RECIPE: Dinner in French Campari Cake

Country of Recipe Inspiration: France

Last week, I posted a list of 5 Popular Drink Recipes That Will Transport You to the South of France, and the first item on it is the ever-popular Spritz. I personally love a spritz made with Campari- I usually appreciate a more heavily-packed punch – while some prefer the milder version, made with its slightly less bitter cousin, Aperol. The apéritif, though originating from Italy and extremely popular along the French Riviera, is now enjoyed in bars and restaurants all over the world. And the Negroni, similar to a spritz but stronger, made with gin, has always been my absolute favorite way to enjoy Campari. That is, until now … after discovering the Campari Cake. In Melissa Clark’s Dinner in French, the New York Times star food writer proves that a bitter liqueur made from herbs and fruit can be just as enchanting and sweet as can be, all dressed up and in cake form.

If you really want to be bold, accompany this dessert (or breakfast, depending on how you see fit), with a Negroni for the ultimate culinary coup, and before you know it, you might actually be having dinner in French.


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick / 56 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups (335 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (150 milliliters) whole milk
  • 2/3 cup (150 milliliters) mild olive oil
  • large eggs
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) Campari
  • 1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup whipped crème fraîche or whipped cream, sweetened or not as you like, for serving


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. (You can use a regular 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2 inches deep, but the cake will be harder to unmold.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, milk, oil, eggs, Campari, citrus zests, and citrus juices. Fold in the dry ingredients, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake until the top is golden and springs back when lightly pressed in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (A cake tester might emerge with a few crumbs, which is OK.)
  4. Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Then run a butter knife around the edges and release the sides. Serve with dollops of whipped crème fraîche. This cake is best served on the same day that it’s baked.

Recipe Courtesy of Melissa Clark

Dinner in French


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A traveler since childhood, Juliana Fraioli Wilson has always had a love for exploring. She is a published writer and an accomplished business owner with a background in music and art. Join Juliana, her husband Ryan, and their two kids in Wanderland! Follow along as they share tips, tricks, recipes and reviews, from some of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world.

1 Comment

  1. Brian on June 12, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    Way to go on this post man. Really interesting stuff. I’ll be back to read your other posts.

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