Citrusy olive oil cake

Ellie shares an incredibly simple recipe for a summery citrusy cake made with olive oil.

Q. Cakes need butter (or some margariney atrocity), right?

A. Well, no… you could use any fat really, i.e. lard, or olive oil.

Not only can you make cakes with olive oil, but this particular one has a whole host of reasons why you should.

  • It might well be healthier than cakes made with other forms of fat.
  • It’s delicious and yummy, with a citrusy twang and not too sweet.
  • Super easy, and really difficult to bugger up – it’s almost impossible to end up with a dry cake.

It’s all about what goes in it

This cake is super simple, and only has a few ingredients, but that means that each of those that it does have are really important. For the purposes of this recipe, flour is just simple flour, ditto salt, white sugar and baking powder, you should as always use eggs from happy chickens if you can, but then…

All of the flavour in this cake comes from the oil and the citrus fruit that you use.

The olive oil should be of a good quality, virgin or extra virgin, and from a variety of olive that is not too intense. I absolutely love a lot of mono-varietal olive oils, but they are not the best thing to use here, what you need is something that is mellow and without any bitter edges that will act as a base upon which the citrus fruit can then build their magic.

I have made this cake with oranges, with lemons, and with one of each, and each version is as good as the other. I can’t see any reasons why you couldn’t also try it with grapefruit or lime if you were feeling adventurous.

Bake a cake

Normally I’m against the American system of volume, preferring to weigh things, but in the case of this cake using a volume measurement seems to work really well as there are no awkwardly shaped or sized ingredients.


  • Zest of 1-2 lemons or oranges
  • 60-90ml Fresh lemon or orange juice
  • 4 Eggs
  • 180ml Sugar
  • 120ml Olive oil
  • 240ml Flour
  • ½tsp Baking powder
  • ¼tsp Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)

  2. Add the flour, salt, zest and baking powder to a bowl and give them a quick mix.

  3. In a second large bowl combine the eggs and sugar, and beat them until they turn light and frothy.

  4. Add the olive oil and juice to the sugar/egg mixture, whisking all the time.

  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, and mix them together until you end up with a nice smooth batter.

  6. Pour the batter into a greased/lined springform tin (about 25cm across is ideal), and bake for about 40-45 minutes. Test it with a toothpick or skewer, which should come out clean.

  7. Leave it to cool for a few minutes before opening the springform, and it should come out very easily.

You can eat it just as it is with a nice cup of tea, or cover it with a generous amount of fruity jam. It will taste just fine and dandy if you eat it straight away, but if you can bear to wait, or are good at forward planning, then it will taste even better the next day.

3 thoughts on “Citrusy olive oil cake

  • May 4, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Oh, I used to make a recipe like this, but I lost it some time ago. It was really similar, so I’m going to have a go at this one and hope it comes out the way I remember it. Thanks!

  • May 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Yay! Happy to help Gina – let us know how it turns out for you.

  • September 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Does it matter where the olive oil comes from? I mean the country.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *