Olive Oil Cake

olive oil cake topped with candied oranges
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Servings: 10 servings
  • Yield: 1 cake

Some may believe butter makes the best desserts, but olive oil cake proves otherwise. High-quality olive oil not only imparts a great flavor, but it also keeps the cake extremely moist. This olive oil cake is filled with delicious citrus flavor and a crunchy sugar top. The citrus juices and orange liqueur give a beautiful aromatic quality to the cake, while a topping of candied oranges and a touch of powdered sugar make it celebration worthy. 

Make this cake ahead of time for the best flavor and texture. Allow it to cool, then wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for one day before you are planning to serve. The flavors will intensify and the cake will be easy to cut and serve.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1/3 cup citrus juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Garnish: candied oranges, powdered sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for olive oil cake on a marble board
  2. Use some olive oil to grease the inside of an 8-inch springform pan. Grease the entire inside. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the 1 tablespoons of sugar to evenly coat the bottom. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    olive oil greased springform pan with sugar coating the bottom
  3. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and orange zest in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until thick and pale, about 3 minutes.

    eggs and sugar beaten in a white bowl
  4. Drizzle in the olive oil while you are beating with the hand mixer on medium speed until it is completely incorporated.

    olive oil beaten into cake batter
  5. Whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

    dry ingredients for cakes whisked together in a bowl
  6. Whisk together the orange liqueur, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and milk in a small bowl. Add about half of this mixture to the sugar mixture and fold gently with a rubber spatula or with a wire whisk. Add half of the flour mixture. Continue until all of both mixtures have been incorporated into the sugar and egg mixture. Do not over beat.

    olive oil cake batter whisked in a bowl
  7. Add the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 2 minutes at 400 F, then lower the temperature to 350 F and bake for 50 minutes. Don’t open the oven door too early or the cake will collapse. The top should feel firm, a toothpick will come out clean and the sides will have pulled away from the pan slightly.

    olive oil cake batter poured in a springform pan
  8. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the springform pan and then release the side and flip upside down. The bottom will have a crusty sugar coating that looks pretty as well, so serve this side up.

    baked olive oil cake
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with candied oranges if you wish.

    olive oil cake on a platter
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Recipe Tips

  • The citrus juice can be any combination of citrus juices you want. We did half orange juice and half lemon juice, both freshly squeezed. 
  • We used an 8-inch springform pan but you could also use a 9 or 10-inch pan. Just be aware that the larger the pan you use, they shorter the cake will be.
  • For even more delicious orange and olive oil flavor, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of orange liqueur in a small bowl. Poke holes into the top of the cake and pour the liquid into them.