Think of this cornmeal olive oil cake as a much sweeter cornbread with a jam swirl. If you don’t want to make your own jam, feel free to use whatever you have on hand (as long as it is jam and not jelly — jelly is much firmer and not what we are looking for in this recipe). In total you will use 160 grams of jam for the cake, or about ½ cup, which means you will have leftover jam to do with whatever you please.

If roughly half a cup of jam seems like not enough to you feel free to add up to ¾ cup. Keep in mind, however, the extra weight in the batter will mean a longer bake time (by about 7-10 minutes), AND note the extra moisture could cause sinkage in the center of the cake. If you can’t bear to see or eat an undecorated cake, a dusting of confectioner’s sugar is fine, but ultimately unnecessary. Store the cake covered in your fridge for up to five days or however long cakes last in your home.

Cornmeal Olive Oil Cake with Jam Swirl

Cornmeal Olive Oil Cake with Jam Swirl

by Teresa Finney

Bake time: 40-45 minutes



For the jam:

  • 3 small black plums, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium nectarine, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 serrano peppers, stemmed and finely chopped
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • or 160 grams (about ½ cup) total of any jam you like or have on hand

For the cake:

  • 190 grams (1 cup) olive oil
  • 180 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 175 grams (¾ cup) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 46 grams (¼ cup) honey
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla paste 
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 240 grams (about 2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 57 grams (about ½ cup) cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder


To make the jam:

In a medium-size saucepan set over medium heat, add the chopped fruit and pepper(s). Let fruits and pepper(s) cook, stirring occasionally until the fruit starts to release its juices, about 5-7 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice to the saucepan and stir. Let jam continue to cook and thicken, about 10 minutes more. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash any larger pieces of fruit; a potato masher also works here. Season jam with salt and stir; remove from heat and set aside while you make the cake. 

To make the cake:

  1. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with at least 2-inch sides with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil, granulated sugar, buttermilk, honey, and vanilla paste. Whisk mixture until sugar has dissolved. 
  3. Add in the eggs and whisk until everything is emulsified. At this point the batter should be pale yellow and slightly thicker than before. 
  4. Set a fine mesh sieve over the mixing bowl and sift the all-purpose flour into the batter. Do the same with the cornmeal; now you’re done with the sifting. Remove the fine mesh sieve from the bowl, sprinkle in the salt, and add the baking soda and baking powder to the batter. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients just until the flour and cornmeal has been incorporated. 
  5. Switch to a metal whisk now and continue mixing and whisking the batter until the majority of any lumps are gone, just an additional minute or so. The cake batter should be thick — thick enough that you have to use a rubber spatula to help the batter spread to the sides of the cake pan, but not too thick that it won’t slowly pour. 
  6. Pour about half of the cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the cooled jam on the batter; using either a toothpick or a butter knife swirl the jam into the batter. Add the remaining cake batter and another 3 tablespoons of jam and repeat. 
  7. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, but begin checking for doneness around the 40 minute mark. If a cake tester, toothpick, or butter knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean, it’s done (the cake is quite moist thanks to all that olive oil plus the jam, so a few crumbs and moistness on the cake tester is fine). 
  8. Let cake cool in the pan for a good 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack where it can hang out until you’re ready to serve and eat. 


  • Use this recipe as a guide.
  • Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.
  • Taste test as you go.
  • Have fun in the kitchen!

Let us know if you make this recipe! Tag your photos with #freshharvestga on Instagram.


Teresa Finney is a recipe writer living in Atlanta with a passion for gardening and good food. Check out Teresa’s Twitter page for more recipes, food inspiration, and more!

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