The combination of anise and olive oil is typical in Italian baking; here it works wonders in a batch of moderately sweet miniature cakes. Toasting the anise seeds helps release their flavor: Heat the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, gently shaking the pan, just until they are fragrant and begin to pop, about three minutes, then let cool slightly. This recipe doubles easily.




  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter four 1-cup mini Bundt pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk whole eggs, yolk, granulated sugar, zest, and anise seeds until foamy. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until combined.

  • Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture in 3 batches.

  • Divide batter evenly among prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until light golden and a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cakes, and serve warm, dusted with confectioners' sugar.