Simple Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Simple Lemon Olive Oil Cake

When I was younger, I was always willing to bake cookies upon request, muffins for morning road-trip breakfast and the odd family meal when my mother was pregnant with my sister and couldn’t stomach the sight and smell of raw meat. Being in the kitchen at a young age was a learning experience for me and there were a lot of trial and error periods. Such as learning the difference between teaspoons and tablespoons when it came to measuring salt in chocolate chip cookies. Or figuring out the right pan size so that our lasagna would come out in four layers instead of two (resulting in a delicious, but very flat lasagna). The biggest learning experience though, and one that I still struggle with today, is learning about what flavours work together.

I can remember one time where I almost used olive oil in a boxed brownie recipe. My mom caught me mid-measurement and taught me a lesson I’ve never forgotten: “olive oil is not for baking.” This is something I’ve carried with me still to this day, and may explain why I currently own three (yes, three) bottles of extra virgin olive oil in my kitchen pantry. Although I love pairing a good olive oil with a loaf of fresh bread (which may also explain my collection of balsamic vinegars too), I was always a little bummed out that I couldn’t use any of it for baking. That is, until I recently started doing a little research and realized that it was not so much avoiding the use of olive oil in baking, but finding the best flavour pairing that goes with it.

Simple Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Once I discovered that I could break into my extra virgin olive oil stash, I set to work to find the best flavour combination. The pairing that kept popping up the most during my more extensive research was olive oil and lemons and I thought this cake was perfect since its spring season and this weekend is Mother’s Day.

Making a cake always makes me a bit nervous because I’m always convinced that they require more work, but this ingredients list is so simple that my fear is almost laughable. Don’t let the amount of eggs scare you either because after about 7 minutes in a high-speed mixer, the eggs will be light, fluffy and almost unrecognizable as eggs. And if you don’t have cake flour, all-purpose flour will work fine too.

Since my mom and I live on opposite sides of the province, I wasn’t able to share this cake with her so these pictures will have to do. Trevor on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of it. Especially when paired with his Coconut Bliss ice cream.

Simple Lemon Olive Oil Cake


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (roughly one lemon)
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup powdered icing sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease your 8 inch cake pan.
  2. Using your mixer, beat eggs and sugar on high until the mixture is fluffy and has doubled in volume (between 5-7 minutes total mixing time).
  3. While the eggs and sugar are mixing, in a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in olive oil and lemon juice into the egg mixture. Using the same spatula, fold in flour mixture into the wet mixture until the flour disappears. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan and gently tap on a solid surface to remove some of the larger egg bubbles. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is a light brown and a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Gently run a butter knife along the edges of the cake to release it from the pan and continue cooling on a wired rack. Dust with powdered icing sugar prior to serving.

Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run

25 comments on “Simple Lemon Olive Oil Cake”

  1. I actually bake with olive oil all the time. That and coconut oil are my go-to oils for baking. I stopped baking with vegetable oil a few years ago because I found it was upsetting my stomach, but other oils don’t.

    This recipe sounds delicious! I’m obsessed with lemon cake right now.

  2. This cake looks absolutely perfect, it’s too bad your mom can’t taste it!

  3. this looks great! I look forward to trying it out. cheers.

  4. I actually bake with olive oil all the time… I love the fruitiness that it adds to my baked goods.

    I might have to bake this cake for my birthday which is coming up soon… topped with some fresh strawberries though, and maybe a little whipped cream… just because. 🙂

  5. hi,
    If i wanna change sugar for splenda how much should I add?

  6. Only had to bake it for about 25 minutes. We have a gas oven so that may be why it took less time. Just keep an eye on it!!!! Looks and smells great!!!

  7. muy buena se aprecia la voy hacer y le comentsre. me agradaria recibir estas recetas tan economicas,gracias Jessica. Desde Colombia con gran cariño

  8. Oh. My. Word.

    Jessica, this simple cake blew my mind away!

    I used 2 loaf tins though because I didn’t have a round pan and thank God I had 2 (I made this to bring to my in-laws for dessert tonight) because at the rate that I’m-just-gonna-try-one-more-slice, I may just have no dessert to bring to the table tonight!

    This was lovely. Thank you for sharing your story and recipe with me.

    Big hugs! 😀
    Bud xo
    3 April 2016,
    Yachats, OR

  9. Baked with Bob’s 1 to 1 gluten free flour; used 1 extra egg. Delicious and very light in texture!!! Great taste !!

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  11. Hi! Recipe looks amazing!!!!! What size pan do I use?

  12. What size cake pan?

  13. Are used a 10 inch cake pan because that’s all I had, and I increased the ingredients by 50% and it came out beautifully!

  14. Hi Jessica, just made this and it came out perfect. However, I noticed your YIELD says 9” pan but the directions say grease 8” pan. I didn’t notice the yield until after I baked the cake in an 8” …it was perfectly baked. I always use 1/2 flavored evoo-in this case lemon flavored. Definitely a keeper.

  15. Have you tried it with orange instead of lemon? Would the measures be the same? Thank you.

    • I was also thinking of using an orange instead of a lemon. I would think the juice and zest of one orange would work. I also love chocolate with orange, so was thinking of drizzling a bit of melted semi sweet chocolate on top of cake instead of powdered sugar.

  16. Is it ok to use a 9 inch pan? Recipe say 9 inch and then it says to grease 8 inch pan. I only have 9 inch pan, so I would think it would take a shorter time to bake? Will this work? Looks delish.

  17. Thank you for the recipe. This is my favorite thing I’ve baked during this quarantine. My cake turn out super fluffy..

  18. The flavour and crumb is lovely BUT 8″ pan was too small. Batter overflowed. I will use a 9″ pan next time.

  19. Delicious cake! Nice light texture and so easy to make! I will be making this again. The family loved it!

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