Thursday, January 5, 2012

In Search Of Maialino's Olive Oil Muffins

Nearly everything can be found online. When a simple 5 word Google search- "Maialino olive oil muffin recipe"- brought me to pastry chef Jennifer Shelbo's instructions for Olive Oil Cake with Blackberries, I thought I had found what I was looking for; the coveted recipe for one of my favorite desserts. Golden, dense, flecked with orange zest and soaked with olive oil, Maialino's olive oil muffins make the perfect just-sweet-enough treat.

Saying I ate a muffin somehow feels better to me than saying I ate a piece of cake, so I opted to pour the batter for chef Shelbo's cake into a muffin tin as opposed to a cake mold. The only step that needed tweaking- reducing the baking time from 1 hour to approximately 38 minutes. So why aren't these home-baked muffins nearly as good as Maialino's olive oil cake or its olive oil muffins (side note: my husband assures me they are)? They are absolutely delicious, but are petite, light, and airy as opposed to the dense monsters I've come to know and love. For round two, I'm taking my chances and upping the quantity of olive oil and maybe whisking in an extra egg.

Jennifer Shelbo's original recipe for Olive Oil Cake with Blackberries (minus the blackberry topping) is reprinted below.

Jennifer Shelbo's Olive Oil Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Spray a 10-inch cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk, eggs, orange zest and Grand Marnier. Add the dry ingredients; whisk until just combined.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely, 2 hours.


  1. The olive oil muffin is so good.

  2. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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