Torta di Nada by Steve Ryan Managing Partner, SA Law

This is a firm family favourite. The use of olive oil is slightly unusual in baking but it makes for an extremely moist and quite dense cake which is not too sweet, and with the citrus and berries is not too savoury. Goldilocks would love it! We are often asked to whip one of these up for family and friends’ gatherings, and office bake sales of course, there is no occasion which cannot be made better with cake.

This recipe was originally published  in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie’s Italy’

Delicious served with vanilla ice cream or cream with a little citrus zest grated over it.

Alternatives to cows milk such as almond and hazlenut also work well.



  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 270g sugar
  • 180g unsalted butter, melted
  • 115ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 400g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1.5tsp baking powder
  • good pinch of sea salt
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 600g fresh blueberries or small sweet grapes such as muscat or fragola
  • butter and flour for preparing cake tin (25cm / 9in)


  • Step 1
    preheat the oven to 190 deg C / 175 deg C fan oven / gas 5. Generously butter the cake tin and line with baking paper.
  • Step 2
    Beat the eggs and sugar for about 3 minutes or until thick and pale yellow.
  • Step 3
    Add the butter, olive oil, milk and vanilla seeds. Mix well then sift in the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Step 4
    Add the lemon and orange zest and stir in with a wooden spoon until well combined. Leave aside for 10 minutes so that the flour absorbs the liquid.
  • Step 5
    Stir about a quarter of the blueberries into the batter and spoon into the cake tin, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Step 6
    Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Then remove and scatter remaining blueberries over the top. Gently push down into the cake.
  • Step 7
    Return to the oven and bake for a further 30-40 minutes until the top is a deep golden brown and the cake feels quite firm.
  • Step 8
    Place on the rack to cool for 10 minutes and then run a knife along the sides of the tin and turn out the cake. Enjoy!


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