Olive Oil Cake

Olive Oil Cake

A simple cake, made with olive oil instead of butter.  Almond, vanilla and lemon flavor this delicious cake!  It is scrumptious on its own, or top it with lemon curd, frosting, whipped cream and/or fruit. Perfect with afternoon tea!

Keeps for days when wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature.

Recipe credit: Bon Appetit, November 2017

Special equipment: 9” Springform (or removeable bottom) Pan

  • Author: Laura, adapted from Bon Appetit
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40-50 mins
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Yield: 10 - 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking


  • 1 1/4 plus 2 T Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) plus more for pan
  • 1 c plus 2 T Granulated Sugar, plus more
  • 2 c Cake Flour
  • 1/3 c Almond Flour (could substitute fine-ground cornmeal)
  • 2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t Kosher Salt
  • 3 T Amaretto, or other liqueur
  • 1 T Fine-grated Lemon Zest
  • 3 T Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 t Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Lg Eggs


  1. Preheat conventional oven to 400F, or convection oven to 350F. Brush or rub a layer of EVOO over bottom and sides of pan.  Place a 9” round of parchment in the bottom, smooth to eliminate bubbles, and apply a layer of olive oil over the parchment round. Sprinkle a generous layer of sugar in the bottom of parchment-lined pan. Lift and tilt the pan, tapping to create an even layer of sugar.  Tap out excess sugar.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a small bowl, combine the amaretto, lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or hand mixer works fine, too), beat the eggs, zest, 1 cup plus 2 T sugar, in a large bowl 3-5 minutes at high speed, until the mixture is very pale and thick and “falls off the whisk or beaters in a slowly dissolving ribbon”.  While still on high speed, gradually stream in 1 1/4 cup EVOO and beat until incorporated. Mixture should be slightly thicker.
  4. Reduce speed to low, and alternate adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions with the amaretto mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Fold batter several times with a large rubber spatula, while scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.  Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with more sugar (about 1 T).
  5. Place the cake in the oven.  For conventional oven, lower temp to 350F.  Keep convection at 350F. Bake until top is light golden brown and tester comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. (Mine took 40 mins.) Transfer to rack and cool 15 mins.
  6. Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick and drizzle with remaining 2 T EVOO, allowing it to absorb into the cake. Run a knife around the ring of the pan and remove the ring from the pan.  Slide cake onto rack and let cool completely.
  7. Best flavor and texture is achieved by wrapping cooled cake in plastic wrap and storing at room temperature for at least a day in advance of serving.
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