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This Lemon Olive Oil Cake is a real treat, baked with extra virgin olive oil, which is not only a healthy fat but tastes delicious to bake in resulting in an incredibly moist cake! The easy preparation of an olive oil cake is the best part. All you need is a bowl, a whisk (no mixer needed!)and some ingredients including fresh lemon juice and zest.

A slice of lemon olive oil cake with a raspberry on top on a white plate.A slice of lemon olive oil cake with a raspberry on top on a white plate.

I've been making lemon olive oil cake for years and I can't wait to finally share it with you! It's my favorite dessert. My Cardamom Orange Spiced Olive Oil Cake is a big hit in the fall and around the holidays, so I wanted to share another olive oil cake that's perfect for warmer weather or holiday dinner. Easter.

Olive oil helps this cake stay moist for days, so it's perfect to make ahead of time. With the light, refreshing taste of lemons, it's a crowd pleaser that isn't too heavy or rich.

It's hard to ruin an olive oil cake. There's no butter to soften, no electric mixer needed, and no frosting to prepare (if you want, just a sprinkling of icing sugar is enough), and you probably already have all the ingredients you need.

I love using Meyer lemons for this recipe because they are great for baking and a little sweeter and juicier than regular lemons, but any type of lemon will work.

Let's get to the point! Be sure to watch the video in the recipe card below if you want a picture of how to make it.

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Lemons (zest and juice) – I used Meyer lemons but anything will do. You can also use another citrus fruit like lime or orange if you want to experiment.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Plain yogurt – I used plain whole yogurt (Stonyfield brand). Greek yogurt will also work. I recommend full-fat yogurt. You can also use 3/4 the amount of buttermilk, regular milk, or non-dairy milk
  • All purpose flour
  • Salt, baking powder and baking soda

How to prepare lemon and olive oil cake

  1. First, Prepare your cake pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper, greasing both the bottom and top of the paper and the sides of the pan with olive oil. I trace the outline of the pan with a pencil and cut just inside the line so it fits snugly.
  2. Prepare the lemons. Make sure you peel the lemons first, THEN juice them! If you squeeze them first, you will be sad. I've done this before.
  3. Then, mix the batter. Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, yogurt, salt, baking powder and sugar.
  4. Add the flour to the batter and whisk until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and cook.
  6. Leave the cake to cool into the pan before removing it. Place it on a cutting board, then invert it onto a serving plate.
  7. Finally, dust with icing sugar just before serving and cut into 8 slices. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Process collage showing how to make lemon olive oil cake.Process collage showing how to make lemon olive oil cake.

Frequent questions

How do you make dairy-free lemon and olive oil cake?

It's easy to make this dairy-free olive oil cake! Simply replace the yogurt with non-dairy yogurt or 3/4 cup of non-dairy milk.

How can I increase the lemon flavor in the cake a little?

You can add 1-2 teaspoons of lemon extract for extra lemon flavor.

What can I garnish olive oil cake with?

I love it topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh fruit on top (raspberries are perfect with the lemon flavor). You can top it with whipped cream, a little yogurt, or make a frosting to put on top. A lemon icing glaze that would be delicious!

A fork cuts a piece from a slice of lemon olive oil cake.A fork cuts a piece from a slice of lemon olive oil cake.

More cooking recipes with olive oil

I LOVE baking with olive oil for the flavor, the benefits of healthy fats, and the fact that it keeps things super moist! Here are some other recipes with olive oil:

Other lemon dessert recipes

Use leftover lemons with these delicious lemon recipes, both savory and sweet!

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Square photo of lemon olive oil cake.Square photo of lemon olive oil cake.

Olive oil and lemon cake

This simple lemon olive oil cake is made in one bowl, no mixer required, and is full of healthy fats, yogurt, and a light lemon flavor!


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Course: Sweet

Kitchen: Mediterranean

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Cooling time: 10 minutes

Total time: 1 Now 10 minutes

Portions: 8 portions

Calories: 405kcal

Author: Elizabeth Lindemann

Prevents the screen from going dark

Instructions

  • Line a 9-inch circular cake pan with baking paper (I use a pencil to trace the outline of the bottom of the pan on the paper, then cut slightly inside the line) and grease generously with olive oil, under and on the baking paper and on the sides of the pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil (¾ cup)Lemon peel (1 tablespoon)lemon juice (¼ cup)sugar (1 cup)egg (3)Yogurt (1 cup)kosher salt (½ tsp)baking powder (½ tsp)and sodium bicarbonate (½ tsp).

  • Add the flour (1 ½ cups) and blend until the mixture is well blended.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake at 350°F on the top shelf of the oven for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (see notes).

  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Run the knife along the edge to loosen it and invert it onto a cutting board to remove it, then invert it onto the serving platter.

  • Dust with icing sugar. You can do this with a sieve or by placing a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar in a mesh strainer and tapping the edge to dust the surface. Do this just before serving, as the sugar will be absorbed into the cake over time.

  • Cut into slices 8 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature, with more powdered sugar, whipped cream and/or lemon zest, if desired.

Notes

  • I used plain whole yogurt (Stonyfield) for this recipe If you prefer you can use Greek. I recommend full-fat yogurt. You can also use 3/4 cup buttermilk or regular milk if you don't have yogurt, or non-dairy milk or yogurt for a dairy-free version if desired. I find this recipe very forgiving.
  • For a more intense burst of lemon flavor, add 1-2 teaspoons of lemon extract.
  • Meyer lemons they are a little sweeter than regular lemons and have a deeper orange color. They're a bit like a cross between a lemon and an orange. Regular lemons will work perfectly in this recipe. I usually get Meyer lemons at Trader Joe's.
  • Troubleshooting Underbaked Cake: This cake is very moist. This recipe may have different results if you are at a higher altitude, if you use a different sized cake pan, if the brand of yogurt is particularly watery or low in fat, the temperature of your oven, or even depending on the brand of flour (I always use King Arthur). If the cake doesn't seem to be baking in the center after about 70 minutesI recommend covering with aluminum foil, so the top of the cake doesn't burn, and raising the oven temperature to 350 degrees F until cooked through.
  • This cake can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for about three days. The olive oil makes it super moist for a long time.
  • For best results, dust with icing sugar just before serving. Otherwise it will disintegrate in the moisture of the cake.
  • In the unlikely event that you have any, leftovers can be frozen and stored in an airtight bag or wrapped tightly in plastic for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 45G | Protein: 6G | Fat: 23G | Saturated fats: 4G | Polyunsaturated fats: 3G | Monounsaturated fat: 16G | Trans fats: 1G | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 1G | Sugar: 27G | Vitamin A: 120UI | C vitamin: 4mg | Soccer: 63mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information disclaimer

The nutritional information provided is my best estimate and does not include added sodium from flavoring seasoning, any optional ingredients, and does not take into account brands. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools:

Nutrition information calculator very well fit

Did you prepare this recipe? I'd love to know how it went! Comment and rate it below 🙂

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