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Lemony Olive Oil Cake

Two of my absolute favorite ingredients in one amazing cake.

Here’s what I think: cake is delicious. One cake that I absolutely love is this lemony olive oil cake. If you’ve never had one before, olive oil cake is something truly unique. It’s light, citrusy, and has a subtle nod of fruity olive oil flavor. I like this as a spring/summer cake because it is so light and bright. I know it can be hard to imagine…the idea of an olive oil-flavored cake, but I assure you, this is a cake that will pique your tastebuds’ interest.

Olive oil and lemon are a great combination when it comes to salad dressings and cakes. The two work together in a similar way here to create this elusive flavor that compels you to take another bite so you can find out just what kind of magic you’re eating. I make sure to sift my dry ingredients to lighten the texture of the cake; it’s the little things that can make a big difference.

Onto the rest of the ingredients and a must-have here is the lemon zest. Zest adds a potent lemony essence into the cake, adding a nice citrus zip mixed in with the sugar. And you can’t really have a lemon flavor without fresh lemon juice, so those lemons I’ve zested will be juiced into the cake.

The batter is a beautiful pale color that’s flecked with lemon zest and smells absolutely amazing. My cake disappears into the oven where it becomes a beautiful golden brown and fills my kitchen with the irresistible smell of lemon olive oil cake. I like to top mine with a bit of powdered sugar, totally optional, but you’ll want to make sure the cake is fully cooled before you dust it with sugar. This is a cake that tastes even better the next day! Bright, and almost sweetly savory, a lemony olive oil cake is an absolute delight.

Serves 10

15m prep time

45m cook time

Rated 3.8 out of 5
Rated by 10 reviewers
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar + 3 tablespoons (reserved for topping)
  • Zest from 1 large lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • cup whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk the sugar and lemon zest together. Set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs until just foamy. Slowly add the sugar-zest mixture to the eggs. Next, add the olive oil and melted butter.
  5. Add the lemon juice and whole milk. Whisk until combined.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet, in three batches, stirring with a spatula until just smooth.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Saving Dessert.

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