A dead-easy, dairy-free lemony Lemon Olive Oil Cake, which is one of like three recipes I actually bake because I can't bake to save my loaf. In fact, the only other recipes for baked goods on this site are essentially variations on this Olive Oil Cake (links to those recipes included), and banana bread.
At some point I will bake an olive oil banana bread.
As a quick note, all of the Olive Oil Cake recipes I've shared so far are dairy-free, and it's partially by design because I don't usually keep milk, buttermilk or even yogurt on hand. Because this Olive Oil Cake is something I decide to make on some random Wednesday afternoon, I want to be able to bake it right away without having to go to the grocery store to buy additional ingredients. I almost always have flour in the freezer and sugar because it doesn't go bad, and always have lemons, olive oil, and eggs, obviously.
Recipe for LEMON OLIVE OIL CAKE below, cooking Notes and shopping Resources follow. You can watch a short video of my making the cake here.
LEMON OLIVE OIL CAKE
suggested wine pairing: late harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Merry Edwards, which is a sweet dessert wine with notes of "honeysuckle, candied ginger, toasted almonds and lemon meringue," so it's perfect with the flavors in the cake.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons lemon juice
optional: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
for serving: confectioner’s sugar, fresh berries, lemon zest
Heat the oven to 350° F.
Prep 9-inch cake pan with baking spray or rub with a little olive oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. In a larger mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, eggs, lemon zest and juice. Add the dry mix to the olive oil mixture and stir until just combined. If using chopped herbs, stir in now.
Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, checking at 45 minutes with a cake tester. Cake is done when top is medium golden brown and tester comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and let cake cook completely for an additional hour.
To serve, dust with powdered sugar and top cake with fresh berries and lemon zest.
If you are baking this Lemon Olive Oil Cake ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap without the confectioner's sugar and berries. You can keep it on the counter for a day, or in the refrigerator for two days.
NOTES and RESOURCES for Lemon Olive Oil Cake
- Flour. You can use any form of wheat flour for Lemon Olive Oil Cake. I used this brand of organic, unbleached, all-purpose flour; I don't bake enough to keep all kinds of specialty flours. I have made this cake with half whole wheat flour and as expected, it works perfectly well.
- Olive Oil. The point of this Lemon Olive Oil Cake is the olive oil, so use the best-tasting (to you) olive oil you can afford. For an olive oil cake, it's probably best to go with an olive oil on the milder, fruitier side rather than on the intense, peppery side. I like this California-grown olive oil, but it's also VERY expensive, so I am saving that for times when I am eating straight olive oil like as a dip for bread, and using this mild, organic olive oil for the cake.
- Lemons: I generally use Meyer lemons for everything because that's what my Mom gives me from her trees, but for this Olive Oil Cake, I used organic regular yellow lemons because I like how tart they are for this cake. You can use Meyer lemons if you have them; the cake will be ever so slightly sweeter!
- All other fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can't find what I need at the farmers' market.
TOOLS and EQUIPMENT
- Also try:
Meyer Lemon Thyme Olive Oil Cake recipe, also dairy-free, slightly smaller in volume than the Olive Oil Cake in this recipe, baked in a Bundt or loaf pan
- Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Candied Rosemary recipe, dairy-free, baked in 8-inch round cake pan