200ml olive oil
3 large eggs
125g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
zest of 4 mandarins
150g plain flour
90g ground almonds
¼ teaspoon salt
ricotta or yoghurt, to serve (optional)
mandarin segments, to serve (optional)
1 large sprig of rosemary, leaves picked
50ml lemon juice
50ml mandarin juice
100g caster sugar
60ml water

I love baking with olive oil. It really gives such a different texture and flavour to the final product and this recipe is a pretty great example of that. This loaf is dense and super moist thanks to both the oil and the lashings of syrup it is soaked in. It’s dairy-free and the plain flour can also be substituted with gluten-free flour. We are spoilt for choice here in Aotearoa New Zealand with beautiful homegrown oils. When choosing an olive oil to bake with, especially when pairing with citrus flavours, you want something nice and zesty with grassy tones, ideally of the extra virgin variety.


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1.Preheat the oven to 175°C fan-bake. Grease and line a 22cm loaf tin.
2.Put all the loaf ingredients in a bowl and mix until you have a thick batter.
3.Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40–45 minutes until the top is golden brown and risen, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
4.While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. Place all the ingredients into a small pot and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
5.Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for another 5 minutes.
6.Remove from the heat and allow to cool; this will give the rosemary time to infuse, creating a gorgeously fragrant syrup. Strain to remove the rosemary leaves.
7.As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick all over with a skewer and pour over the syrup.
8.Leave the loaf to completely cool in the tin so it can absorb all that delicious syrup before turning out onto a serving board.
9.This is divine served with whipped ricotta or a dollop of yoghurt and some fresh mandarin segments.

Images and text from
Butter, Butter by Petra
Galler, photography
by Melanie Jenkins
(Flash Studios),
published by Allen &
Unwin, RRP $49.99.