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 Olive Oil Cake!
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Traditional Italian Olive Oil Cake
Traditional Olive Oil Cake from The Organic Kitchen

 Traditional 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 olive oil, orange juice, milk, lemon zest and a littelorange liqueur. That sounds like a lot of liquid…and it is.

Traditional Olive Oil Cake from The Organic Kitchen

The batter for olive oil cake is very runny but bakes up into a nice moist cake with rich olive oil flavor! Before baking, the batter is topped with almond slices so the cake has a crispy top.

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

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

Traditional Olive Oil Cake from The Organic Kitchen
Just beautiful! The flavors of sweet fruit and rich olive oil are an exquisite pair!

Traditional Olive Oil Cake from The Organic Kitchen

The Recipe: Traditional Italian Olive Oil Cake

You will need: A 10″ spring form pan for baking, unbleached parchment paper, and a microplane for zesting lemon. Orange liqueur can be found at the grocery store. (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. Bellisima! If you wish to skip the orange liqueor, that is fine. It is optional, but recommended.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: classic recipe, easy dessert recipe, holiday recipe
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Linda Spiker
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups good olive oil
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur such as grand marnier (optional but recommended)
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • confectioners sugar for dusting
  • berries peaches or whatever fruit you prefer to top cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350* and place oven rack in center of oven. Use a paper towel to coat sides of 10" round springform cake pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a circle and place in the bottom of the pan. Wipe parchment with butter too.
  2. In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together the eggs and sugar with a whisk. Add the orange juice, milk, olive oil, liqueur and lemon zest to eggs and sugar.
  3. Mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Whisk until well blended. Batter will be fairly thin. Pour mixture into the cake pan. Sprinkle almonds on top of batter.
  4. Bake 50 minutes at 350* or until cake springs back from touch. Use a knife to separate cake from sides of pan and then release the spring. Remove cake from pan, discard parchment and cool on a rack. Dust with sugar, top with berries and serve!
  5. * My oven cooks this cake best at 325 but many people have better success at 350… each oven is different. Experiment and see what works best in your oven.

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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