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Lemon Olive Oil Semolina Cakes

Lemon Olive Oil Semolina Cakes Related:   desserts & sweets, Hanukkah, kid-friendly, pareve, Shabbat, vegetarian

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Yield: 16-20 cakes

I created this Chanukah dessert using olive oil, lemons and semolina flour, which are all ingredients used in Middle Eastern desserts. I make them in 3-inch fluted pans, the ones I use for chocolate molten cakes, but you can also use a muffin tin to make the small cakes.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons*
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Spray oil with flour
  • Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon regular or lemon-flavored olive oil (if you love lemon flavoring)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 16 fluted 3-inch pans and place on a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan. Alternatively, if using a muffin tin, grease and flour or line 18 cups with paper liners.
  • Combine eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes, or until light-colored and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl. Turn the speed to low, add olive oil and lemon juice. Mix just until combined. Scrape down the bowl again.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, semolina, salt, baking powder and lemon zest. Add ½ of the dry mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix just until combined. Scrape down the bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients.
  • Scoop up and pour ¼ cup of the batter into each pan, leaving ¼ inch of space at the top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The top edges can be a little brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and then tap out cakes onto a cooling rack and let cool.
  • To prepare the glaze, place the olive oil, confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice into a medium bowl and whisk well. Scoop up about a scant teaspoon and pour onto each cake and spread to cover if desired, or let the glaze drip over the sides, as you like. For the cakes baked in the muffin tins, they look better with a little glaze drizzling over the sides.
  • May be made 3 days in advance and stored covered at room temperature or frozen.
  • * Tip: to get more juice out of lemons, place in the microwave for 30 seconds before slicing and squeezing.

3 Responses

  1. rosalind paaswell says:

    I sent a question via “Feedback” but not sure which way to send a message works, so I’ll ask it here too: I’d like to make this lemon olive oil cake in a cake pan instead of the small cakes you specify. What size/shape would be needed:

    Thanks for your answer.

  2. julie says:

    I made this in a pie pan (1/2 recipe) with a layer of Italian plums, halved and cut side down for Rosh HaShanah. Ital plums are out of season, and I’ve made it successfully with prunes instead. I like to use the Sunsweet orange infused prunes. I add some saffron and cardamom, too. I love this recipe.

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