Sweet on Olive Oil

Sweet on Olive Oil

Food & Drink

Sweet on Olive Oil


When you’re thinking about whipping up a dessert, what’s the first ingredient that comes to mind? Chocolate? Fresh fruit? Heavy cream?

How about olive oil?

That’s how Theo Stephan thinks, anyway. But then she’s the founder of Global Gardens, a line of olive oils and specialty food products in Los Olivos, Calif. According to a story by Rene Lynch of the Los Angeles Times, Stephan makes about 2,000 gallons of olive oil a year.

She has in her home all kinds of recipes for olive oil, but the ones she really likes to use to showcase her olive liquid are the dessert recipes. Among her olive oil-infused favorites is a walnut cake. Stephan notes that it’s a classic Greek-style recipe. In Greece, using olive oil for sweets is not at all out of the ordinary, she says.

Using olive oil instead of butter is much healthier for the heart, of course. But it goes beyond that, according to Stephan. It adds a fruity richness, she says, and rather than highlighting the sweetness of a dessert, olive oil elevates the other ingredients such as the flavor of chocolate in brownies.

She makes a wonderful olive oil chocolate sauce—a very simple recipe you can find here, and for Thanksgiving last year, she made an olive oil crust for her pecan pie.

It seems Stephan is not alone in her love for olive oil desserts. A new Olive Oil Desserts cookbook by Micki Sannar contains recipes for chocolate cakes and brownies, muffins, cookies, and something called Cinnamon Twisties which sounds really good. You can read more about it on her Website, oliveoildesserts.com.

If this is a good way to get more sweets into my diet, with less bad stuff in them, I’m all for this cooking trend to take off big-time.

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