AppetizerCarolyne Kauser-AbbottProvencal RecipesTaste

Understanding Provence’s Olives and Green Olive Cake

Don’t let the word “cake” throw you off, this recipe is essentially a savoury quick bread. The ingredients can be changed depending on personal tastes, and what you have on hand. This little cake is perfect with a glass of chilled rosé. Ginger and Nutmeg sampled this lovely appetizer at a B&B in the Var, sadly it is no longer in operation.

What is story of Provence’s olives from start to finish?

Ginger has long loved olives, for their salty taste. Nutmeg’s appreciation for olives has been acquired in recent years and certainly more so after spending time in Provence. The olive tree is probably as old as the earth and may have even been one of the plants in the “Garden of Eden.” Olives start as tiny white flowers in the spring and began to mature over the summer months until the fruit is finally harvested in late fall.

Enjoy this easy recipe.

Green Olive Cake Cake aux Olives Vertes @GingerandNutmeg

Cake Aux Olives Vertes - Green Olive Cake

A quick and delicious appetizer bread that's easy to make and even easier to eat! A savoury delight with salted olives, rich smoky duck breast and creamy bites of Gruyère. A must for your next dinner party.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breads
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people


  • 1 1/4 cup (300g) White Flour
  • 1 Package (2 tsp) Baking Powder and Soda in France, Levure
  • 3/4 cup (150g) green olives pitted
  • 3/4 cup (150g) Smoked Duck Breast sliced
  • 3/4 cup (150g) Gruyère cheese shredded
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (200ml) Muscat or sherry
  • 1/2 cup (150ml) olive oil


  • Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
  • Butter and lightly flour a loaf pan.
  • In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Add the eggs and mix until well blended and no flour remains.
  • Add the muscat and olive oil, mix well.
  • Add the olives, smoked duck and cheese, mix until well blended. The batter will be relatively thick.
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes, until brown on top and a tester knife comes out clean.
  • Remove the bread from the pan and cool on a rack or on one side of the loaf.
    Cake aux Olives Vertes @GingerandNutmeg


This recipe can easily be tailored to suit your own personal tastes. Change the cheese and meat and olives to your favourites, like smoked salmon, percorino, blue cheese, black olives, stuffed olives etc.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).


  1. blank
    May 31, 2018 at 10:00 am — Reply

    Carolyne, I’m in France, about to head off to Auchan to look for the baking powder & soda. What’s it called in French?! Also, there are loads of white flours – any one in particular?

    Many thanks,
    Jan Burgess

    • blank
      June 1, 2018 at 2:12 am — Reply

      Hi Jan: sorry for the delay in responding. I hope you sorted out your baking needs. In any case, here is the detail baking powder is called levure chimique or levure alsacienne. Typically, these are sold in small packages of 5 sachets (like sugar packs).

      Baking soda is called bicarbonate de soude.

      Yeast for bread is called levure traditionnelle or levure de boulanger. This is active-dry yeast, which needs to be proofed. You can also buy fresh yeast, it is sold in a small cube that looks like butter. Or levure instantanée which is instant yeast and does not require proofing.

      Flour can be confusing too. Farine à gâteaux is cake flour and already contains levure.

      Here is an excellent reference article by chef David Lebovitz

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