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 Easy Pumpkin and Olive Oil Cake

Recipe by Julia Turshen from her new cookbook Now & Again. Enjoy 20% off of the book and free shipping with the code ‘Imperfect2018’!

This not-too-sweet cake is really more like a quick bread, in the same family as zucchini and banana breads. But I like baking it in a cake pan and serving it in wedges, so I call it a cake. Call it whatever you want, just make it! It’s perfect served next to the roasted apples with ice cream in this menu. If you’re not making the apples, just serve the cake on its own in the afternoon with coffee or tea or as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream—or better yet, with maple or butter pecan ice cream (or a dollop of whipped cream, crème fraîche, or sour cream).


  • 2½ c all-purpose flour

  • 2½ tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger

  • 2 eggs

  • One 15-oz can puréed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, just unsweetened puréed pumpkin)

  • ¾ c olive oil

  • ¾ c packed light brown sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-in round cake pan with baking spray and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper for good measure and set the pan aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.

  3. Crack the eggs into another large bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the pumpkin, olive oil, and brown sugar and whisk to mix well. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared pan and then smooth the surface so it is even.

  4. Bake the cake until golden brown, barely firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature.

  5. Use a dinner knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the pan sides and then invert it onto your work surface. Peel off and discard the parchment, then invert the cake one more time onto a serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve.