Nope, no frogs in this cake!
Have you ever heard of FROG jam? Don’t be put off by its amphibious name, luckily there are no frogs on the ingredient list. I came across it not too terribly long ago on the “We Love Local!” shelf at the grocery store recently and it spoke to me. We had a moment there in the grocery story, me and the FROG jam.You should’ve seen me stopping my cart mid-aisle and picking up the jar for further inspection (not like I actually thought there were frogs in it, but you have to admit it piques your interest). As I quickly realized upon reading the label, FROG is just a fun acronym for some of my favorite ingredients: Figs, Raspberry, Orange, Ginger blended together in a sweet, tart, spreadable form.
Pondering its Amish reputation, I’m not 100% sure on how this jam came to be in the Midwest considering figs, oranges and ginger don’t grow here, but the combination of sweet, jammy figs, tart berries, citrus and spicy ginger is right up my alley so who cares! I am as glad as anyone that they put this jam together. It’s as good on toast as it is paired with warm melty brie. Slathered on a biscuit or brushed on top of grilled chicken! Anyway, back to me in the grocery store holding the jam– as I read the label of this jar, I visualized all of the above uses and immediately stuck it in my cart. As I thought about a good (sweet) way to showcase the flavors in this weirdly named jam, I settled on cake, and an olive oil cake popped into my mind as the perfect vessel. It’s fairly low fuss (no layers, no stand mixer required either) and the fruitiness of the olive oil in the cake I thought would play really well together. Add to that a nice sliceable crumb and we were in business. Not to mention I feel cake in loaf form makes it much more acceptable to enjoy for breakfast. Soooo that sealed the deal.
In an effort to get some of the FROG flavor into the cake itself without compromising the texture of the Olive Oil cake, I added a good amount of orange zest and freshly grated ginger. The rest of the frogginess would come out on top of the cake.
For the glaze, I melted a few tablespoons of jam straight out of the jar with butter and stirred in powdered sugar and heavy cream until the consistency was pourable. Finally– topping the loaf with fresh figs, berries, orange zest and candied ginger gave it an extra boost of fresh flavor and looked pretty to boot.
If you can’t find FROG jam in your grocery store or farm stand, it’s really easy to make yourself. I’ve linked to a recipe below if you’re feeling really enterprising!
FROG Olive Oil Cake
Makes 1 8×4 inch loaf | Inspired by this recipe and this recipe
For the cake
1 3/4 C All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 C sugar
3/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil (This one is my favorite!)
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
3/4 C milk
For the glaze
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of kosher salt
2 Tbsp FROG jam (Can’t find it? Make it! It’s easy– Recipe here)
2 C sifted powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp heavy cream or half and half
For the topping:
2 Fresh figs, quartered
10-12 fresh raspberries
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp candied ginger, chopped fine
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350F. Spray an 8.5×4.5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In separate large bowl (or in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment but you can totally do this one by hand), combine whole eggs and sugar. Whisk until fully combined and eggs are lightened in color and thickened. Carefully pour in extra virgin olive oil and whisk until oil is completely combined. Add in orange zest* and freshly grated ginger.
Carefully add half of flour mixture to wet ingredients, folding with spatula until combined. Add milk, stir to combine, and then add rest of flour mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula until fully combined.
Spread into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean (or with a few tiny crumbs). Set loaf on wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn out of pan onto cooling rack. Allow to cool completely to room temperature, about an hour.
After cake has completely cooled, prepare the glaze. In a medium saucepan set over medium low heat, melt butter and jam. Slowly add powdered sugar and pinch of salt and stir until fully combined. Add up to 2 tbsp of heavy cream top achieve pouring consistency.
Place loaf on wire rack set over sheet pan. Pour hot glaze over cake, garnish with fresh fruit, zest, and ginger. Enjoy!
*Zest has a tendency to clump and stick to whisks, be sure to scrape off any zest before giving the mixture a final stir.