I love a good cake. Especially one I can eat for breakfast, lunch dinner, snack, dessert or as the star of a dinner party...cause it's a lil fancy too. This olive oil cake scented with lemon fills all of those cake needs.
This olive oil cake is light and airy, ever so slightly savory, delicate, and has a bright lemony flavor.
Olive oil cake, for real? And it is a sweet cake?
Get on board folks, cause olive oil is where it is at for baking. I am sure you don't need me to tell you, but extra virgin olive oil is full of vitamins and healthy fats, and is def considered a healthy fat choice, especially over butter. It is a great fat substitute for butter and other cooking oils when baking because of all of these nutritional benefits. Read more here if you don't believe me 🙂
I am an oil-in-my-cakes baker, pretty much always. I think oil-based cakes have a much better texture and crumb, and they definitely do not dry out as fast as butter cakes. And while baking with oils like canola, vegetable or even avocado oil are great for texture and crumb, olive oil, like butter, adds flavor that you just don't get from oil. Perfect for a lemon-scented cake like this.
Now for what to top this cake with...
My personal favorite is lightly sweetened whipped mascarpone, pistachios and a drizzle of honey. And I feel like I just transported myself to the Mediterranean. But this is also a great cake for seasonal fruit compotes. I make this a lot in the summer and top with a cherry-apricot compote or peaches. My personal fruit fave for this olive oil cake is plums. They have a great color and for some reason I think plums really go well with olive oil...try it and prove me wrong - lol.
Honestly though, you can top this with absolutely nothing and still be totally blissful in cake heaven.
Olive oil cake
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 7 tablespoons of melted butter
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Grease or butter a 9″ cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Combine lemon zest and sugar in a bowl, rub zest into the sugar to release essential oils—set aside. Combine melted butter, olive oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, together flour and baking powder.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine eggs, sugar mixture and salt. Beat at high speed until vit basically doubles in size and is a super light yellow color. The mixture should be thick, real thick, so you want to mix this for like 10 minutes minimum on a medium-high speed. With mixer still running on high, SLOWLY add oil mixture to egg mixture. ANd when I say slowly I mean like a drizzle. If you do this properly the mixture will not separate, instead it will emulsify and look lovely, almost like a thin mayonnaise (it sounds gross, but trust me it is what you want).
- Remove the bowl and fold in the flour mixture. Don't overmix or you'll have a tough cake.
- Pour into the greased, lined pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is set. A toothpick in the center will come out clean. Cool for 10 mins in the pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Slice and serve with whipped mascarpone (beat mascarpone with a whisk or a stand or handheld mixer, drizzled with honey and a few pistachios...or use your favorite fruit compote.