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Olive Oil Cake with Lambrusco-Poached Pears
STEFANO SECCHI: Tagliatelle Ragu + Kale Salad + Cacio e Pepe Salad + Pasta Pomodoro + Olive Oil Cake
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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(18 rated)

This cake is so fragrant and fruity that the smell alone will make your mouth water. Fresh citrus zests perk up the rich olive oil cake while warm cinnamon and red wine add depth to the juicy pears. It's absolutely irresistible!


  • Cake

    • 2½ cups olive oil
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 6 large eggs
    • 2½ cups of all-purpose flour
    • 2¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Lambrusco Poached Pears

    • 4 firm, ripe pears
    • 1 bottle Lambrusco
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 1 vanilla bean
    • 1 orange, zested in large strips and juiced


For the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line a with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the sugar and lemon zest and beat together until the sugar has moistened and is aromatic with the lemon.

3. Add the eggs, olive oil, vanilla and lemon juice and with the whisk attachment mix all of the wet ingredients until the mixture is homogeneous and the olive oil has been evenly incorporated.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients and sift them into the stand mixer bowl.

5. Whisk the batter together until the mixture just comes together and everything has been evenly combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure there are no hidden dry pockets.

6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and make for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown and a cake tested comes out mostly dry. A few crumbs are OK.

For the Lambrusco-poached pears:

1. In a large stock pot bring the wine, sugar, spices and orange to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat and bring the poaching liquid to a simmer and gently place your peeled and quartered pears into the syrup.

3. Allow the pears to poach in the wine until just soft, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes.

4. Reserve about 1 cup of the poaching liquid and in a small pot over a medium flame reduce by half or until the liquid is thick and syrupy to spoon over the pears and cake.

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