This easy Italian olive oil cake is incredibly tender and moist with a slightly sweet citrus flavor. This luxurious cake has a soft crumb and loads of savory flavor.
Orange olive oil cake
Olive oil cakes are traditionally brought out after a dinner party with family and the leftovers were enjoyed the next morning with warm coffee…sooo good.
Olive oil cakes are dense in texture with a tender, moist crumb, and are sweet yet savory thanks to high-quality extra virgin olive oil. They accompany any meal perfectly and leave your guests speechless… And that’s FACTS!
Whether you’re cooking for quests or cooking for no reason at all, this olive oil cake will bring a smile to your face. It’s delicious, light, and so easy to make!
Italian olive oil cake ingredients
- Extra virgin olive oil
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Orange zest
- Lemon juice
- Whole milk
Use high quality olive oil
I try to stress the importance of using high-quality EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil in almost any of my posts that involve this ingredient. There are so many fraud companies that cut the olive oil with chemicals and fillers and the end product is flavorless and a far cry from authentic.
Buying extra virgin olive oil means it has had to have gone through some sort of testing, and while it might not be super high quality, it definitely does not have chemicals or fillers.
It can be hard knowing which olive oil companies produce a low-quality product but Epicurious has a super informative article to help better understand what to look for.
My personal favorite is the California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil. This brand can be found at any large retailer and is not only affordable but ranks well on the consumer report. The flavor is well balanced and using this good quality olive oil made my olive oil cake super delicious!
Use lots and lots of olive oil
Not only is there olive oil in the cake, but you will want to oil the pan really well so make sure the cake does not stick to the pan.
Coat the whole pan with olive oil, then place parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and smooth it out to get rid of any air bubbles. Brush olive oil on top of the parchment paper, as well.
How to make Italian olive oil cake
- Preheat the oven and prepare the pan. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil the cake pan on all sides. Place parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and smooth it out to release any air bubbles. Brush more olive oil on the parchment paper. Sprinkle flour in the pan and shake out any excess.
- Combine ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Using an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs, orange zest, and sugar until it is fluffy. Slowly and gradually add the olive oil and mix until it is well incorporated. Reduce the hand mixer to low speed and add the milk and lemon juice. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until it is just combined. Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the top of the cake with a little sugar.
- Bake the olive oil cake. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled, slide a knife around the edges of the pan to help ease the removal. Turn the cake upside down on a plate to remove it from the cake mold, then allow the cake to continue cooling.
- Serve. Once the cake has cooled, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar for added sweetness and a beautiful finish! Mangia!
How to store olive oil cake
On the counter
I’ll be super surprised if you have the will to not eat this whole cake. It’s one of those sweets that you keep sneaking off to take a few forkfuls here and there… and suddenly… it’s gone. I’ve been known to just keep my fork laying on the counter next to it because hey, we know I’m fixing to come right back!
If you find the self-control (you’re better than me) to have leftovers, you can simply put the olive oil cake in a plastic bag, under a clean kitchen towel, under a plate, or in a cake dome. This olive oil cake will stay good on the counter for up to 5 days, although I suspect it won’t last nearly as long.
In the freezer
Olive oil cake freezes surpassingly well! Maybe it’s because the olive oil keeps the cake dense and moist, so the texture can withstand the extreme temperatures.
You can place the olive oil cake in a plastic bag in the freezer once it has completely cooled. The cake will stay good for up to 2 months in the freezer! Once you are ready to eat, unwrap the cake and defrost it in the freezer overnight
What to serve with olive oil cake
Here are a few of my best dinner recommendations leading up to this delicious olive oil cake!
- This easy penne alla vodka with prosciutto is made with al dente penne pasta that is tossed in a delicious tomato, vodka, and cream sauce. Top this easy and classic Italian pasta dish with some parmesan cheese for a delicious dinner!
- This authentic bolognese sauce is a traditional Italian meat sauce is made with crushed tomatoes, veal, ground beef, and tons of fresh flavor! This sauce is perfect with any pasta!
- Hot sausage and pepper pasta is packed with jumbo black olives, fresh bell pepper slices, and sliced Italian sausage. This easy 30-minute pasta dish is a crowd pleaser!
- Pesto Pasta With Artichoke Hearts is a vegetarian meal that bursts with flavor! Fresh peppery basil and juicy lemons enhance the flavor of the artichoke hearts, giving this dish a perfect balance of simplicity and taste.
Easy Italian Olive Oil Cake
- Electric hand mixer
- 8" cake pan
- Parchment paper
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup olive oil plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 cup milk room temperature
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 orange sliced into 1/8" sliced
- confectioner's sugar optional
- Prepare the cake pan. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut a circle out in parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan by tracing the pan along the bottom with a pen on the parchment paper. Cut the circle out. Generously grease the cake pan with olive oil on all sides. Place the parchment paper on the bottom, then brush the parchment paper with olive oil.
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium sized bowl, whisk and combine the all purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Combine the wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, beat (with handheld or stand mixer) the sugar, orange zest, and eggs until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer still running, slowly add the olive oil and continue mixing until it is incorporated. Turn the mixer on low, then pour in the milk and lemon juice.
- Make the cake batter. While the mixer is on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until it is just combined.
- Bake the cake. Place the orange slices on the bottom of the cake pan. Pour the cake batter into the cake pan and place it in the oven. Bake the cake for 45 minutes.
- Cool the cake. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Once the cake is cool enough to handle, slide a knife between the cake and the pan to free the cake edges. Place a plate over the cake pan, then turn it upside down to remove the cake from the pan. Remove and discard the parchment paper. Once the cake has cooled, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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