Chic and Cheerful - Savoury French Olive, Cheese and Onion Cake

Total Time
2hrs 45mins
Prep 2 hrs 15 mins
Cook 30 mins

The French love these delicious savoury cakes, they can be found in all supermarkets and good boulangeries. The texture is still very light and "cake" like, as these are not yeast risen cakes; however, the texture is also quite robust and firm, slightly "holey", making these savoury type cakes very easy to slice. You can just slice them and butter them for a snack or use the sliced cake for an unusual and alternative sandwich bread. Or, slice them and then cut into small cubes - then using cocktail sticks attach a chunk of your favourite cheese or spread the cubes with tapenade, cream cheese or your favourite savoury spread. Olives also make a great accompaniment. Please note, that these do NOT have the same texture as a normal sweet cake - as I mentioned before, the texture is holey, firm and amost like a sourdough bread. They freeze beautifully, both in loaves or in slices. Preparation time includes the "resting" time needed for the cake batter.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Gently fry the onion for about 10 minutes, or until soft and golden.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the eggs, followed by the milk, until you have a smooth batter. Mix in the cheese, olives and sautéed onions, along with their oil. Cover and leave to rest for 2 hours. This will make a lighter cake.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220C,450F, gas mark 7 and grease 6 mini loaf tins (see above), or one large loaf tin. Give the batter a good stir and divide between the tins.
  4. Bake at the centre of the oven for 15 - 20 minutes for the 6 mini loaf tins, or 20-30 minutes for the large loaf - or until firm and golden. Leave to cool.
  5. When cold, turn out of the tins and wrap or store in an airtight tin. These savoury cake/s freeze very well in slices or as 1 whole or 6 mini loaves.
  6. NB. These can be made in advance and refrigerated. Bake them in a tray of mini loaf pans or individual mini loaf tins (the tins should be about 10 x 6 x 3.5cm). Alternatively, try muffin tins.


Most Helpful

These are divine! I used good quality black olives (chopped) because I don't like green; I also used light cheddar cheese instead of the Gruyère because that's what I had.Otherwise, I made the recipe as is. I STRONGLY recommend you don't overfill your pan(s), these things are like mini little geysers! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. xox

Geniale Genie April 02, 2011

Delicious as a loaf, and I also dropped the milk down to 150ml to help it hold together a bit better. But still very light texture, and rich flavours

Katie Muffett August 23, 2009

Excellent result, but you do need to have patience and let it cool down enough - I started getting it out of the form too early, and it was a little soggy on the bottom, and too moist. But once it cooled down, it's just wonderful, we had it for breakfast and my husband could not stop eating it. I used Bergkäse, the German mountain cheese, somewhat similar to Gruyere. A keeper! Thank you very much!

Vlada March 26, 2009

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