Jennifer Garner’s Easy Olive Oil Cake Is My Forever Favorite

Must Try

Jennifer Garner occasionally takes to Instagram to share a recipe, pretending she’s hosting a cooking show, from old-school classics like Strawberry Chiffon Pie with her mom to Simply Recipes’ perfect lemonade. While Garner’s schtick is that she’s not a cooking expert, I can tell by the way she wields a whisk that her culinary prowess is just as amazing as her on-screen talent.

Most recently, Garner blessed the internet with a special episode of her pretend cooking show where she was joined by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of the famed restaurant Jon & Vinny’s in Los Angeles. Just in time for spring, they joined Garner to whip up their famous lemon olive oil cake.

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew had to try it. Lucky for me, I had all the ingredients on hand and you probably have them too.

Ingredient Tips

Amaro del Capo: Amaro is an herbal liqueur that can range from super sweet to herbaceous and medicinal. I would stick to a sweet, floral amaro for this cake, or swap it for slightly more vanilla extract if you don’t have it on hand.

Olive Oil: For the olive oil, use “good” olive oil. The cake calls for one and a half cups (yes, you read that correctly!), so the flavor of your olive oil is the star of the show. To boost the fruity and floral notes of the olive oil, fresh lemon zest and juice are added, as well as a touch of orange zest.

Simply Recipes / Molly Adams


How To Make Jennifer Garner’s Olive Oil Cake

The cake comes together by hand—there is no need for a stand mixer. In a large bowl, whisk 1 1/2 cups olive oil, 3 large eggs, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1 1/4 cups whole milk, 2/3 cup lemon juice, zest of 2 lemons, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon Amaro del Capo.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. In the video, Shook and Dotolo point out that a few lumps are OK; overmixing can lead to a tough cake. The speed at which I was able to put this cake together impressed me—it was in the oven within 10 minutes!

Before baking, sprinkle a 1/4 cup turbinado sugar on top of the batter. It’ll caramelize in the oven, giving the cake a to-die-for crackly top. Bake the cake in a 350°F oven for about one hour.

The cake tastes almost like it has been soaked in a lemon syrup after baking, and is perfect with just a dusting of powdered sugar. It is truly an anytime cake. I enjoyed a slice for breakfast with my coffee, but it would be equally amazing for an elegant dinner party or spring holiday dessert. 

It’s safe to say that I will be making the cake again, and consider this my formal petition to make Jennifer Garner’s pretend cooking show a real one.

Simply Recipes / Molly Adams


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