Osteria Mozza's Rosemary Olive Oil Cakes

Osteria Mozza is one of our favorite Los Angeles restaurants. The service is on point, the space is beautiful with sage walls, high ceilings, and dark wood, and the food is excellent. We had dinner at Mozza last Sunday and tried the Rosemary Olive Oil Cakes with Olio Verde (olive oil) Gelato for dessert. On paper that combination might make you say, "Hmm, interesting," in a noncommittal sort of way. I would like to strongly suggest that you commit to filling your belly with these tea cakes.

My girlfriend had given me the Mozza Cookbook a while back so I immediately looked for the recipe when we got home. Not only are the tea cakes included, but the preparation is a no-machine affair and the batter can be made in advance (great for dinner parties). To top it all off they are so good.

I've adapted the recipe and added some additional notes for prepping and working with the mini molds.


A crucial step in this process is pre-heating the oiled pan so that the outside of the cakes start to lightly fry when you add the batter. I forgot to do this the first time and ended up with a blonde color and relatively soft exterior. Don't get me wrong though, I plan to eat every last adorable tea cake. Here's a side-by-side for reference (pre-heated pan results on the right):


Rosemary at Windrose Farm - Santa Monica Farmers Market

Ingredients (Adapted from the Mozza Cookbook)

  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (10 3/4 oz for all-purpose)
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp flake-style salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups finishing-quality olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary needles Note: The oils in rosemary are powerful, but if you use a rougher chop 2 tbsp might be necessary.
  • Olive oil for coating the pan



  • Oil the pan Note: I use a silicon pastry brush to oil the molds, then a paper towel to soak up any excess that settles at the bottom of the cup.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 and put the pan in the oven when you turn it on.


  • Set a plate (I prefer paper for easy transfer) on the scale and measure out your flour, then add the sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Combine the milk and olive oil in a second bowl and whisk. Note: It won't be homogeneous and that's ok. You're not looking to emulsify the oil and milk.
  • Add the eggs to your milk mixture and whisk to break up the yolks.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour and start slowly adding the wet mixture, whisking as you go while also pulling in some of the dry ingredients Note: My bowl was sliding all over the counter so I put a silicon trivet underneath and it stuck like glue.
  • If the batter has any lumps, pour it through a fine mesh strainer Note: If you want to prep the recipe ahead of time this is where you should stop and refrigerate the batter in an airtight container. When you're ready to bake, let the batter sit out for about 20 minutes so it can lose the chill before adding the rosemary and zest. I'm assuming the batter can stay in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Chop your rosemary and grate your zest
  • Combine the wet mixture with the rosemary and orange zest right before you're ready to bake


  • Remove the pan from the oven (be careful!) and spoon the batter into the molds so that it's level with the rim, wiping up any excess.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating from front to back halfway through, until the cakes are browned.
  • When the cakes are still hot, take the back of a paring knife and nudge them a little to loosen the sides. Note: If the pan was properly oiled they will come right out, but take care not to burn yourself. Do as I say, not as I do, with the burned fingers.
  • Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool as soon as you're able.

Serving Size

This recipe makes enough for 60 mini tea cakes (made in this mold). I actually had a little batter left over and assume that cutting the recipe in half would be relatively easy.


As soon as the tea cakes were cool I bagged up the extras and froze them. I defrosted some in the microwave (not great for the exterior's texture but oh well) but they tasted fantastic. I'm guessing it would be best to reheat the tea cakes in the oven but I haven't tried that yet.

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