Adelaide Hills Farmers Market Cake Competition

by Amanda McInerney on 02/07/2012

I’ve never tried to hide the fact that I’m a bit of a slave to my sweet tooth and it’s no secret that I’ve also got a passion for local food and local food producers, so when I heard that the Adelaide Hills Farmers Market was holding a cake competition my attention was well and truly caught.  The Adelaide Hills Farmers Market is a community event that is held every Saturday morning at 23 Mann St, Mt. Barker.  It is a true farmers market with over 25 stalls which sell only authentic, regional, fresh and seasonal products.  Like other farmers markets, it does not allow products which have been genetically modified, are out of season or have traveled significant “food miles” – although they have reached out to the Riverland producers who have been doing it pretty tough for a while now and allow a limited amount of Riverland fruit to be sold.

Last Saturday the Adelaide Hills Farmers Market held their inaugural cake competition, attracting the attention of many of the local home bakers and many more of the local cake eaters.  The Competition was judged by Mt. Barker Mayor, Ann Ferguson, “Blue Ribbon Cookbook” author Liz Harfull & Rebecca Sullivan of Dirty Girl Kitchen who braved the winter chill of an Adelaide Hills morning and stoically faced up to a challenging – and eminently enviable – task.  After munching their way through a large selection of beautifully presented cakes they retired to agonise over the choices, eventually announcing the winner as the splendid Rosemary and Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Infused Olive Oil Icing entered by Talinga Grove.

The judges get down to business

Talinga Grove is an award-winning family owned and run business who produce olive oil and olive products from olives grown on their property near Strathalbyn.  Included in their product line-up is a beautiful range of olive oil-based skin care products, dukkah and some delightful infused olive oils, one of which is used in the icing of the winning cake.  This cake looked so good I just had to ask the lovely folk at Talinga if they could see their way to sharing the recipe for this deliciously moist and fragrant cake- and here it is!  The winner of the inaugural Adelaide Hills Farmers Market Cake Competition uses (naturally) Talinga oils in the recipe.  They can be purchased at the farmers market at Mt. Barker on Saturday mornings, at the farm store and a selection of retail stores listed here.

The winner!

Lemon, Rosemary & Olive Oil Cake
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Cake

  • 4 free-range eggs
  • ¾ Cup caster sugar
  • ⅔ Cup Talinga Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs. fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1½ Cup SR flour
  • ½ tsp. Murray River pink salt
  • Finely grated rind of one lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C
  2. Brush a loaf pan with olive oil.
  3. Beat eggs for 30 seconds in electric mixer. Add sugar and beat until mixture is foamy and pale in colour.
  4. While the mixer is still running, slowly add the olive oil.
  5. Stir the rosemary and lemon rind into the mixture.
  6. Sift into a separate bowl the flour & stir through the salt.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour batter into oiled pan.
  9. Bake for approx. 50 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  10. Allow to cool in the pan briefly, then cool on a rack.
  11. ICING
  12. When cool, mix icing sugar with equal parts butter and Talinga Grove Lemon Infused Olive Oil to form a soft icing.

All images kindly supplied by Adelaide Hills Farmers Market.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Ooh that bee cake looks just like the Nigella honey cake. Very cute :) The judges looked freezing but I bet they warmed up after some cake and perhaps some tea afterwards.

Hotly Spiced July 3, 2012 at 6:18 am

Gorgeous looking cakes. I’ve made cakes with olive oil before and they it helps to make a really moist cake but I’ve never added rosemary – only ever put rosemary in savoury dishes. And I haven’t made icing with olive before so this is definitely something I should try. xx

marcellina July 3, 2012 at 8:53 am

Yum! Nothing I like better than good cake with a healthy dose of icing!

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef July 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

What fun cakes. The judges look really cold! I thought I was cold this morning until I looked at your photos. Now it’s practically balmy in here. :)

I think this cake must be made!

Amanda July 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Charlie – I haven’t made icing with olive oil before either, but will be giving it a go when I get my hands on some of this delicious infused oil.
Marcellina – I’m afraid I’m and icing girl, too – as my hips will attest.
Maureen – 2C here in the Adelaide Hills at 9.00am today. Very nippy.

Lizzy (Good Things) July 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm

How gorgeous!

Jennifer (Delicieux) July 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I love those adorable apple cupcakes! And the honey bee cake reminds me of Nigella’s honey cake. I love making cakes with olive oil, they are always so moist. I’ve never made olive oil icing before though. I’ll have to give it a try.

Jamie July 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

What a fun event and the cakes look great! I love olive oil cakes and I’ll try this recipe. The lemon infused olive oil sounds wonderful and I’m so curious to try it in a frosting!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul July 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

Love the cakes but it’s that olive oil cake that has my name written all over it. It looks absolutely brilliant!

cityhippyfarmgirl July 5, 2012 at 8:04 am

I love cake competitions!! They look gorgeous, I would have loved to see all the entrants cakes. Did you enter anything?
When I sort my mixer issue out I will give the winning recipe a crack.

InTolerant Chef July 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

How do you sign up for that judging position? Lucky things! I think that cake certainly sounds a winner for sure, I once had to do a 8 course olive oil dinner and we made a Lemon polenta cake with Lemon Myrtle oil, but the Rosemary would be gorgeous too, yummo!

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