Bake with Extra Virgin Olive Oil this Christmas

In case you did not know, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) lends itself well to baking by adding tremendous flavour and just the right amount of moistness. If you are a little bit tired of the age-old, traditional, every-year Christmas trifle, why not try your hand at making your very own festive fruit cake?

For some inspiration and step-by-step guidance, take a look at this delectable, indulgent recipe below which the The Little Hedonist has created using our local and delicious South African EVOO.

Festive Fruit Cake with SA EVOO


  • 4 Cups Dried Fruit Cake Mix / Sultanas / Currants / Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 5 Cups Castor Sugar
  • 200ml SA Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon, Zested
  • 1 Cup Mixed Nuts, Unsalted, Plain Or Roasted
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups Cake Flour
  • 3 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 0.5 Tsp Salt


Place dried fruit, orange juice and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit starts to rehydrate and plump up.

Turn off the heat and remove. Stir in sugar until it has dissolved. Stir in EVOO, lemon zest and nuts and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Heat oven to 180C and line a 23 x 23 cm tin with baking paper.

Place soaked fruit (with all the liquid!) in a large bowl and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Fold in flour, baking powder and salt.

Spoon batter into prepared tin and level out.

Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs.

Watch carefully after the 1 hour mark to make sure the top isn’t over browning and cover with a piece of tin foil if it is. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.