This Olive Oil Cake recipe is a classic favorite for the entire family. It's light, moist, and fluffy and comes with the most airiest texture. It’s also well balanced between subtle tartness from the lemon zest and sweet flavors as the olive oil is paired with fresh berries on top. A definite crowd-pleasing treat for any occasion and it's so easy to whip together in under 1 hour. Vegan option.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links via Amazon for products that I wholeheartedly love and receive commission from.
A good slice of cake is a must on a daily basis, am I right? Haha. I don't know, but there's something so comforting and calming about a good slice of cake and this rich Olive Oil Cake recipe is one of those sweet treats that truly meets the criteria. In this olive oil cake, I love the subtle hint of lemon that burst through every bite and works so well with olive oil. But any citrus like orange, lemon, or lime could work so well for this cake recipe.
If you're a fan of baking layered cake, then I recommend trying my Lemon Blueberry Olive Oil Cake or this Best Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream is you're a lover of ice cream. If you haven't you're truly missing out. It's one of my most popular cakes and it's so rich and full of lemon and blueberry flavors---which makes the perfect combo. Of course, I also love a good slice of Apple Cinnamon Olive Oil Cake or Birthday Strawberry Shortcake Cake is I'm feeling fancy! Either way, this is the perfect dessert with a good cup of coffee or tea for a really chill moment.
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.
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!
Here's what you need to make this easy, rich olive oil cake batter:
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.
This olive oil cake recipe can be whipped together in just 45 minutes total by the following steps:
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 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.
Baking is such a science, but more importantly because certain ingredients like your leaveners (aka baking powder + baking soda) are completely fresh so that your olive oil cake (and other baked goods) fully rise and bake through nicely.
Incase you weren't aware, there's an easy to double check both the baking powder and baking soda. Here's what you need:
BAKING SODA HACK:
-Add 1 teaspoon baking soda with ¼ cup vinegar or lemon juice in a bowl and if it's fresh, the mixture should "bubble/fizz". If no bubble/fizz is present, then your baking soda needs to be replaced.
-Add 1 teaspoon baking powder with ¼ cup Hot tap water in a bowl and if it's fresh, the mixture should "bubble/fizz". If no bubble/fizz is present, then your baking powder needs to be replaced.
Keep cake leftovers stored for up to 4 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.
Absolutely! To make this cake entirely dairy-free + vegan, simply omit the eggs and be sure to use plant-based milk to create your "buttermilk".
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.
Definitely! In all honesty, I tend to use Cake Flour by itself when I decide not to mix it in with All-Purpose Flour. Using Cake Flour alone makes your cake even more soft, fluffy, and moist! Of course, you can always use All-Purpose Flour solely if you don’t have Cake Flour.
Basically, you only need to mix your cake batter until "just combined"---meaning that everything is smooth and you no longer can see the individual ingredients added.
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.
Although not significantly lower in calories compared to regular cakes, overall olive oil cakes are healthier.
With this recipe, I chose to lightly sift my cake with powdered sugar and then with fresh berries (specifically strawberries because I love them). Of course, this elegant treat can be enjoyed all by itself or topped with whipped cream, fruit or ice cream.
If you're a fan of lemon flavor, then you'd probably want to make this olive oil cake more lemony. It's so easy to do! Simple add an additional teaspoon of lemon zest and 1 freshly-squeezed lemon. This should add enough lemon flavor for a nice rich, citrusy feel.
If you tried this 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.