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Olive oil lemon cake recipe

Olive oil lemon cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cakes with fruit
  • Citrus cakes
  • Lemon cake

If you haven't tried baking with olive oil yet, this lemon cake recipe is where you should start! A gorgeous lemon sponge that's easy to make.

Greater London, England, UK

19 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 180ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 125g plain flour

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 23x13cm (9x5 in) loaf tin, then line with baking parchment.
  2. Start beating the egg whites to soft peaks. Add 4 tablespoons of icing sugar. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, but don't let them get too dry. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and thick, about 4 minutes. Whilst beating, add the lemon juice and then the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add the lemon zest.
  4. Stir flour into the yolk mixture using a spatula or wooden spoon. Gently fold in the egg whites till no streaks of white remain. Tip into prepared tin.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

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Olive Oil Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This lemon-scented Olive Oil Cake is perfectly crafted with some of the most basic ingredients! The olive oil adds a fruity flavor to the cake, while keeping it moist. Serve it with lots of berries or a dollop of cream, or sprinkled with a bit of powdered sugar. With just a few simple steps and a fairly quick prep time, this cake recipe will surely become one of your most cherished family favorites!

The Olive Oil cake is an easy cake with and accessible ingredient list that are pantry staples. The versatility of it is definitely another big win, since you can serve it with fresh berries, whipped cream or even ice cream.

Ingredients for olive oil lemon drizzle cake

To make this cake you'll need:

  • Caster sugar - for the cake and for the drizzle
  • Eggs - I normally use large eggs. However, I have made it with medium ones too.
  • Lemons - choose unwaxed ones so you can grate the zest too.
  • Olive oil - I like the Mediterranean flavour of extra virgin olive oil but light olive oil also works.
  • Milk - I use semi-skimmed as that's what we have at home. Whole milk or skimmed milk would also work. You can also replace the cow's milk with a plant-based milk.
  • Self-raising flour
  • Baking powder - I like to add a little extra even though it's in the flour already. It just helps the cake to rise more.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Light and tender, this lemon olive oil cake is easy enough for casual weeknights, but fancy enough to impress weekend dinner guests.

There are many recipes on this site that are fabulous but ultimately forgotten, sadly, in my search for new great recipes. (I can only eat so much dessert, y’all.)

Then there are other recipes that I fall head over heels in love with and bake over and over again. Like this simply dreamy lemon olive oil cake.

I first stumbled upon the recipe several years ago as I was planning a little dinner party. I needed an impressive dessert that wasn’t too heavy, but also uncomplicated and not stress-inducing. This cake was such a hit that evening that it’s made many more appearances at parties and potlucks since then.

The cake is very tender and moist with subtle lemon and olive oil flavors. The olive oil gives it a certain something that sets is apart and elevates the cake from good to great. This cake can be served many ways, though my favorite is with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries.

Lemon Cake Recipe Tips

Each recipe also comes with a little tip (the titular small victory). Here’s a tip she shared for cutting parchment paper to fit in a round pan, which is much easier than the way I used to do it:

Rip off a piece of parchment that’s a bit bigger than your pan. Fold it into a square. Then, fold it in half to make a triangle and fold it in half again to make an even more narrow triangle. Next, place the tip of the triangle in the center of the pan. Use scissors to cut off the excess parchment that extends beyond the pan. Finally, unfold the parchment and, voila, you have a perfect circle that fits into your pan.

And a tip from me: Serve this lemon olive oil cake with dollops of coconut cream (or whipped cream) for an extra treat. It’s a lovely creamy contrast to the moist, bright cake.

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Much as I love my butter cakes, this Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake is a cake I could eat every day&hellipif I could eat cake every day, that is. It&rsquos rich, not too sweet, tangy and has just a little crunch of cornmeal.

There are a million olive oil cake recipes on the internet (and that might not be an exaggeration. There could actually be a million) and I&rsquom sure some are better than others. This is a good one, if I do say so myself.

My recipe came about because I had a bunch of Meyer Lemons in the fridge that were going to go bad if I didn&rsquot do something with them. It was my turn to host book group and I needed to bake something to serve. I hadn&rsquot posted an olive oil cake recipe yet, so decided it was time to use the Meyer Lemons and create a new olive oil cake recipe.

Olive oil cake is, essentially, a chiffon cake. Chiffon cakes are oil based cakes, no butter in the batter. Because oil stays liquid at room temperature oil based cakes are soft and moist and have a very, very tender crumb. The problem with chiffon style cakes is that if there&rsquos too much oil in the batter the cake can have an oily, pasty texture that&rsquos not at all pleasant. It&rsquos imperative to have a balanced recipe.

I started my recipe knowing I would use both the zest and the juice from the Meyer Lemons. Most of the flavor comes from the oils in the zest and most of the tang comes from the acidic juice. In order to keep the tangy flavor front and center I decided not to use acid-neutralizing baking soda. Instead I used baking powder to leaven the cake. To keep the style of the cake a little on the rustic side, I planned to add just a little cornmeal to the batter for a little crunch and color.

The first attempt at the recipe was not bad, but the texture was more like corn bread than cake. I&rsquod added a little too much corn meal and not enough oil. Also, I&rsquod separated the eggs and whipped the whites which made the crumb too open. This should be a slightly dense cake, like a pound cake. While it was an acceptable cake, it was not good enough. Back to the drawing board. (Of course, that meant I had to buy even more Meyer Lemons, oh well.)

For the second cake I changed the mixing method. I &ldquoribboned&rdquo the eggs with the sugar, then added the oil, dry ingredients and lemon juice. &ldquoRibboning&rdquo means you whisk the whole eggs with the sugar until they aerate and lighten in color. When you lift the whisk and drizzle the eggs into the bowl they&rsquoll leave a &ldquoribbon&rdquo on the surface. Hence the term, &ldquoribbon&rdquo the eggs. You can see that in the photo below (despite the terrible lighting-I was baking at night).

The second cake was much better. With just a 1/2 cup of cornmeal I got the crunch and the nice yellow color that I wanted but the texture was still tender and cakey. Adding an extra 1/4 cup of olive oil made the cake very moist with a barely discernible olive oil flavor in the background.

Bake the cake in a 12 cup Bundt or tube pan. The batter may not bake up properly in a round or loaf shaped pan. It is a very wet batter and might not have enough structure without the opening in the middle of the pan.

Not only does Olive Oil Cake keep well at room temperature, it actually gets better the first day or two after it&rsquos baked. This cake is so moist it doesn&rsquot need anything but sprinkle of sugar for a pretty finish. Of course you could plate it with some fresh berries for a fancier presentation.

Olive Oil Lemon Bundt Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes Bake Time: 50 minutes-1 hour


3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (not Greek)

¾ cup good extra-virgin olive oil

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting on cake

The Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and butter and flour or spray with nonstick cooking spray a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. If you have a stand mixer, attach the paddle and beat the egg yolks together for a minute or two until they are pale and light. Gradually add the sugar and beat until it is totally mixed in. Add the yogurt and olive oil and mix well again. Then add in the lemon zest and vanilla and mix just to combine.

4. Add half of the flour mixture and mix in on low speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the other half, beating just until incorporated and using the spatula to scrape down the bowl. You don’t want to over mix. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

5. In a separate large bowl with clean beaters (I use my handheld for this) beat the egg whites, until stiff peaks form. Place about 1 cup of the beaten whites into the batter and use a spatula to gently fold them in so that most, but not all of the whites are incorporated. Then, add in the remaining whites and fold just until no traces of the whites can be seen.

6. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, level the top and bake for 30 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for another 10. Insert a cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out wet (mine did) cook for another 10 minutes. If it looks like the top is getting too dark, cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and check at 10 minute intervals, retesting with the cake tester, until it comes out clean and the cake is golden brown.

7. Let cake sit in the pan on a wire rack until completely cool. Then invert onto a rack and use a sieve to dust the cake with the confectioners’ sugar. Cut into wedges and serve. Cake will last well-wrapped at room temperature for at least 5 days.

Note: Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. I subbed in lemon zest for the orange.

What you’ll need

Foolproof LEMON OLIVE OIL CAKE [recipe]

A dead-easy, lemony Lemon Olive Oil Cake, which is one of like three things I actually bake because I can’t bake to save my loaf. In fact, the only other recipes for baked goods on this site are essentially variations on this Olive Oil Cake (links to those recipes included), and banana bread.

At some point I will bake an olive oil banana bread.

Recipe for LEMON OLIVE OIL CAKE below, cooking Notes and shopping Resources follow. You can watch a short video of my making the cake here.


suggested wine pairing: late harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Merry Edwards, which is a sweet dessert wine with notes of “honeysuckle, candied ginger, toasted almonds and lemon meringue,” so it’s perfect with the flavors in the cake.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons lemon juice
optional: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
for serving: confectioner’s sugar, fresh berries, lemon zest


Prep 9-inch cake pan with baking spray or rub with a little olive oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. In a larger mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, eggs, lemon zest and juice. Add the dry mix to the olive oil mixture and stir until just combined. If using chopped herbs, stir in now.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, checking at 45 minutes with a cake tester. Cake is done when top is medium golden brown and tester comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and let cake cook completely for an additional hour.

To serve, dust with powdered sugar and top cake with fresh berries and lemon zest.

If you are baking this Lemon Olive Oil Cake ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap without the confectioner’s sugar and berries. You can keep it on the counter for a day, or in the refrigerator for two days.

Naked Lemon and Olive Oil Layer Cake

You saw one at your cousin&rsquos wedding and assumed it was way too tough to make at home. But the naked cake trend (that&rsquos a cake with only a tiny bit of frosting so you can still see the layers underneath) is actually really easy to pull off. Try making this naked lemon and olive oil layer cake for dessert and see for yourself.

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Lemon zest, as needed for garnish

Berries, as needed for garnish

1. Make the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 6-inch cake pans.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and thick, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add the olive oil, buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon extract (if using) and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and mix well to combine, 1 minute more.

5. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, 45 seconds to 1 minute.

6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

7. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 15 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

8. Make the Frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter while gradually adding the confectioners&rsquo sugar 1 cup at a time. Mix until light and fluffy.

9. Beat in the lemon zest, vanilla extract and milk. Mix well to combine.

10. Assemble the Cake: When the cakes are cool, use a serrated knife to cut the domed top off of each cake and then cut each cake into two layers. (You&rsquoll have four layers total.)

11. Place one cake layer on a platter or cake stand and scoop 1 heaping cup of frosting on top of it. Using the spatula, spread the frosting into an even layer, all the way to the edge. Place another cake layer on top. Repeat until you&rsquove used all four cake layers.

12. Spread the remaining frosting in a thin coat on the top and side of the cake. Run your spatula around the edge of the cake to scrape away any excess frosting. (You should be able to clearly see the cake through the thin layer of frosting.)

13. Sprinkle with lemon zest and garnish with berries. Slice and serve the cake at room temperature.