Moist olive oil cake is an easy, one-bowl cake that’s a great alternative to pound cake. This simple cake recipe is made with pantry staples and takes almost no prep work to make.
I love simple, homey cakes that I can whip up in no time and serve with in-season fruit. This olive oil cake doesn’t disappoint!
It’s incredibly easy to make, and it’s made with pantry staples. This cake tastes great on its own or with fresh fruit like peaches or strawberries.
What is olive oil cake?
This is a simple moist cake that uses olive oil as the main fat.
What does this cake taste like?
Not like olive oil! Before I tried it, I imagined that this cake would taste like sweet olive oil, which wasn’t very appetizing. Thankfully, this isn’t the case.
Olive oil cakes are usually flavored with citrus, chocolate, or almond. Lemon is the most common flavoring, but the cake is neutral and lends itself to any number of flavors. So, the cake tastes like whatever flavoring is used.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt (or table salt)
- Large eggs
- Granulated sugar
- Almond extract
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Sliced almonds
How to make olive oil cake
One of the great things about this cake is that it doesn’t take much prep or planning. There’s no need to soften butter or let eggs come to room temperature before starting.
Whisk the eggs until foamy. Add part of the sugar and the almond extract. Beat until thick and pale.
Stream in the oil with the mixture going. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt, and then stir in the milk. Don’t overmix.
Pour the batter into the springform pan.
Sprinkle batter with sliced almonds and remaining granulated sugar. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove the sides of the pan to let the cake finish cooling.
- Eggs: The eggs and milk will incorporate better if they’re at room temperature. It takes approximately 30 minutes for eggs and milk to reach room temperature after removed from the fridge.
- Olive oil: I use extra-virgin olive oil, and there’s no olive oil taste to the cake. If you’re concerned about the taste, look for a light-tasting olive oil to use in this cake.
- Kosher salt: You can use 1/2 teaspoon of table salt (be sure to use 1/2 teaspoon, not tablespoon) in place of the kosher salt.
- Milk: You can use any milk from skim to whole milk. Whole milk will give you a slightly richer cake.
- Non-Dairy: You can also use a nondairy milk, like almond milk, if you prefer.
- Springform pan: If you are worried that your springform pan may leak, place it on a baking sheet to catch any drips.
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Olive Oil Cake
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar divided
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil1
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt2
- 3/4 cup milk3 at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Powdered sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
- Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
- Add 1 ⅓ cups sugar and almond extract.
- Beat on high until mixture has thickened and is and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium and, with mixer running, slowly stream in oil.
- Mix until oil is fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and salt together just until combined.
- Add milk and stir in just until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Sprinkle almonds over the batter.
- Sprinkle remaining sugar (a generous 2 tablespoons) over almonds and batter.
- Bake about 40-45 minutes, or until cake is deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out with few crumbs attached.
- Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Remove side of pan and let cake cool completely, about 1 ½ hours.
- Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
- Cut into wedges and serve.
- I like to use extra-virgin olive oil. However, you can use any type that you like.
- Or 1/2 teaspoon of table salt.
- You can use any milk from skim to whole milk. Whole milk will give you a slightly richer cake. You can also use a nondairy milk, like almond milk, if you prefer.
- If you are worried that your springform pan may leak, place it on a baking sheet to catch any drips.
- Nutrition values are estimates.
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Originally published 6/5/18. Updated with tips and information 3/2/20.
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Comments & Reviews
Julie P says
I was also a skeptic of the olive oil cake and boy was I wrong. The cake was moist and flavorful. I followed the recipe as written, but will experiment with flavors next time. This recipe is a keeper.
I’m glad that you liked the cake!
Pokemon Fan says
I love this olive oil cake recipe!
Thank you so much!
Shirley Leto says
Excellent! This is the first olive oil cake I have made and eaten. I substituted almond extract fir vanilla and put 1T each of orange & lemon rind. Yum! Yum! Yum!
This recipe goes into my recipe box. Ty
Thank you so much! That sounds delicious!
So delicious! Cooked in an 8” pan instead, so it took an hour & rose higher in the middle—which made for a very dramatic and beautiful presentation. Thank you for the recipe!
Thank you! I’m glad you liked the cake!
Love this recipe! My first olive oil cake, very pleased! I switched it up and added poppyseeds and made a lemon glaze, finished with lemon zest and more poppyseeds. I will be making this again ??
Thank you so much! And thanks for sharing your twist!
Amazing recipe. I was sceptical and so pleasantly surprised! I did not have almond oil on hand so I zested a lemon in the batter instead and it was delicious.
Thank you! I’m glad you liked it!
I loved this cake, it was moist and had a great flavor. Will make again.
Thank you! I’m glad that you liked it. Thanks for commenting! =)
Marie W says
My daughter, who loves to bake, looked up your recipe and decided to make it. So glad she did because it was delicious!!! ? She substituted almond milk (because of dietary reasons) for regular milk, vanilla extract for almond extract, and we toasted some slivered almonds and added those. It gave it a nice texture to such a moist, delicious cake. This recipe will definitely be a staple in our kitchen. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much! I’m glad to hear that almond milk worked well in the cake. It’s helpful to hear back about subs that work well. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Frank Napolitano says
This recipe was delicious. Instead of almonds, I went with orange zest. Tasted delicious, perfect texture.
Thank you so much! That sounds like a delicious twist on the cake. =) Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Does it matter what kind milk you use? Does it have to be full milk?
No, anything from skim to whole milk will work. You’ll end up with a little richer cake with whole milk, but I usually use 1% or 2% because that’s what we have on-hand. Hope that helps!
Reggie Theisen says
can you substitute Splenda for the sugar?
Hi! I haven’t tried using Splenda in this recipe, so I can’t say for certain.
I actually scaled this up by 1/4 and it worked well. Takes an hour instead of 45 min to bake if you do it. Excellent recipe, will certainly make again!
Good! I’m glad it worked out and that you liked the cake. =) Thank you for commenting!
Jennifer Jackson says
I made it for the first time today using fat free milk and it was awesome. I will be making this again.
Thank you! I’m so glad that you liked it! This is one of my favorite cakes, and I love to hear that other people are enjoying it, too. =)
I was pleasantly surprised at just how good this cake was! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
Thank you! This is one of my favorite cakes. I love to hear that other people are enjoying it, too. =)