This Takes the Cake

Kat Evans

Kat Evans has been visiting Highlands with her family for 40 years.  One year she decided to see what the winters were like and never left.  Kat and Annelize, her partner of 8 years, raise chickens for their amazing eggs, society finches for their beautiful songs, and rescue dogs and cats for their unconditional love.  They love growing fresh herbs for cooking and vegetables for pickles and canning.

When they’re not at home in their 200-year-old log cabin, you’ll find them at Smitten on Main Street in Highlands.  Thanks to the consummate, never-ending help of Manager Bonnie Earman, they’re celebrating their fifth season.  Be sure to visit their gallery featuring local artists and American-made pieces.

 “The first time I made this was January 2008, for David LaCagina’s gourmet breakfast club,” says Kat. “I was very intimidated and terrified of messing it up, but it was a big hit and now I make it about a dozen times a year.”

Torta di Limone  

 From the cookbook, “A Bakers Odyssey,” by Greg Patent.

For best results, read through the recipe and have all your ingredients ready. Higher altitudes may take more time to bake.


2 Large Eggs

7 TBLS Granulated Sugar

7 TBLS Whole Milk

7 TBLS Fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil (do not use Light Oil as the texture and flavor for this torta comes from delicious good olive oil)

9 TBLS Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 

2 tsps. Baking Powder

¼ tsp. Salt

3TBLS Fresh Lemon Juice

Grated Zest from 2 Lemons


Adjust oven rack to the lower 1/3 portion and preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment.  Grease pan and parchment and lightly flour, knocking off excess flour.  Be sure eggs are at room temperature, then whisk together eggs and sugar.

In a small bowl, whisk milk and olive oil until well blended.  Add to the egg mixture and whisk briefly.  In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the batter and only whisk gently until smooth.  Whisk in lemon juice and zest.  Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until cake is golden and springs back when gently pressed in the center.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then run the tip of a sharp knife around the edge to loosen.  Turn upside down on to another rack.  Lift off pan and remove paper, flip back onto rack so top faces up.

When cool dust with confectioners’ sugar.  For a more vibrant lemon flavor poke holes in the cake with a toothpick while it is still warm and drizzle with a few tablespoons of Limoncello. 

For a fancier presentation, garnish with whipped cream, berries, or additional citrus zest dusted with confectioners’ sugar.  Double the recipe and add a whipped cream filling with candied almond slivers as a topping.  You are only limited by your imagination.