Lemon Olive Oil Cake

10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Lemon Olive Oil Cake is an easy moist cake recipe made with olive oil and fresh lemon. Topped with a simple lemon glaze. Perfect for summer!

If you’ve never tried a Lemon Olive Oil Cake before, you are going to be blown away that such a simple cake can taste so amazing! It’s tender and moist like a rich, buttery Pound Cake plus the bold tart lemony goodness of your favorite lemon desserts. For more delicious and simple lemon Cakes, check out my Lemon Bundt Cake and Lemon Sheet Cake!

Sabrina’s Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe

One slice of my rich lemony olive oil cake and you may never go back to butter-based cakes again! The olive oil adds so much moisture to the crumbs and the mild fruity scent goes perfectly with the bold lemon flavor. The cake is dense, yet surprisingly light and tender when you bite into it, almost melting in your mouth.

My Lemon Olive Oil Cake recipe is a super easy single layer cake topped with a sweet lemon syrup. It’s a simple, yet elegant cake with just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the richness. And since it’s not overly sweet, you could serve this delicious cake for brunch or enjoy it as an afternoon snack too!

Lemon Olive Oil Cake ingredients in separate prep bowls and cups
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  • Olive Oil: Use a good quality, extra virgin oil. I recommend unfiltered, cold pressed oil for the best flavor. Oil doesn’t return to a solid form like butter does so your cake will stay moist and tender even after it is at room temperature for a day or two!
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice and zest add a bright flavor to balance the buttery, rich flavor of this olive oil cake. For even more bold lemony flavor, this cake is finished with a lemon simple syrup made with more fresh lemon juice.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the cake and helps to create a tender crumb. You can use regular white sugar or try brown sugar for a light molasses flavor.
  • Leavening Agents: Baking powder and baking soda both help make cake batter rise. This cake is going to be more dense than others but it should still rise and not sink in the center as it cools.
  • Milk: The milk adds an extra layer of moisture and richness to this delicious cake. For a dairy free cake, swap it dairy-free milk with a higher fat content like coconut milk. You could also use buttermilk or sour cream for a bit more tangy flavor.
  • Simple Syrup: The cake gets glazed with a homemade simple syrup made from water, sugar, and lemon juice. You want to brush it on while the cake is still hot so it soaks down into the cake and infuses every bite. Even though it’s a sugary syrup, it doesn’t make your cake too sweet.
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Baking Pan: I recommend using a springform pan because you can peel it away from the cake, making it less likely to break.
  • Stand Mixer: A stand mixer makes mixing convenient, but since you don’t need to cream or whip any ingredients, you could just whisk the batter by hand.
  • Baking Spray: You can also use cooking oil and lightly dust your pan with flour.
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How to Make

Time needed: 1 hour.

  1. Prep for Baking

    Preheat the oven. Grease a spingform pan generously with baking spray. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a separate bowl.Lemon Olive Oil Cake sifting flour and dry ingredient.

  2. Mix the Oil and Eggs

    Beat the eggs, olive oil, and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is fully blended.Lemon Olive Oil Cake pouring olive oil into eggs and sugar in mixing bowl, whole lemons, leaves, and egg shells around bowl

  3. Add the Flour and Milk

    Lower the mixer speed and begin adding the flour and milk, alternating in ½ cup portions and ending on the flour.Lemon Olive Oil Cake adding flour to mixed wet ingredients with a spoon.

  4. Add the Lemon

    Finally, add in the lemon juice and zest, then beat on low speed until just combined.Lemon Olive Oil Cake adding lemon juice and lemon zest to cake batter in mixing bowl, whole lemons and leaves around bowl

  5. Bake the Cake

    Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and gently spread the top to even out. Bake until the cake is golden and springs back when pressed. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or moist crumbs.Lemon Olive Oil Cake baked in cake pan. Simple syrup with pastry brush in small bowl in top right corner. Whole lemons around cake pan.

  6. Make the Syrup

    Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.Lemon Olive Oil Cake brushing syrup on baked cake in pan. Small bowl of simple syrup in top right corner, whole lemons with leaves in top left corner and bottom right corner.

  7. Brush Cake with Syrup

    Brush over the baked cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. After it cools a bit, you can garnish the cake with powdered sugar and fresh berries.Lemon Olive Oil Cake slice on plate with whipped cream and berries. Rest of cake on cake stand behind slice.

Can this be made ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Lemon Olive Oil Cake ahead of time. It’s best to store it without the glaze so it doesn’t get soggy. Warm the cake slightly in the oven for a few minutes, then brush the syrup over it as usual. You can also make the lemon simple syrup ahead of time. Keep it in the fridge, then bring it to room temperature before brushing over the warm cake.

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 480 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 249mg11%
Potassium 109mg3%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 42g47%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 135IU3%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Tips for Baking Olive Oil Cake

  • Preventing an Oily Cake

Just like you would with butter, you want to fully combine the eggs, sugar and oil into a thick, smooth mixture before adding the flour so everything stays together. This will keep your cake from being oily or greasy.

  • When the Cake is Done

It can be hard to tell when this cake is done because oil keeps the cake looking moist inside. You are looking for your cake to be well-risen and firm if you lightly press on the top, with a little bounce back or puffiness.

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How to Serve Olive Oil Cake

Toppings: This simple cake is ready to go with just the lemony syrup but you can add some toppings if you want to sweeten it up more. Try a dollop of fresh Whipped Cream plus some grated lemon zest and fresh fruit or berries for an easy, tasty topping. Candied lemon wheels would add a fancy touch!

Layer Cake: Turn this cake into a layer cake by dividing the batter between two pans or gently halving the baked cake after it’s fully cooled. Spread a layer of Lemon Curd on one layer for a filling. Add a thin layer of Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting around the whole cake for a “naked” frosting look.

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How to Store

  • Store: Lemon Olive Oil Cake can be stored at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, for up to 3 days. If you want to keep the cake fresh for longer, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days then bring it to room temperature for 15 minutes before serving it.
  • Freeze: You can freeze this olive oil cake for up to three months. Glaze the warm cake then allow it to cool completely. Wrap the cooled cake tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight then bring to room temperature before serving.
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Frequent Questions

Does olive oil cake taste like olive oil?

No, this cake does not taste like olive oil. While good quality olive oil does have a strong fruity aroma, as it bakes, the flavor becomes more subtle so it complements the lemon flavor without being overpowering.

What type of olive oil is best for Olive Oil Cake?

It’s best to use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for olive oil cake because it has a stronger fruity flavor but low acidity level. Look for olive oil that is cold-pressed, unfiltered, and has a bright green color for the best tasting cake!

Recipe Card

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake is an easy moist cake recipe made with olive oil and fresh lemon. Topped with a simple lemon glaze. Perfect for summer!
Yield 10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Lemon Olive Oil Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs , room temperature
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk , room temperature
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Lemon Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice


Lemon Olive Oil Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 9″ springform pan with baking spray.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • To your stand mixer add the eggs, olive oil and sugar.
  • Combine on medium speed until well blended.
  • On the lowest speed setting add the flour and whole milk, alternating as you go.
  • Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Beat on low speed until just combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the springform pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Simple Syrup:

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat dissolve sugar, water and lemon juice by stirring.
  • Let cool to room temperature.
  • When cake comes out of the over, brush the simple syrup over the cake.


Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg

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Citrus: Any kind of citrus flavor will go with fruity olive oil flavors. Replace the lemon with oranges, grapefruit, lime, or try a citrus blend with half orange juice and half lemon juice, etc. If making an Orange Olive Oil cake, add dark chocolate chips and Chocolate Ganache drizzle for a delicious cake full of holiday flavor.

Almond Cake: Replace the all-purpose flour with 2 cups almond flour and add 1 teaspoon almond extract for a gluten-free cake full of delicious almond flavor. Top your cake with slivered almonds before serving.

Rosemary: For a slightly savory flavor, add chopped fresh rosemary to the batter and add fresh whole sprigs to the syrup to infuse it with herby, woody rosemary flavor.

Lavender: Make a cake that tastes like it came from a fancy French bakery by adding dried culinary lavender! Grind 2 teaspoons of lavender before adding to the cake batter. Boil another tablespoon of lavender with the simple syrup and strain it out before brushing the cake.

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More Amazing Lemon Cake Recipes

Lemon Olive Oil Cake collage. Main image is slice on plate with powdered sugar plus whipped cream dollop with lemon zest on top. Bottom two images are brushing syrup on baked cake and baked cake with powdered sugar on top. Recipe name in white letters across top

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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