How to Make Olive Oil Cake Recipe (Easy One Bowl)

5 from 12 reviews

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How to Make Olive Oil Cake Recipe (Easy One Bowl)– a beautiful and simple Italian cake with a moist texture. The rich essence of olive oil and the brightness of the lemon brings a touch of Mediterranean decadence to every bite! It all comes together in one bowl and is easy to prepare.

You will also love my Orange Olive Oil Cake, Lemon Cake Recipe, and Panettone Recipe.

baked best olive oil cake with powdered sugar on top. Cake cut into slices. One slice is taken out with a cake server.
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Best Olive Oil Cake

This is the best Italian olive oil cake! Tried and tested by many. It has an incredibly soft and moist texture and rich flavor and is perfect for a dinner party or any occasion with a cup of tea.

Add this to your list of foolproof cake recipes! You will also love these easy and simple cakes Soft Italian Chocolate CakeSimple Italian Apple CakeItalian Almond Cake, my Pear Cake Recipe, and Italian Crumble Cake Pastry. Try this Davis family favorite- Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Glaze.

Another variation of this recipe that you might love is this Chocolate Olive Oil Cake!

side photo of thick slice on a plate of the best olive oil cake recipe.

Simple Ingredients Italian Olive Oil Cake

High-quality ingredients will result in the most delicious Italian Olive Oil cake!

ingredient shot.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil. See the recipe post for choosing an olive oil.
  • Large eggs, room temperature 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon Zest
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Greek yogurt
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to Make Olive Oil Cake Recipe (Easy One Bowl) Step-by-Step Photos

This is the most delicious cake! It’s a lemon lover’s dream; it all comes together in one bowl.

How to make olive oil cake (step-by-step) instructions- adding eggs and sugar to bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by greasing the bottom and the sides with cooking spray.

How to make olive oil cake (step-by-step) instructions- mixing eggs and sugar with whisk.

Line the bottom with parchment paper. 
In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar, thick and pale yellow in color, about 3-4 minutes with an electric mixer, more if whisking by hand. 

How to make olive oil cake (step-by-step) instructions- adding the lemon zest.

Add the olive oil and whisk to combine.
Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk briefly to combine.

How to make olive oil cake (step-by-step) instructions- adding the dry ingredients.

Place a sifter or mesh strainer on top of the wet ingredients bowl. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift about half of the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

How to make olive oil cake (step-by-step) instructions- mixing wet and dry ingredients with wooden spoon.

Add yogurt (or milk if using) and sift in the rest of the flour mixture. Mix to combine. 

How to make olive oil cake (step-by-step) instructions- adding olive oil and mixing again.

Do not over-mix the cake batter. Mix until no streaks of dry flour remain.

How to make olive oil cake (step-by-step) instructions- adding cake batter to the pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the countertop to remove air bubbles and even out the batter.
Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Cover the cake loosely with foil if it starts to brown too much at the end.

baked best olive oil cake with powdered sugar on a cooling rack with lemons around and bottle of olive oil.

Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the springform pan and let it cool on a baking rack. Dust with powdered sugar! Enjoy warm or room temperature. 

Best Olive Oil for This Cake?

I recommend using high-quality olive oil. You will really taste the flavor difference, and it is worth it! You can find these olive oil brands at most grocery stores in the United States.

The best extra-virgin olive oils to consider are DeLalloColavitaBertolli, and Spectrum.

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baked best olive oil cake with powdered sugar on a cooling rack with lemons around and bottle of olive oil.

Substitutions

When it comes to substituting olive oil in the recipe, you have a few options:

  1. Avocado Oil: Known for its mild flavor and high smoke point, avocado oil can be a great substitute. It adds a buttery richness to the cake without overpowering other flavors.
  2. Canola Oil: With its neutral taste, canola oil is a versatile option that won’t interfere with the cake’s flavor profile. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a milder taste.
  3. Coconut Oil: If you’re a fan of coconut undertones, refined coconut oil (which has a milder flavor) can bring a delightful tropical touch to the cake. Make sure to melt it and let it cool slightly before using.
  4. Grapeseed Oil: This light and neutral oil works well as a substitute. Its mild flavor won’t compete with other ingredients, allowing the cake’s unique taste to shine.

Remember that each oil has its nuances, so the final taste may vary slightly from the original olive oil version. Choose an oil that complements your desired flavor profile, and enjoy your personalized twist on the classic olive oil cake!

baked best olive oil cake with powdered sugar on top. Cake cut into slices. One slice is taken out with a cake server. Big thick slice of perfect cake.

Variations

Let’s explore some delicious variations for olive oil cake:

  • Citrus Burst: Enhance the citrus notes by using a combination of lemon, orange, and lime zest. The zesty flavors will brighten up the cake, making it even more refreshing.
  • Almond Bliss: Add almond extract to the batter and sprinkle sliced almonds on top before baking. This variation offers a nutty aroma and a delightful crunch.
  • Berries Galore: Gently fold fresh berries like blueberries, raspberries, or diced strawberries into the batter for bursts of juicy sweetness throughout the cake.
  • Spiced Elegance: Infuse the batter with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom. These spices will add depth and complexity to the cake’s flavor.
  • Chocolate Infusion: Mix in chocolate chips or chunks to create a luxurious chocolate and olive oil fusion that’s both rich and intriguing.
  • Herbal Delight: Add herbs like rosemary or thyme to the batter. These aromatic herbs can create a unique contrast against the sweetness of the cake.
  • Honeyed Touch: Drizzle the baked cake with a thin layer of honey while it’s still warm, creating a glossy, sweet glaze that complements the olive oil’s depth.
  • Nutty Adventure: Mix chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts into the batter for a delightful textural contrast and an added layer of earthiness.
  • Fruity Medley: Incorporate dried fruits such as chopped apricots, figs, or dates for a chewy, concentrated burst of natural sweetness.
  • Boozy Twist: Add a splash of liqueur like Grand Marnier or Amaretto to the batter for an adult-friendly version that carries subtle undertones of your chosen spirit.
side photo of thick slice on a plate of the best olive oil cake recipe. Bite taken out with a fork.

Equipment

I love baking with these products; they make whipping this Easy One Bowl Olive Oil Cake a breeze!

How to Store Olive Oil Cake Recipe

To store your east olive oil cake, let it cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out. If kept at room temperature, consume within a couple of days.

For longer storage, refrigerate the cake for up to a week, ensuring it’s well-covered to retain its moisture and flavor.

Top Tips For Lemon Olive Oil Cake

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients. This helps with even baking.
  • Choose Quality Olive Oil: Opt for a high-quality extra virgin olive oil with a mild and fruity flavor to ensure a delightful taste. Avoid overly strong or bitter olive oils that could overpower the cake’s balance.
  • Measure Ingredients Accurately: Precise measurements are key to consistent results. Use measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquid measuring cups for wet ingredients to maintain the right ratios.
  • Mix Gently and Don’t Overmix: When combining wet and dry ingredients, mix only until they’re incorporated. Overmixing can lead to a tough texture, so stop stirring as soon as the batter is smooth.
  • Baking Time and Toothpick Test: Keep a close eye on the cake as it bakes, and use a toothpick inserted into the center to check for doneness. The cake is ready if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  • Proper Cooling and Storage: Allow the cake to cool in the pan briefly before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap it well in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container to maintain its moisture and flavor.
baked best olive oil cake with powdered sugar on top. Cake cut into slices.

FAQs

Does olive oil cake taste like olive oil?

Yes, olive oil cake does have a hint of olive oil flavor. The olive oil contributes to the cake’s flavor profile, infusing it with a mild, fruity, and sometimes slightly peppery undertone. However, when the cake is properly balanced with other ingredients like sugar, vanilla, and citrus zest, the olive oil flavor is not overpowering and adds a unique and pleasant dimension to the overall taste of the cake.

Can I make olive oil cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the cake ahead of time. Once the cake has cooled completely, you can wrap it in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for a couple of days at room temperature or longer if refrigerated.

Can I use a different type of oil instead of olive oil?

While olive oil contributes to the unique flavor of this cake, you can substitute other mild-flavored oils like avocado, canola, or vegetable oil if you prefer. However, keep in mind that the flavor might be slightly different.

baked best olive oil cake with powdered sugar on a cooling rack with lemons around and bottle of olive oil. Slice taken out of cake.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

What to Serve with Olive Oil Cake Recipe

These are my favorite dishes to serve with the best olive oil cake:

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cover photo.

Best Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

A simple and beautiful cake that offers a moist texture, and the rich essence of olive oil brings a touch of Mediterranean decadence to every bite! It all comes together in one bowl and is easy to prepare.

  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil. See the recipe post for choosing an olive oil.
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice*
  • zest from 3 fresh lemons*
  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or whole milk)
  • powdered sugar for dusting (see the optional glaze in the instructions)

*you can swap orange juice and zest and make an orange-scented olive oil cake

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by greasing the bottom and the sides with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar, thick and pale yellow in color, about 3-4 minutes with an electric mixer, more if whisking by hand. 
  3. Add the olive oil and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk briefly to combine.
  5. Place a sifter or mesh strainer on top of the wet ingredients bowl. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift about half of the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Add yogurt (or milk if using) and sift in the rest of the flour mixture. Mix to combine. 
  7. Do not over-mix the cake batter. Mix until no streaks of dry flour remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Gently tap the pan on the countertop to remove air bubbles and even out the batter.
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Cover the cake loosely with foil if it starts to brown too much at the end.
  9. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the springform pan and let it cool on a baking rack. Dust with powdered sugar! Enjoy warm or room temperature. 

Optional Lemon Glaze:

Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon or orange juice for a simple glaze until you achieve a smooth, pourable consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. You can also serve with fresh fruit, fresh berries, or whipped cream. 

Notes

TOP TIPS

Use Room Temperature Ingredients: This helps for even baking.

Choose Quality Olive Oil: Opt for a high-quality extra virgin olive oil with a mild and fruity flavor to ensure a delightful taste. Avoid overly strong or bitter olive oils that could overpower the cake’s balance.

Measure Ingredients Accurately: Precise measurements are key to consistent results. Use measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquid measuring cups for wet ingredients to maintain the right ratios.

Mix Gently and Don’t Overmix: When combining wet and dry ingredients, mix only until they’re incorporated. Overmixing can lead to a tough texture, so stop stirring as soon as the batter is smooth.

Baking Time and Toothpick Test: Keep a close eye on the cake as it bakes, and use a toothpick inserted into the center to check for doneness. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cake is ready.

Proper Cooling and Storage: Allow the cake to cool in the pan briefly before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap it well in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container to maintain its moisture and flavor.

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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28 Comments

  1. This cake was absolutely amazing. I did 1/2 yogurt and 1/2 buttermilk because that was what I had on hand. It was SO easy and in one bowl. It was perfectly moist with a little bit of crust. I am not a fan of frosting and so the dusting of powdered sugar was perfect. My entire family loved it. I’m normally a chocolate girl and prefer this over any other cake.






    1. Yay! WOW, huge complement coming from a chocolate girl! Yes, the texture is amazing and it is so easy to make.

  2. I made this for my husband and I for after our Sunday dinner and we absolutely LOVED it! So light and delicious and best of all soooo easy to make! I will be making this again to share with my family 💜






  3. This cake did not turn out for me because there was not enough flour for the amount of liquid, i.e. 1 cup oil, 1 cup milk and 3 large eggs. The cake is soggy and more like a pudding cake.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. I haven’t ever heard of this happening. I would be careful in the way you mix the ingredients as well- this can affect baked good. It is delicious and I hope you can try it again.