Lemon Olive Oil Polenta Cake with Lemon Lavender Syrup



For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup polenta
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

For the Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon, slightly frozen
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender

For the Whipped Cream (optional)

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest



  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, polenta, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer or in a medium bowl with a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar at medium speed until thick. Gradually pour in the oil mixture and lemon zest with mixer running.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold in dry ingredients until just mixed.
  6. Pour into pan and bake for 50 minutes or until center springs back when pressed lightly. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the sides and let cool.
  7. As cake is baking make your syrup. Using a mandolin, slice your lemon very thin and place in a medium bowl. In a small saucepot over medium heat, bring your sugar and water to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over lemon slices. Sprinkle in lavender. Cover and let cool for about 30 minutes.
  8. Once your cake is cool, using a toothpick or cake tester, poke holes all over. Gently spoon syrup over the cake until moistened. Place lemon slices over cake in overlapping circles.
  9. Optional, whisk together heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks. Top cake with whipped cream and sprinkle with lemon zest.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Thumbprint Cookies

The Question: Peach or Raspberry?


Thumbprint cookies are my go to. Dinner party – thumbprints. Birthday – thumbprints. Rough day – do you even need to ask? Thumbprint cookies are so easy to make and please everyone. The dough can even be frozen once rolled and simply thawed slightly, pressed, filled and baked.

Here’s my go to recipe:

Yield: About 2 dozen – depending on how much dough you eat before they are in the oven 🙂


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup jam: raspberry, peach, or a combination of your favorite
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if you are using a hand mixer), beat the butter with the paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy.
  4. Add sugar and beat another 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the egg and then the vanilla on medium speed, scraping bowl down as needed.
  6. Add dry ingredients slowly while mixer is on low.
  7. Shape into a disc and chill 1 hour to 24 hours.
  8. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet.
  9. Using thumb press into the dough.
  10. Fill with about a tsp of your favorite jam.
  11. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes,
  12. Cool on baking sheets about 10 minutes and then place on wire rack to cool completelY.
  13. Plate and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
  14. Enjoy!