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Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe

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5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield 1 (9-inch cake); 8–10 servings
Category Dessert
Cuisine Italian/Mediterranean
Author Lauren Grant


This Lemon Olive Oil Cake recipe is the perfect easy elegant dessert that stays moist for days and is loaded with lemony flavor. This cake is so good it can be served simply on its own or can be dressed up with whipped cream and berries for even more elegance.


  • 1 ¾ cups (226g) white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar + more for top
  • 2 tablespoons minced lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • ¾ cup (160g) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup (175g) whole milk

Toppings, optional:


  • Heat oven to 350ºF (176ºC) with rack set in middle position. Grease 9-inch springform pan (if your springform pan is prone to leaking, wrap the base in a piece of foil).
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl; set aside.
  • Using stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip eggs on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. With mixer running, add sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Increase speed to high, and whip until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to medium and, with mixer running, slowly stream in oil; mix 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add half of the flour; mix until incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down side of bowl as needed. Add milk and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture and mix just until incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down side of bowl as needed.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pan; evenly sprinkle top with about 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake cake until top is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few crumbs attached, 48–55 minutes.
  • Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Loosen and remove side of pan; let cake cool completely, about 1½ hours. Loosen cake from the pan base, transfer to a serving plate, and cut into wedges; serve. 
  • Optional, top servings with whipped cream, candied lemon wedges, and a drizzle of good-quality olive oil.



Storage Instructions
  • Up to 1 day: cover cake with foil and store at room temperature.
  • 1–3 days: wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store at room temperature .
  • Up to 5 days: wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. 
  • Orange: make our Orange Olive Oil Cake! It's just as citrusy and moist as this recipe with spiced orange segments served on top.
  • Triple Citrus: use a combination of lemon, lime and orange zest instead of just lemon zest.
  • Citrus & Herb: add some minced fresh rosemary to the batter for a little herby note.
  • Almond Olive Oil Cake: use almond extract in place of the vanilla extract and sprinkle sliced almonds over the batter before baking. 
Baking Notes
  • Under-bake by 3 minutes or so if you like it dense and moist. Bake it the full amount of time if you like it more cake-like (still moist!).
  • Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen


Serving: 1/10 of cakeCalories: 313kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 5.5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 203mgFiber: 3gSugar: 21g
Keywords lemon olive oil cake, olive oil cake
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