work. I love them in yeasted breads, too!

  58. Molly Pisula April 16, 2021 at 12:31 PM - Reply

    Yum! I love cake salé, and all things olive as well. This is a perfect recipe for me. We’re on the Cote d’Azur now, and I had an amazing green olive/almond tapenade from one of the Villefranche farmers market vendors! So good.

    • chef mimi April 16, 2021 at 1:21 PM - Reply

      Oh my god I’m so envious!!! It’s probably beautiful weather there…. 🌞

  59. jenniferguerrero1 April 16, 2021 at 2:55 PM - Reply

    This looks phenomenal, Mimi! I have to try it! And you’re making me want to travel again so badly!

    • chef mimi April 16, 2021 at 3:14 PM - Reply

      Oh I know. Fingers crossed for later this year…

  60. Linger April 17, 2021 at 10:49 AM - Reply

    I’m so jealous of your travel adventures. What a lovely time away! And I’m so intrigued with this olive cake recipe. I very seldom make savory breads but this one looks incredibly delicious. I will have to try it. As always, thanks for sharing.

    • chef mimi April 19, 2021 at 9:53 AM - Reply

      You are so welcome. I’m jealous of my travel adventures! Who would have thought we couldn’t have them?! Fingers crossed that we will once again, before my husband and I get too old!

  61. David Scott Allen April 17, 2021 at 5:33 PM - Reply

    What a beautiful loaf to serve on a charcuterie board. I didn’t read all the comments but am wondering of you have made this with black olives, too? Your trip with Stéphane sounds heavenly.

    • chef mimi April 17, 2021 at 9:43 PM - Reply

      No I haven’t made this with black olives or Kalamata olives. I’ve made endless numbers of various tapenade with olives, but not this bread. I think it’s pretty as it, but of course can also be prettier!

  62. sippitysup April 18, 2021 at 6:31 PM - Reply

    This olive bread takes me so deliciously into the sunny world you describe so well. What an adventure. GREG

    • chef mimi April 19, 2021 at 8:17 AM - Reply

      Ahhh, those were the days, right?! Carefree traveling… enjoying new foods. Can’t wait to do it again.

  63. neil@neilshealthymeals.com April 19, 2021 at 5:53 AM - Reply

    Oh yes this olive cake looks like the perfect accompaniment of a plater of cheese and meats. And wine!!

    • chef mimi April 19, 2021 at 8:16 AM - Reply

      It’s great with hors d’oeuvres, or just by itself!

  64. cookingontheweekends April 19, 2021 at 10:48 PM - Reply

    Mimi, I love the sound of olive cake. Your travels sound so amazing. Olive tasting! Oh how I would love to do that — in France, no less. :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi April 20, 2021 at 7:40 AM - Reply

      Yes, what a trip that was. Weeks of Provençal bliss! And this bread is fabulous.

  65. Karen (Back Road Journal) April 28, 2021 at 4:10 PM - Reply

    Traveling with Stéphane was a wonderful adventure and isn’t it nice to create a dish that reminds you of that delightful time spent in Provence. Hopefully we will able to return again someday soon.

    • chef mimi April 28, 2021 at 6:29 PM - Reply

      It is truly wonderful. Such great memories and inspiration!

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