Light and tender, this lemon olive oil cake is easy enough for casual weeknights, but fancy enough to impress weekend dinner guests.
There are many recipes on this site that are fabulous but ultimately forgotten, sadly, in my search for new great recipes. (I can only eat so much dessert, y’all.)
Then there are other recipes that I fall head over heels in love with and bake over and over again. Like this simply dreamy lemon olive oil cake.
I first stumbled upon the recipe several years ago as I was planning a little dinner party. I needed an impressive dessert that wasn’t too heavy, but also uncomplicated and not stress-inducing. This cake was such a hit that evening that it’s made many more appearances at parties and potlucks since then.
The cake is very tender and moist with subtle lemon and olive oil flavors. The olive oil gives it a certain something that sets is apart and elevates the cake from good to great. This cake can be served many ways, though my favorite is with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
- 5 egg yolks
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar , divided (175 grams)
- ¾ cup quality olive oil (177 ml)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (120 grams)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 egg whites
- Whipped cream, powdered sugar and berries for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and grease with the non-stick spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a wire whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar until pale and thick.
- Combine the olive oil and lemon juice and with the mixer running on low, slowly add it to the yolk mixture. It may look slightly curdled. Add the flour and lemon zest and gently fold into the yolk-olive oil mixture with a spatula.
- Transfer mixture to a separate bowl and set aside. Clean the stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy, then slowly add ¼ cup of the sugar and continue to beat to soft peaks. Gently fold into the olive oil mixture, just barely until incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Spread into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and cool completely.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream and fresh berries, or as desired.
- You can use either extra-virgin or regular olive oil. Extra-virgin olive oil will yield a slightly stronger flavor.
- Yields one 9-inch cake.
Note: Recipe originally published in March 2011. Photos have been updated and recipe has been reworded for clarification.