We had the pleasure of being introduced to this cake during our trip to Tuscany. We were told that traditionally this cake is made for only a few weeks a year. The small sweet red grapes are used, usually those remaining after the grape harvest has been completed. Whatever the reason behind this cake it is a beautiful tender and flavoursome cake using part butter and part olive oil with juicy baked grapes.
To make this cake is easy, and you only add 2/3 of the grapes in the mixture before baking for 15 minutes. After this time you sprinkle the remaining grapes over the cake and return to the oven.
I used the seedless red crimson grapes, but I think you could use any that you like. I have read that Jamie Oliver replaced the grapes with blueberries when grapes were out of season. What a great idea to enjoy this beautiful cake during other times of the year.
The lemon and orange zest gives a pleasant taste to the cake with the moist crunch of the baked grapes. All in all YUM.
This cake would be lovely for breakfast, brunch or a tea cake either served alone or with cream, yoghurt etc.
We were served this for breakfast in Tuscany and it was great with a cuppa.
Hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do.
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 60g butter, melted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1-1/4 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 600g grapes (I used red crimson seedless)
- Preheat oven to 160˚C/320F.
- Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
- Whisk sugar and eggs with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment for 5 minutes or until thick, pale and fluffy.
- In a jug, mix the olive oil, melted butter, vanilla, milk and both zests together.
- In another bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together
- Add half the wet mixture into the whisked egg followed by half of the flour mixture and fold in gently.
- Repeat with the remaining wet mixture and then the flour mixture, folding in gently.
- Fold in 3/4 of the grapes.
- Pour into prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place the remainder of the grapes on top of the cake and return to oven.
- Bake for a further 60 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. MINE TOOK ONLY 45 MINUTES.
- Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire rack.
- Serve sprinkled with icing sugar if desired.