no butter, no cake? no way.

{ olive oil lemon bundt cake with white chocolate and berries }

this cake has a very funny story.

first of all, i would not have made this cake would Pedro not have spontaneously booked a week trip to Munich early this year. Pedro is a friend from my hometown that I actually only got to know better after we both took architecture at the same university. I knew him from my high school, but I don't think we had ever talked with each other back then.
although I have learned to appreciate and look forward to cook only for myself, visiting friends are a major motive to get messy in the kitchen. they deserve to be showered with affection, and that includes homemade food and sweet treats.
i had a tray of baked chicken thigh rice in the oven waiting for us by the time I picked him up from the main train station, and we made some pizza from scratch together, but I would never have baked cake if he hadn't come up with the idea of meeting Intila, a second architect friend that lives in Munich, who spent a semester in Porto two years ago. she is really sweet, and she invited us over for dinner, hence, i decided i had to bake a cake.

I decided to bake the cake one day in advance, because no way I could manage to bake it between arriving home from work and having to leave for dinner.

it was a cold, cold January evening, and I had just arrived home from work. it was snowing like crazy, and the wind hustled this cold thick cotton in every direction. one could barely distinguish the shadowy silhouettes on the way and even the car lights had trouble breaking through this massive white mess. Pedro was still not back from his lone wanderer day trip, so I rushed to the supermarket to get everything that I needed. I was aiming for a nice looking pound cake, baked in my brand new bundt pan, out of a simple buttery batter crummed with berries. I can't recall where I got that idea from, but it was set in my mind from the moment we were invited for dinner.

abnormally, I didn't have my usual stash of "basic" baking ingredients at the time, likely because I had just arrived from three weeks abroad, so I brought berries, flour, sugar, eggs, white chocolate...

oh wait.
where's the goddam butter!?

there i was, just arrived from my trip to the supermarket under a snow storm, and I had forgotten the most important ingredient of a pound cake - the damn butter. five minutes before the supermarket closed its doors.

oh well, one of my flatmates had two packages of it. maybe I can borrow some, and problem solved!

and here I do have to thank the astounding avarice of my flatmate, because otherwise this cake would, indeed, never have happened.
'no', I couldn't use one of his butter packages. not even if I bought him a second one the next day. not even with a snow storm outside and the supermarket five minutes away from closed. not even with a dinner the next day. he allegedly really needed it the next day at the office. don't ask me why, it's just the way things are around here, he did kept his butter in the fridge, untouched for two full weeks. but I'm not going into that now.

thanks to his strange refusal, and since I had nothing else to use as 'fat agent' for my pound cake, I immediately blinked at the olive oil bottle I had just bought and decided I would make the cake anyway.

Pedro was finally back and we had a ball in the kitchen - with music, making videos, dancing and taking photos - while this gem was baking. I actually bake a lot with olive oil, but this was the first cake I did where it played a substancial role.

and finally, I was stubborn enough to fill the cake pan up to the top - 'but there's just this tiny amount of batter left!' - something that I NEVER, EVER do. Not even a dozen of minutes into baking I could already smell burnt from my bedroom - a huge amount of batter had overflown the pan and fallen right onto the bottom of the oven, hence producing the undesired aroma. Some quick scraping did the trick and the cake came out nicely in the end anyway.

all's well that ends well! is it really?

the next day, our friend had to cancel the dinner due to work overload.


the second day I just took it to my office, where it could be properly appreciated.
and I think it was really good :)

bundt de azeite e limão com frutos vermelhos e chocolate branco.
para um dia sem manteiga.

2 chávenas de farinha
3 colheres de chá de fermento em pó
1/2 de colher de chá de sal
1 + 1/3 de chávena açúcar
4 ovos
1/3 de chávena de leite
2 colheres de sopa de sumo de limão
1 chávena de azeite

300g de frutos vermelhos
3 colheres de sopa de farinha
3 colheres de sopa de sumo de limão
3 colheres de sopa de sumo de frutos vermelhos
5 colheres de sopa de açúcar
150g de chocolate branco, em pedaços grosseiros

Pré-aquecer o forno a 180ºC.
Untar com bastante manteiga uma forma de bundt cake, reservar.
Numa taça, misturar os frutos vermelhos e as colheres de sopa de farinha, sumos e açúcar, reservar.
Preparar um buttermilk, misturando o leite e o sumo de limão e deixando repousar.
Numa taça, misturar a farinha, o fermento e o sal.
Separadamente, bater bem os ovos com o açúcar.
Juntar a esta mistura, à vez e em fio, o leite e o azeite, batendo sempre.
Juntar os ingredientes líquidos aos secos, misturando com uma vara de arames, mas não batendo demasiado.
Deitar a massa na forma. Escorrer os frutos vermelhos, reservando o líquido, e deitar sobre a massa, juntamente com os pedaços de chocolate branco.
Levar ao forno cerca de uma hora, até um palito inserido na massa sair limpo.
Deixar arrefecer cerca de 20-30 minutos na forma, inverter sobre um prato de servir e decorar com o restante sumo de frutos vermelhos.

olive oil lemon bundt cake with a white chocolate and berry top.
for a butterless day.

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 + 1/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup olive oil

300g mixed berries
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp berry juice
5 tbsp sugar
150g white chocolate chunks

Pre-heat oven at 180ºC.
Generously grease a bundt cake pan. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the berries, flour, juices and sugar. Set aside.
Prepare buttermilk by combining the milk and lemon juice, letting it rest for a while.
Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a big bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar.
Pour the milk and olive oil into this mixture while beating.
Incorporate the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture, just until well combined.
Pour the batter into the pan. Drain the berries, keeping the juices aside, and spread over the batter, together with the white chocolate.
Bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Let cool for about 20-30 inside the pan, flip over a serving plate and pour over the remaining berry juices.


wish you a lovely weekend!



  1. Maravilhoso, Inês! Ainda bem que o forreta (para não lhe chamar outra coisa) do teu companheiro de casa não te emprestou a manteiga, porque este bolo deve ter ficado delicioso! Lindo, ficou de certeza, apesar dos contratempos da massa em excesso :)

  2. Com os frutos vermelhos ficou lindo e muito apetitoso!

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