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Traditional Italian Olive Oil Cake

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