Cakes

Citrus Olive Oil Cake

4.74 from 38 votes
My Citrus Olive Oil Cake recipe is moist, dense like a pound cake, and incredibly delicious — you have to try it!
Olive Oil Cake being dusted with powdered sugar!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Confession: despite seeing Olive Oil Cake on menus and hearing about it through the baking grapevine, I’d never actually had it before. If only I knew what I was missing!

My homemade Citrus Olive Oil Cake is incredible! Hands down, it was everyone’s favorite during our recent shoot! (Is it too soon to make it again?)

Don’t let the name fool you — it doesn’t taste like oil. It’s the perfect amount of sweetness and is dense, similar to a pound cake. And the olive oil makes it so moist. It reminds me of a good, moist carrot cake (and you know how much I love a good, moist Carrot Cake!). 

[ Want another Hanukkah recipe? Try Sufganiyah! A Hanukkah Jelly Donut! ]

My olive oil cake is also scented with orange and lemons, making the winter months seem so much brighter. It’s flavorful, dairy-free, super moist, and feeds a crowd — what’s not to love? It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular cakes to make during Hanukkah! 

My Olive Oil Cake dusted in powdered sugar.

What Is Olive Oil Cake?

Olive oil cake is a cake that gets its moistness from extra virgin olive oil rather than butter or milk. The olive oil gives the cake an extra richness that is irresistible, and because it is so rich, you don’t need any extras.

I’d stay away from the buttercream and opt for a powder sugar topping!

Traditionally, this European cake is also a classic Hanukkah recipe! It goes perfectly with our Bold Baking Holidays Worldwide series — where I’m sharing lovely holiday recipes from around the world. Check my Holiday Baking Headquarters for the full list!

What Olive Oil Should I Use For Olive Oil Cake?

Both cooks and bakers agree: olive oil should be treated the same as fine wine! The only difference is, you don’t want your olive oil to age. You will want fresh olive oil (you can check the bottle for the date it was pressed or it’s “harvest date”). While all olive oils will work in this recipe, it’d be best to go with a high quality, extra virgin olive oil.

Any leftover olive oil will sure to be put to good use in your kitchen, too! 

A slice of olive oil cake from the whole cake.

What You Need To Make Citrus Olive Oil Cake

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Stand mixer or electric hand mixer
  • Bundt cake pan (or two 9-inch (23cm) cake pans, see my tips!)

How To Make Citrus Olive Oil Cake

You’ll be blown away by how easy this cake is (and then blown away by how delicious it is!) Here is how you make it (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Grease and flour your bundt cake pan and preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high for about three minutes until they are pale and fluffy.
  4. Pour in the olive oil, orange juice, and lemon zest into the egg and sugar mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture, in three increments, to the bowl, being sure to scrape the sides down each time to ensure even mixing. 
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan and bake on the middle rack of your oven for about 75 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. (If your cake top starts to brown before the middle is done, cover the top loosely with tin foil to prevent over-browning.) 
  7. Once the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. When you are ready to serve, dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Citrus Olive Oil Cake

  • If you don’t have a bundt cake pan, you can use two 9-inch (23cm) cake pans instead. It will take less time to bake, so be sure to check your cakes after 25 minutes.
  • If you’re feeling extra festive, you can use a fruity white wine instead of orange juice. 
  • Serve with sliced fruit and some fresh whipped cream.
  • You can make a lovely orange glaze for this cake: whisk 2 cups powdered sugar (8oz/230g) and 3-4 tablespoons orange juice (depending on your desired thickness) until smooth. Drizzle on top.

Olive Oil Cake slice on a plate about to be eaten.

How Do I Store Olive Oil Cake?

You can store leftover olive oil cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you’d like to keep it longer, freeze it in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Make More Holiday Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Citrus Olive Oil Cake Recipe

4.74 from 38 votes
My Citrus Olive Oil Cake recipe is moist, dense like a pound cake, and incredibly delicious — you have to try it!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 people
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
My Citrus Olive Oil Cake recipe is moist, dense like a pound cake, and incredibly delicious — you have to try it!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 people

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups (17½oz/497g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups (24oz/675g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups (12floz/340ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups (12floz/340ml) orange juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Powdered sugar for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
  • In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar on high for about three minutes, until pale and fluffy.
  • Pour in the olive oil, orange juice, and lemon zest and beat until fully combined.
  • Add the flour mixture in three increments, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time to ensure even mixing.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake on a middle rack of your oven for about 75 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. (If the top starts to brown before the cake is done, cover the top loosely with foil.)
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to two months.

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sarahtmesquita
6 months ago

I made this, and it was perfect!! This was my first cake that turned out with a perfect crumb without extra oven time!!! Thanks so much Gemma! I was a little skeptical about the amount of sugar so I reduced the quantity (my dad is diabetic and I wanted to send some home) and it turned out perfect… halved the recipe and it was still a big cake!!! It’s such a joy trying out your recipes and it has definitely helped me gain confidence in baking (with a not so great oven too – managed to hack it for optimum… Read more »

2 months ago

This cake is very delicious Gemma. It is very moist and has a lovely flavour.
Thank you for another great recipe.
Josephine

Bori
Bori
3 months ago

Hi Gemma, thank you for ther recipe! Will the cake taste the same if I’m using dried lemon zest?

Etel
4 months ago

Hi Gemma, I’m your fan. I’ve tried several recipes, vanilla birthday cake, brownie, cookies, etc. I love it, but today I risked to make the olive oil cake because I do not like olive oil, I thought it would not feel the taste after baking, in my house no one wanted to eat it, nor me, because the taste of the oil was so strong. Can I change the recipe and put the other oil? Or will there be another recipe that is similar, so spongy and wet?

Dawn Seow
4 months ago

Just tried this recipe a few days ago. It tasted moist and delicious inside, and the browning on the outside added some texture and sweetness due to the caramelisation. Reduced the sugar by 25% as my mum is diabetic, and it still tasted good! Only issue was that I could not get the whole cake out of the bundt pan.. 1/4 of the cake broken off and was stuck to the bottom of the bundt pan when i tried to ease it out :'( User error I’m sure haha. Any tips on how to get the cake out whole? I… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Dawn Seow
mimi
5 months ago

Could I replace some of the orange juice with lemon juice for more of a lemon flavor? can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

Ces
Ces
5 months ago

Tried your recipe. It tasted good except that mine did not turn out to be moist. Also it looked over cooked with 75 mins in the oven. Don’t know what I did wrong.

Cynthia
Cynthia
5 months ago

Insanely delicious. The perfect pound cake.

Cindy Beck
Cindy Beck
5 months ago

This looks amazing. I plan to make half the recipe….how many eggs would I add since the full recipe calls for 5. Would I use 3?

Gail
5 months ago

I have some orange flavoured olive oil from Spain. Could I use this Gemma ?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!