Last May my husband and I went to Italy. It was a magical two weeks spent sightseeing the most beautiful cities, touring countryside and taking fabulous cooking classes. I was in heaven. I honestly think if I didn’t have children and grandchildren here in the states, I could pack in all in and move to Italy, spending the rest of my days eating fresh vegetables, pizza, pasta and of course…Traditional Italian Olive Oil Cake!
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Traditional Italian Olive Oil Cake topped with berries and dusted with powdered sugar
Traditional Olive Oil Cake from The Organic Kitchen

 Traditional Italian Olive Oil Cake:

There are hundreds of recipes for olive oil cake online and most are very similar. Extremely similar in fact. My theory is, why mess with perfection? Olive oil cake is made with the usual cake ingredients but also includes olive oil  and plenty of orange and lemon zest . 

Traditional Olive Oil Cake on white plate from The Organic Kitchen

Before baking, the batter is topped with almond slices so the cake has a crispy, nutty top.

Traditional Olive Oil Cake topped with sliced almonds from The Organic Kitchen
You can serve as is, or top the cake with assorted berries, peaches, grapes, whatever is in season!

Traditional Olive Oil Cake with berries from The Organic Kitchen
A light dusting of powdered sugar makes this cake look delicate and ethereal!

Traditional Olive Oil Cake with berries being dusted with powdered sugar
Just beautiful! The flavors of sweet fruit and rich olive oil are an exquisite pair!

Traditional Olive Oil Cake with berries from The Organic Kitchen

The Recipe: Traditional Italian Olive Oil Cake

You will need: an 8″ non stick cake pan and a microplane for zesting the orange and lemon (affiliate links).

Traditional Italian Olive Oil Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr

This is an Old Italian cake recipe that was passed down from my great, great, great Grandma…. oh wait I am Danish. Okay it was passed down thru some Italians I don’t know, but it is good! It’s a moist, yellow cake and tastes great dusted with just a little powdered sugar and berries.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: classic recipe, easy dessert recipe, holiday recipe
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
  • 1 tablespoon butter (to coat pan)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup good olive oil
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • confectioners sugar, for dusting
  • assorted berries or peaches or whatever fruit you prefer to top cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center of oven. Use a paper towel to coat sides and bottom of an 8" round cake pan with butter

  2. In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl use a mixer to cream together eggs, sugar and zest until well combined. Beat in milk and then slowly drizzle olive in while continuing to mix.

  3. Mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Whisk until well blended. Pour mixture into the cake pan. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of batter.

  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until cake springs back from touch. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool. Use a knife to separate cake from sides of pan, remove cake from pan. Dust with powdered sugar, top with berries or peaches, dust again and serve!

Such a simple and lovely dessert! If you would like to receive beautiful FREE recipes like this one weekly, please sign up for my recipe newsletter (just under my picture in the right sidebar.) ~ Linda Spiker


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