Mini olive oil, dark chocolate & rosemary cake + peppermint no-churn ice cream.

This makes one generous portion for a birthday or a reasonable dessert for two. If you prefer, you can easily omit the rosemary, and the olive oil can also be swapped out for the same amount of a neutral vegetable oil. For a vegan and dairy-free option, use almond milk and soy yogurt in the cake, almond milk or coconut milk in the ganache, and serve with vegan ice cream of your choice.




  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For a layer cake, line three 4-ounce or 2 6-ounce porcelain ramekins with parchment paper. For one layer, use a 4-inch cake pan or a 4×4-inch glass dish, if you have one.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, milk, yogurt, and rosemary. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just barely incorporated, then gently fold in the chocolate in a few strokes.
  3. Divide batter evenly between the ramekins and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until domes have set and bounce back when touched, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If using a single pan, bake for about 25 minutes and test starting around 23 minutes.
  4. Let cakes cool briefly, then run a sharp knife around the edges of the ramekin or cake pan and invert. The layers should slide out easily.
  5. To make the ganache, simply combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 20-second increments, stirring well after each increment, until it becomes a thick chocolate sauce. You can also heat the heavy cream until it just barely simmers, pour it over the chocolate, and let sit for 3 minutes, then stir, as per this recipe, or use a double boiler. Also, if the ganache is too thick, adjust by adding more cream and reheating; if too thin, add more chocolate and reheat. Once it’s smooth and to your liking, pour immediately over the cake.
  6. Serve immediately with peppermint ice cream or ice cream of your choice.


Measuring flour by tablespoons can be a bit finicky weight-wise. When scooping by tablespoons instead of scooping into a cup and leveling, 6 tablespoons can add up to 1/2 cup of flour by weight (63 g) fairly easily, and will result in a denser cake, more like pound cake in texture, that stays pale even when fully baked. The amount above (55g) should be golden brown on top once baked, and is light and more delicate. Happily, both are delicious, just in different ways.

For the ice cream, I ended up adding half the candy cane into the sweetened condensed milk before folding in the whipped cream by accident, but after a second test, I thought that that infused the ice cream with a stronger candy cane flavor and kind of preferred it. (Plus, it turns the ice cream such a pretty pink!) I also used the full 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract for a stronger mint flavor.