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Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake

April 19, 2022
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
This Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake is the perfect thing to make for Spring. Complete with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting with streaks of blueberries and a fluffy, moist cake as it's base!

Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake

This Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake is dense, moist, and fluffy. It’s also well balanced between tart and sweet flavors as zesty lemon and olive oil is paired with sweet hints of blueberries. A definite crowd-pleasing treat for the entire family on any occasion. Vegan option available.

Slice of Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake with a fork on a plate

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There's not much to say about this Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake, honestly. It's absolutely incredible, moist, fluffy, soft, and so pillowy. Just all the things. Growing up, I used to love anything with lemons or blueberries, so this cake fits the bill! More importantly, I love anything blueberry and lemon----they're just magic together. And if you're into this combo as well, then you're sure to love this layered cake. It's the ultimate dessert for any occasion, especially if you're looking to bake something delicious for a birthday, graduation, or any other celebration. Plus, you'll want to try this Skillet Blueberry Cobbler with Cinnamon Biscuits!

Let's talk about the olive oil in this cake however. If you haven't tried my Olive Oil Cake or Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake with Raspberry Compote then you're truly missing out. I understand the craze over adding olive oil to your cake because it really does add great moisture and fat to the batter which creates a nice fluffy cake. It's that simple. However, if you're into more classic cakes, then this Perfect One-Bowl Lemon Birthday Sheet Cake, Lemon Strawberry Layer Cake, and Southern Salted Caramel Cake is just the thing that you need!

Overall, this cake is just the right amount of sweetnessfluffinesssoftness and includes a beautiful marriage of lemon + blueberry flavors, and is altogether easy to make—using simple ingredients. It’s a win, win situation—believe me!

What is Olive Oil Cake?

The best part of an olive oil cake is that it doesn't use any butter and only uses olive oil, hence it's name. Basically, olive oil cake is a signature dessert in places like Italy and is often citrus-based like lemon, but can be made into almost any flavor like chocolate, etc.

However, with this Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake recipe I chose to use both butter + olive oil for that extra fat and nice rich texture, However, you can feel free to only use olive oil as traditionally done.

Jump to:

Why Do People Like Olive Oil Cake?

This is often the biggest question asked when it comes to olive oil cake, specifically form those who may have not tried it before. Generally, people enjoy the fruity flavor that olive oil cake usually offers, while others might love the fact that unlike regular cake, olive oil cake bakes up to be loftier and stays moist longer. The reasons vary, but for good reason!

Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake on an elevated platter with slice missing

Ingredients for Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake

This cake as I’ve mentioned before is super easy to whip together and doesn’t require anything special when it comes to ingredients. All you need to whip up this simple Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake batter is:

  • Olive oil. Choose a nice high-quality oil because you will be able to taste it in the cake! I love using EVOO (aka Extra Virgin Olive Oil) for a bold flavor. This keeps the cake moist and eliminates the need for butter if you decide not to use it.
  • All-purpose flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s organic flour, which add great texture. Again, quality matters! For a fluffier cake, you can substitute with cake flour.
  • Baking powder for leavening. This is important in conjunction with the acidity of the cake and it's rising.
  • Butter. I recommend unsalted butter for baking. You'll need to have this softened to room temp. so that it can easily be mixed. You can substitute this with olive oil for a full olive oil cake, if desired.
  • Cane sugar. I use organic sugar. Any granulated sugar works! This is a light sweetener best for most cakes.
  • Eggs. These should be at room temperature so they mix evenly into the batter.
  • Vanilla extract for a bit of warmth and enhanced flavor profile.
  • Lemon zest. This adds a nice citrus flavor to the olive oil cake. You can also use lime or orange zest if desired.
  • Blueberries. You can use fresh or frozen blueberries. For frozen blueberries, be sure to toss in flour first to allow cake to bake better without a ton of excess moisture.
  • Buttermilk. This helps the cake become moist and with the perfect texture. You'll need heavy cream (or plant-based milk) + lemon juice to create your buttermilk. You can also substitute with Greek yogurt to give it moisture and fat.
  • Powdered sugar. I love a light sifted powdered sugar topping for this cake because it speaks for itself! Add fresh berries for an added treat!

Cake Flour vs. All-Purpose Flour.

When it comes to the main ingredient of this entire recipe—-the flour, I enjoy using Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, which is ideal for all kinds of baking, including this one.

However, I do occasionally use Super-Fine Cake Flour which adds a nice airiness and fluffiness to your cakes as well.

How to Make Your Own Homemade Cake Flour

If you're in a pinch and you don't have any cake flour on hand and you only have all-purpose flour---no worries! You can still achieve that extra fluffiness that cake flour would by simply adding 1 teaspoon of arrowroot or starch to your flour before whisking. 

Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake on an elevated platter with a slice pulled out

Tips for Making the Best Cake

Like with many other cakes, when making this olive oil cake, the following tips will ensure that you have the best results possible:

Use cake flour when you can. When it comes to the main ingredient of this entire lemon blueberry olive oil cake recipe—-the flour, I enjoy using Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, which is ideal for all kinds of baking, including this one. However, I do occasionally use Super-Fine Cake Flour which adds a nice airiness and fluffiness to your cakes as well.

Always use room temperature eggs. This helps to ensure that the eggs mix in with the other ingredients better since the egg yolks will be more softened at room temp.

Always use high-quality ingredients. This is true for any cake, including this one. Having quality olive oil, vanilla extract, flour, eggs, etc. makes the difference!

Use oil to grease your pan. Usually, butter is the staple for greasing any cake pan, however, for this recipe, it's best to use oil to ensure that it doesn't stick.

Mix just until combined but well. While over-mixing your cake batter is definitely a thing, ensuring that the batter is in fact smooth and lump-free is important.

Slice of Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake on two small stacked plates

Fresh vs. Frozen Blueberries

I like using frozen blueberries for baking projects like this cake. The flavor is more concentrated, plus they’re more affordable.

However, note that if you’re using frozen blueberries, lightly toss them in 1 tablespoon of flour or arrowroot starch before adding them to the batter. This helps absorb excess water and prevents the berries from sinking to the bottom of the cake batter.

Roasted Blueberries

Add extra, bold blueberry flavor to your cake is by roasting your blueberries instead:

  • Blueberries. Again, fresh works best for the best roasting results.
  • Olive oil. Helps the blueberries to wilt and roast nicely.
  • Brown sugar. I like organic sugar.
  • Lemon zest. To add some citrus flavor and help to bring out the juices out of the blueberries.

See my Vegan Roasted Blueberry Muffins for the actual measurements for roasting your blueberries.

How to Roast the Blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the blueberries unto the baking sheet (in a single layer) and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with brown sugar and lemon zest. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until blueberries are wilted, and the juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and let it cool completely.

Assembling the Cake

Before you frost your cake, you’ll need to trim it. Use a long serrated knife (or cake slicer) to slice the thin crust layer off the top of each cake to make a flat surface.

Next, place the first cake layer on a cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, place the with second layer on top and evenly cover the top with buttercream. You can add more layers if you like too!

Once your cake is fully stacked, spread the remaining vanilla buttercream over the cake and down the sides.

Tip: Make things a bit easier by spreading a very thin layer of buttercream over the cake and chilling it for 30 minutes before adding the remaining buttercream.

Once fully frosted, garnish your masterpiece with bits of cake crumble from any discarded cake, flowers, blueberries, etc. as desired. Slice and enjoy!

Slice of Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake on two small stacked plates

Common Q + A's for this Cake

Can I Make Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cupcakes?

Sure! To turn this cake recipe into individual cupcakes, simply divide the batter between about 30 cupcake wells. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the centers are set.

How to Store Leftovers? Freeze for Longer?

Keep cake leftovers stored for up to 4-5 days in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container to keep the cake from drying out. You can also freeze the cake tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost the cake on the counter.

Why Are the Ingredients at Room Temperature?

When it comes to ingredients, especially in baking, it’s always best to have cold ingredients at room temperature to ensure that the mixing process is more seamless and even. Please note that microwaving your butter last minute if you forget to leave it out at room temperature isn’t recommended. Microwaving often changes the consistency of the butter which doesn’t create a nice ‘creaminess’ when mixed.

Can I Make this Cake Gluten-Free?

Absolutely! If you would love to make this cake gluten-free, then substituting all-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour is the easiest option.

It’s a special blend of gluten-free flours, starches, and xanthan gum, which makes this cake just as soft, fluffy, and airy as the original! They also have a great All-purpose GF flour that works great as well.

Can I Make this Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake Vegan?

Of course! To make this cake entirely dairy-free + vegan, simply omit the unsalted butter and eggs and use vegan butter instead and add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to milk instead of lemon juice. Ensure that all ingredients are vegan-friendly, including blueberry preserves/jam.

Why did my cake not come out of the cake pan clean?

This issue can occur for TWO reasons: the first being that you didn't allow the cake to cool enough before removing it. I always recommend letting it cool for at least 10-15 minutes before removing it and slicing. Secondly, the issue could be that the pan wasn't greased well with the right base. I like to grease this cake with olive oil or some kind of neutral oil + add cake pan parchment paper to the bottom for the easiest removal.

What's the best olive oil for this cake?

When it comes to using olive oil, it's always important to use a high-quality oil which gives you the most robust flavor. I love using EVOO (aka Extra virgin olive oil) for the best chemical stability when it comes to baking or cooking, however, you can also use regular olive oil. In addition, artisan-style oil can add even more flavor. Personally, I enjoy using Brightland's oils which come in various flavor profiles like basil, chili oil, etc. which adds so much flavor.

Slice of Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake on two stacked plates

Can I Make this Cake Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! You can always bake this cake the night or day before and let it cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. The frosting/buttercream can also be made prior and tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge as well. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, frost, and enjoy!

More Delicious Lemon + Blueberry Dessert Recipes

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.

Closeup of a slice of Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake
Up close shot of a slice of Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil cake on two white plates.

Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake

April 19, 2022
4.75 from 20 votes
This Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake is dense, moist, and fluffy. It’s also well balanced between tart and sweet flavors as zesty lemon and olive oil is paired with sweet hints of blueberries. A definite crowd-pleasing treat for the entire family on any occasion. Vegan option available.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8 servings

Ingredients

CAKE:

  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups organic cake flour (See Notes)
  • 2 ½ tsps baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
  • 4 large organic eggs, room temp.
  • 2 Tbsps freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups "Buttermilk" (I use Almond milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (If using frozen blueberries, See Notes!)

FILLING:

  • ½ cup blueberry preserves or jam
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM:

  • 5 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsps Almond milk

TOPPING:

  • 2 Tbsps blueberry preserves or jam

Instructions

MAKE THE CAKE:

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with butter) AND line with parchment paper the bottoms of TWO 9-inch or 8-inch cake pans (for thicker layers) or THREE 6-inch cake pans.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the milk and lemon juice and set aside for 5-10 minutes until everything "activates" to create the dairy-free "buttermilk".
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt until combined.
  • In a bowl, add the butter and sugar, beating them together using a hand-mixer (on high-speed), until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs (one at a time) followed by the freshly-squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, mixing until combined. On low-speed, add in the dry ingredients followed by the buttermilk and continue to mix until combined and the batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes. NOTE: The batter should be thick, yet slowly run off the whisk once lifted. Fold in the blueberries.
  • Divide the batter evenly into each of the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or butter knife comes out clean when tested in the centers.
  • Remove cakes from the oven and let them rest in the pan for 10 minutes or so before removing the cakes and placing them onto a cooling rack to fully cool. NOTE: Let them cool for at least 1-2 hours in a cool place.

MAKE THE BLUEBERRY FILLING:

  • In a bowl, add the blueberry preserves/jam and lemon juice, mixing until combined and easily mixable. Set aside.

MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

  • Simply beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand-mixer) on medium-high speed, until smooth and pale. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, continuing to mix on medium-speed until you reach the desired consistency----smooth and fluffy. NOTE: Add more milk (1 tablespoon at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).

ASSEMBLY:

  • Place the first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream and a few spoonfuls of blueberry filling. Now, top with 2nd layer and add more buttercream atop that layer, spreading it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. NOTE: If making a 3-layer, be sure to repeat step 1 of assembly once again before getting to the final layer.
  • Once fully frosted, add small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip around the sides and top of cake. Feel free to add a spoonful of blueberry preserves/jam to the tops and side of cake and using a spatula, glide it across the cake for a nice "infuse" in buttercream. Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. NOTE: For a fancy moment or occasion, add florals atop cake for a Spring vibe!
  • When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator. Slice and enjoy!
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Keep cake leftovers stored for up to 4-5 days in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container to keep the cake from drying out. You can also freeze the cake tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost the cake on the counter.
  • FLOUR: You can also use cake flour in place of all-purpose flour for a fluffier texture. 
  • BLUEBERRIES: If using frozen blueberries, be sure to lightly toss them in 1Tbsp of flour or arrowroot starch before adding them to batter. This reduces any excess water from the blueberries and allows cake to bake thoroughly.
  • LEMON BLUEBERRY CUPCAKES: This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
  • DAIRY BUTTERMILK: Add 1 cup of organic heavy cream + 1 tablespoon lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes, until it thickens.
  • VEGAN OPTION: To make this cake entirely dairy-free + vegan, simply omit the unsalted butter and eggs and use vegan butter instead and add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to milk instead of lemon juice. Ensure that all ingredients are vegan-friendly, including blueberry preserves/jam.
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: If you would love to make this cake gluten-free, then substituting all-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour is the easiest option. It’s a special blend of gluten-free flours, starches, and xanthan gum, which makes these donuts just as soft, fluffy, and airy as the original! They also have a great All-purpose GF flour that works great as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 989kcal | Carbohydrates: 190g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 1472IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 4mg

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Script text: Xx, Shanika

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  1. Thanks for a great recipe. Light lemony cake that compliments the blueberries. I made just one 9” round and topped it with a thick cloud of whipped heavy cream mixed with lemon curd for a lighter frosting. Tossed a cup of fresh blueberries with some olive oil, sugar, and dash of cinnamon and piled on top for rustic presentation. Kids and adults both enjoyed it.

    • Hi Elaine! Wow---I'm so happy that you enjoyed this recipe! It's truly a staple in our house! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

  2. My friend made this cake n gave us some, it was yummy I had to ask for the recipe. Baked it for my daughter's birthday and couldn't resist cutting through one layer for us at home😂😂😂. About to bake it's replacement.

    • Hi Jane! OMGGG! That's so funny! I love that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for choosing to make this cake! 🙂

    • Hi Kiara! Thanks so much! I do hope that you get a chance to try it! 🙂

  3. The perfect sweet treat for spring. Love the flavor combo of lemons and blueberries in a slice. Next time I'll make two cakes.

  4. This cake just tastes as spring should! The lemon is so crisp and the blueberries add the perfect flavor to the cake.

  5. This was such a treat for a recent playdate! I am a big fan of lemon and blueberries together, and the olive oil created such a great texture. The kids were fighting for more!

  6. Absolutely in love with this recipe! Lemon and blueberry is my favorite combo when it comes to sweets. And the olive oil adds sooooo much moisture!

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