Retro olive bakes

Retro olive bakes

Lucy's Bakes
15 mins
Cooking time
15 mins
Jacqui Melville

Back in the mists of time when olives were terribly sophisticated – yes, I’m talking about the 1970s – the other Lucy’s mum went to America for a holiday and returned with some recipes, including a version of this made then with pimento-stuffed olives. They’ve been a favourite in her family ever since. Now, in more cosmopolitan times, we have all sorts of olives to choose from stuffed with all manner of delicious titbits – current favourites of ours would have to be those stuffed with anchovy but the choice is yours.


Quantity Ingredient
115g butter, at room temperature
110g parmesan or pecorino, finely grated
110g cheddar, finely grated
150g plain flour
pinch paprika
pinch ground cumin, optional
40g pitted or stuffed green olives


  1. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and cheeses until smooth.
  3. Mix in the flour and spices. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 1 hour.
  4. Dry the olives on paper towels. Using wet hands, take a ball of cheese mixture close in size to the olives and flatten it in your palm. Work the mixture up around the olive, and then very gently roll it around between your palms. Make sure the cheese mixture completely seals in the olive, so you have a ball of mixture with an olive hidden inside.
  5. Place on the baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes or until needed. (They can be frozen ahead of time and cooked from frozen the day you want to serve them, so they are a great idea for entertaining when time is short as you can have these made ahead to this point.) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C.
  6. Cook from frozen for 20 minutes or until golden and the pastry is no longer doughy. Allow to cool slightly before serving as they will firm up, but you can let them go cold and warm through for 5 minutes just before serving if more convenient.


  • This recipe is vegetarian and nut-free.


  • These can be quite fiddly to roll into a ball as the dough is soft – sometimes a dab of oil on your hands can help prevent it from sticking.

What the the testers say

  • HATTIE CUFFLIN – ‘Surprisingly easy to knock up and so good we ate them all off the baking tray – I used plain stoned green olives but would try another sort next time.’

    NAOMI AND RUTH HULME – ‘They are fantastic. We shared them with friends over a glass of wine and we ate the lot!

    JACQUI MELVILLE AND SUZANNE QUINTNER – ‘70s retro – absolutely! It is hard not to eat them all before the guests arrive!’
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