This lemon olive oil cake is soft, moist, bright, incredibly delicious, and needs just 7 ingredients and less than an hour to make.
Whether it is birthdays, gatherings, or just a high tea, this cake needs no excuse! Just like my pear cake, coffee cake, or spice cake, this recipe is perfected so you can enjoy fluffy and tasty cake every single time.
What is olive oil cake?
Olive oil cake is a Mediterranean delicacy baked to celebrate the olive harvest. It is like a pound cake, except the butter is replaced with olive oil as a fat source.
Unlike the fluffy butter cake, olive oil makes for a moist cake.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Super easy. Like an orange cake, all you need to do is beat eggs with sugar, add the remaining ingredients, combine, and bake. Easy peasy!
- Delicious. You’ll get warm notes of olive oil and bright lemon flavor throughout. Also, the texture is so good that you’ll keep going for more.
- Moist. Unlike other butter cakes, this cake stays soft and moist for days.
What I like the most about this cake is it is perfect for any occasion. This cake fits just right in a fancy dinner party, a family gathering, or a brunch.
If you’re a lemon head like me, you will have most of the ingredients for this recipe in your fridge or pantry. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Eggs. Use medium-sized room-temperature eggs for this recipe.
- Baking powder. Helps to make the cake fluffy.
- Sugar. I often use confectioner’s sugar for this cake. If you don’t have refined sugar, powder it at home using a food processor and use it in the batter.
- Flour. I have used standard all-purpose flour for the cake. If you’re allergic to gluten, swap it with gluten-free flour.
- Milk. Use any room-temperature dairy or non-dairy milk of your choice.
- Olive oil. Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil. It is the least processed form and gives the cake a subtle taste.
- Lemons. Choose the juiciest lemons possible. First, zest the lemon using a micro grater, leaving out the white pith. Then cut it and squeeze it to extract fresh lemon juice.
How to make an olive oil cake with lemon
Making this cake is a cakewalk! Follow these easy steps to make the moistest lemon olive cake ever.
Step 1- make the cake batter
Beat the eggs and sugar, and combine with lemon juice, zest, olive oil, and milk.
Fold flour and baking powder and pour the batter into a cake tin lined with baking paper.
Step 2- Bake the cake
Bake the cake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes or until done.
Step 3- Sugar and serve
Once ready, transfer the tin to room temperature and let it cool slightly. If using a springform tin, release the sides. If not, run a knife along the sides to loosen the cake. Continue to cool the cake on a wire rack. Once cooled, dust the cake with a layer of powdered sugar and serve.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Do not skimp out on lemon. For a bright lemon flavor, use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest of at least one whole lemon. If you’re scaling up, don’t forget to double down on lemons!
- Avoid overmixing cake batter. Too much mixing after adding flour will result in a chewy and dense cake. Once combined, pour it into the cake tin and bake it immediately.
- Let the cake cook down. Don’t cut into the cake right after it is out of the oven; wait for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin, transfer it to a cooling rack, and allow it to cool down. Only then cut into it. Remember that it is too fragile to handle when hot.
- Avoid opening the oven during baking. Let your cake bake undisturbed for a full 35-40 minutes. Then, insert a skewer at the center of the cake to confirm if it is ready.
- Adjust the baking time. Ovens are different, and baking times vary based on the brand. So, adjust the timing to your oven settings for ideal results.
- Add vanilla. You can play around with warm and fuzzy flavors like vanilla and cinnamon, which go beautifully with lemon and olive oil.
- Use other citrus. Swap out the lemon for orange, limes, or grapefruit.
- Decorate it with fresh fruits. Put your favorite ones on a powdered cake top, along with candied lemon slices from the fruits and berries in season.
- Booze it up. Make an indulgent lemony cake by adding ¼ cup of limoncello to the batter. It’ll add a more complex lemon flavor and a subtle hint of alcohol.
- Top it off with lemon glaze. If you love a pronounced lemon taste, finish the cake with a yummy lemon glaze before serving.
You can simply store the cake at room temperature for 3-5 days. After that, move it to the refrigerator for more extended storage.
To store. Lemon olive cake stores well in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To freeze. To preserve it, tightly wrap or place it in a freezer-safe bag to store it in the freezer for up to six months.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Mixing bowls. A must for any baker’s kitchen.
- Electric beater. Works well for whisking eggs, whipping cream, and beating egg whites into stiff peaks.
- Cake pan. Use this springform pan for easy removal.
More lemon desserts to try:
Frequently asked questions
I haven’t tried this recipe without the eggs, but adding ½ tsp baking soda should work. Also, replace dairy milk with any plant-based milk of your choice.
Let me put you at ease if you’re worried about olive oil overpowering cake flavor. Whichever olive oil you use, you’ll get a subtle savory olive oil flavor balanced by the fragrant and bright lemon.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Beat the eggs with sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add milk and extra-virgin olive oil. Add lemon zest and lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Finally, fold in the flour and baking powder. Stir until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out just clean.
- Cool the cake for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan and transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust the cake with some powdered sugar before serving.
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