This easy olive oil cake is a moist and fragrant cake recipe bursting with citrus flavor, drizzled with creamy orange glaze. It’s a foolproof, delicious dessert for any skill level.
This Olive Oil Cake is fresh and light, filled with the bright flavors of orange zest balanced out by the richness of vanilla. Drizzled with the easiest orange glaze, it’s the perfect cake recipe for any occasion!
Why You’ll Love This Olive Oil Cake Recipe
- Ultra-light and tender. Every slice is extra moist, tender, and tastes totally fancy. How easy it is to make will be our little secret.
- Olive oil flavor. The olive oil in this recipe is subtle and not overpowering in the slightest. It adds moisture and softness to the cake and gives it a pleasant, fruity flavor.
- No butter. Making this cake means you don’t need to wait around while a brick of butter comes to room temperature. Jump right in with your favorite bottle of EVOO, and the batter comes together quickly.
Olive Oil Cake Ingredients
- Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt – The basics. All-purpose flour is best here.
- Eggs and Sugar
- Orange Zest – Citrus rounds out the olive oil flavor in the cake beautifully. I use fresh orange zest, but you can use lemon zest for a lemon flavored cake.
- Olive Oil – You’ll want to use high-quality, extra virgin olive oil to give this cake the best flavor.
- Milk – I recommend whole milk, or you can use buttermilk to add another layer of tangy flavor to your cake.
- Orange Juice – I use orange juice in the glaze, and I add an extra splash of juice to the cake.
- Vanilla – Be sure to use real vanilla extract and not artificial vanilla.
- Powdered Sugar – You’ll combine powdered sugar with orange juice to make a zesty glaze.
How to Make Olive Oil Cake With Orange Glaze
There are just a couple of quick steps involved in making a perfectly moist, flavor-filled olive oil cake. Let’s get things started:
- Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately. Begin by whisking together flour, baking soda, and salt. In your mixer’s bowl, cream together the eggs, sugar, and orange zest, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Next, add the olive oil, orange juice, and vanilla.
- Combine. Finally, beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Be careful that you don’t go too hard on the mixing! Beat until the batter is just combined.
- Bake. Transfer the cake batter to a greased and floured 9” cake pan, and then bake at 350ºF for 40-50 minutes. The top of the cake should be nice and golden.
Glazing the Cake
- Let the cake cool. After 10 minutes of resting in the pan, invert your cake onto a wire rack. It will need to finish cooling completely before you add the glaze.
- Glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice until its a smooth, pourable consistency, and then drizzle it generously over the cake.
- Enjoy! I like to wait about 10-15 minutes for the glaze to set up before slicing, but feel free to dig in right away.
Tips for Success
- Choose good-quality olive oil. It’s worth repeating! Since this cake uses so few ingredients, it’s worth investing in good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best possible flavor. You’ll find yourself using it in loads of other recipes, too.
- Use room temperature ingredients. While an olive oil cake eliminates the need for butter, remember to take your milk and eggs out of the fridge ahead of time. Room temperature ingredients combine more smoothly, and your cake will bake more evenly as a result.
- Grease and flour the pan well. To prevent this cake from sticking, make sure to give the pan a generous coating with butter (or additional olive oil) along with a dusting of flour.
- Use a springform pan. Instead of a regular 9” cake pan, you can make this cake in a 9” springform pan.
- Don’t overmix. Overmixing the batter can lead to a dense, tough cake that won’t rise properly in the oven. Only beat the batter until the flour mixture is just combined with the wet ingredients.
Can I Use Another Type of Oil?
Olive oil is what gives this cake its subtle flavor and fresh, fruity aroma. While using another type of oil will produce a tender, moist cake, it just won’t have the same effect on the overall flavor. For this reason, I wouldn’t really recommend substituting the olive oil in this recipe. If you’re looking for a cake recipe that is not made with oil, check out my orange and almond coffee cake, made with butter. And, while you’re here, make sure to check out this lemon yogurt cake for another easy, zesty dessert. And if you’re a chocolate lover, my chocolate olive oil cake is a must-try!
- Hot Drinks. Pair cake slices with a cozy cortado coffee or a Starbucks-inspired cinnamon dolce latte or matcha latte. During the holiday season, serve it with mulled wine!
- Cold Drinks. This cake is perfect washed down with an iced Americano or a refreshing Campari Spritz.
- Ice Cream. Olive oil cake goes deliciously with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can also try it with my 2-ingredient homemade ice cream recipe.
- Frosting. If you’d like to substitute the orange glaze with your favorite frosting instead, go right ahead! You can also borrow the mascarpone frosting from my flourless carrot cake recipe.
- More Toppings. Top this cake with extra orange zest, whipped cream, or crushed nuts, like pistachios, walnuts, or pecans. Fresh berries are also a yummy garnish.
How to Store Cake
- To Store. This cake will keep for up to 4 days when stored airtight at room temperature. Make sure that your cake is completely cooled before you cover it.
- Freezer. Whenever possible, I recommend freezing this cake before it’s glazed. However, you can freeze a glazed olive oil cake in a pinch. Wrap the cake tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap, and store it frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the cake in the fridge and then bring it to room temperature for serving.
More Easy Cake Recipes
- Banana Pound Cake
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Two-Ingredient Mini Lemon Cakes
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
Olive Oil Cake
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter, dust with flour, then tap out any excess. Set aside. You can also use a 9-inch springform pan.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In your mixer’s bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and orange zest; beat on medium speed for around 2 to 3 minutes or until light and pale.
- Add the olive oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract and continue to beat until incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth it out with an offset spatula.
- Tap the pan on the kitchen counter to reduce air bubbles.
- Bake the cake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; carefully invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar with the orange juice to make a smooth consistency. Drizzle it over the cooled cake.
- Cut the cake and serve.
- Pick Quality Olive Oil: With minimal ingredients, choose a top-notch extra virgin olive oil to elevate the cake’s flavor.
- Room Temp Ingredients: Ensure milk and eggs are at room temperature for smoother mixing and even baking.
- Prep Your Pan: Generously grease and flour the pan to avoid sticking. Olive oil or butter works great.
- Springform Pan Option: A 9” springform pan is an alternative to a regular cake pan.
- Avoid Overmixing: Mix until the flour blends with the wet ingredients to prevent a dense cake that won’t rise well.
- Toppings: Give this cake an extra kick with a sprinkle of orange zest, a dollop of whipped cream, or a handful of crushed nuts – think pistachios, walnuts, or pecans. For a fresh twist, toss on some juicy berries.
- Storage: This cake will keep for 3 to 4 days at room temperature and about 7 days in the fridge. I recommend freezing this cake before it’s glazed. Wrap the cake tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap, and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.