May's BrightRx is dedicated to spring snacking cakes. As the days get warmer, treat yourself by bringing the picnic home. Enjoy these light, delectable cakes for a special morning, sweet afternoon, or jazz them up for dessert. We asked our friend Patrick Janelle, who is best known for his lifestyle-focused Instagram account, @aguynamedpatrick, to share his favorite snacking cake with us.
Patrick been recognized by the New York Times and The Guardian as a top Instagrammer and was awarded the inaugural Fashion Instagrammer of the Year award by the CFDA. Patrick is a frequent host of dining events, cocktail parties, and gatherings around New York City and is a co-founder of The Liquor Cabinet, a mobile app dedicated to cocktails recipes. We chatted with him about his favorite food, board game, and dream dinner party.
What do you like to keep out on your kitchen countertop or "kitchen shelfie"?
I always have a bottle of olive oil for quick access, a salt cellar filled with Maldon Sea Salt, a jar of granola, my Soma water filter, a Material magnetic knife stand...and there’s usually a stray onion, a partial clove of garlic, or half of a lemon at any given time.
What does living in a golden state meant to you?
Getting up early on a sunny morning without anything on the agenda except a cup of coffee at my neighborhood coffee shop and the most recent issue of The New Yorker.
If you could host a dinner party at home and invite 3 guests, who would they be, what would you serve and what music would play in the background?
My dream guest list would be Olivia Coleman, Jia Tolentino, and Dan Levy—all current crushes. Actually, can I just have the whole cast of Schitt’s Creek? I’m big into simple, veg-forward dishes, like roasted cauliflower with lots of herbs and nuts or a braised leek dish I first had at New York’s Pasquale Jones. I’d serve it along with a funky Pineau D’Aunis from the Loire Valley. I’m still perfecting it, but I have a disco-inspired playlist called Dreaming a Dream that I think would be perfect for this evening.
If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life (but receive all the nutritional benefits + look fabulous), what would each of you choose?
My biggest problem in life is that I can easily get bored and I want to move on to something else (we’ll have to save all the details for that dinner party), so that’s hard! But for the sake of this answer, let’s go with a really thin-crust pizza diavolo.
What is your favorite board game from your childhood?
Monopoly. I’m not great at it, but I’m very competitive. I once was so upset I didn’t win that I started throwing the nearest item—popsicles—at my brothers. But I still love it (and I still might be dangerous around popsicles).
The Best Olive Oil Cake Ever
By Patrick Janelle
- 1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon Brightland olive oil
- ½ cup powdered sugar, heaping
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, separated
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup cognac
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with two tablespoons of granulated sugar to coat.
In a large bowl, mix: flour, almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl: combine cognac, lemon juice, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Reserve three tablespoons of the mixture and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, lemon zest, and sugar until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add oil slowly, continuing to mix until the mixture is smooth and fully integrated.
Working back and forth between dry ingredients and liquid mixture, add a little at a time to combine, alternating three or four times and continuing to fold until ingredients are fully incorporated. Scrape up the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure the batter is thoroughly mixed. Pour gently into the prepared pan, being sure not to disturb the sugar coating. Gently smooth the top of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining two tablespoons of granulated sugar.
Place cake in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40–50 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool for 15 minutes and flip the cake onto the wire rack to remove it from the pan.
Whisk together with reserved liquid mixture with two tablespoons olive oil, two tablespoons powdered sugar, and lemon zest.
Place a piece of parchment paper under the wire rack, and poke holes on the top of the cake with a toothpick (I used chopsticks!) and drizzle or brush liquid mixture over top of the cake.