This Lemon Olive Oil Cake is an absolute show stopper! It’s tender, moist, and has the most beautiful lemony flavor. We love to make this for family dinners and special holiday meals when citrus is in season. Its best served with powdered sugar sprinkled on top, but a side of fresh fruit is great too.
If you love lemon desserts as much as we do, be sure to try our Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake or these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes for breakfast next!
- Flour: We use all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- Granulated sugar: Just enough to keep it lightly sweet!
- Baking powder and baking soda to help the cake batter rise.
- Extra virgin olive oil: This is what keeps the cake incredibly moist! We love baking with olive oil!
- Whole milk, though you can use any type of milk you like.
- Eggs, to bind the ingredients together.
- Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice give the cake its robust lemon flavor.
- Pure vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar: Used to dust the cake just before serving.
No mixer required for this recipe. Instead, you’ll need two mixing bowls and a whisk. You’ll also want to grab a 9″ round cake pan! We love buying precut parchment rounds for cakes, it makes removing the cakes SO easy!
How To Make Lemon Olive Oil Cake
This cake comes together easily and is SO impressive. Here’s how to make it at home:
- Coat a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, a teaspoon of salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, milk, eggs, lemon zest, a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, then smooth out the top. Bake until the cake puffs up and is golden on top. A cake tester or toothpick should come out clean from the center of the cake.
- Let the cake cool, then invert onto a wire rack. Before serving, dust the cake with powdered sugar, then slice and enjoy!
How To Serve
Fresh berries, depending on the season, would be delicious served alongside lemon cake!
Not really, it mostly contributes to the texture of the cake, giving it a tender, moist crumb, while keeping it light.If you use a strong, nutty extra virgin olive oil (which we recommend!), you’ll likely pick up on those flavors more than if you use a milder olive oil.
We haven’t tested it this way, but we recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free flour. If you’re looking for a naturally gluten-free lemon cake, definitely give our Almond Ricotta Cake a try!
That would be a completely different cake. Not only would it change the texture, but it would also change the taste.
If eating within 3 days, you can store the cake at room temperature, either wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
- Use fresh lemon juice! This is definitely not the time to buy store-bought lemon juice. The citrus flavor is the star of the show, so make sure to use fresh lemon zest and juice for best results (and superior taste!).
- Do not over mix the batter. If you mix it too much, you’ll end up with a dense cake.
- Allow the cake to cool a bit before you release it from the pan, about 15 minutes. Then, let it finish cooling on a wire rack, about 2 hours total.
Honestly, this olive oil cake is a year round staple. Lemon lovers will find the flavor irresistible! It’s a beautiful addition to any meal.
If you make this Lemon Olive Oil Cake recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar for serving, optional
- Prepare the cake pan. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick baking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Whisk the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 250g cake flour, 1½ cups sugar, 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1 tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp baking soda.
- Whisk the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups extra virgin olive oil, 1¼ cups milk, 3 eggs, 1 Tbsp lemon zest, 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, then whisk until just combined.
- Bake the cake. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, then use a spatula to smooth out the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is golden on top and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, then invert the cake onto a plate, then back over onto the wire rack to cool fully, about 2 hours.
- Dust with sugar, then serve. Lightly dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar, then slice and serve!
Photography by: Cambrea of Cambrea Bakes
AP Houston says
I made this according to recipe. It’s not a sweet cake, and lemon flavor didn’t come thru. It’s just ok. Definite needs berries or drizzle.
Ari Laing says
Correct, it’s not a super sweet cake, but we love the bright lemon flavor. Thanks for the feedback! xo, Ari
I followed the recipe and it wasn’t very lemony, and overcooked. It was just whatever. I wasted my three eggs!