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 writes the inspirational blog “My French Heaven,” and he’s also a professional culinary guide, chef and photographer.

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

But this trip was different in that we traveled from Bordeaux through Provence, ending up at le Côte d’Azur at the end. 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 a tapenade, and all were delicious.

At one hotel we were served olives with what I’m sure was olive cake – a savory quick bread.

The olive cake I’m making today is reminiscent of the lovely bread I enjoyed while sipping rosé underneath golden sycamores.

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

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 the raclette quick bread I made a few years ago for the blog, pictured below. It contains sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta, raclette, pine nuts, and herbs. In fact, it just shows how creative you can get with a basic savory quick bread recipe!

92 thoughts on “Olive Cake

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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).

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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 :)

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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 !

  12. 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!

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