A Guide to Olive Oil Cake: Making the Best Dessert

by Alex Cogen
A Guide to Olive Oil Cake: Making the Best Dessert - Texas Hill Country Olive Co.

Olive oil cake is one trend we can wholeheartedly get behind. It's something we've been making for years, and we are so happy to see that its growing in popularity!

For some, this is a no brainer. For others, you might wonder why you would want to use olive oil over butter or other oils in your baking.

In this guide, we'll explore the wonders of olive oil in cake, from the history, to the benefits. We'll even give you a recipe and tips to make your own cake using a variety of different types of olive oil!

A Guide to Olive Oil Cake: Making the Best Dessert

Olive Oil Cakes: A Brief History

The history of using olive oil in cakes and baked goods is deeply rooted in the Mediterranean region, where olive trees have flourished for thousands of years.

The ancient Greeks and Romans were among the first to recognize the value of olive oil in both culinary and medicinal applications. While specific recipes may not be well-documented, historical records and cultural practices suggest that olive oil played a significant role in culinary applications.

Although olive oil has been used in baking for thousands of years, we are just now seeing a huge resurgence in olive oil baking due to it's popularization on social media and use by renowned chefs and influencers alike.

Why Olive Oil? The Secret Ingredient for Perfect Cakes

Besides being delicious, olive oil brings a multitude of benefits to your cakes, making them stand out in the realm of desserts. Let's explore:

1. Health Benefits

Olive oil is renowned for its health benefits, containing heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Incorporating olive oil into your dessert not only enhances flavor but also provides a more health-conscious option, especially when compared to butter.

Check out our Butter to Oil Oil Conversion Guide.

2. Moisture & Texture

The high fat content in olive oil contributes to a moist and tender crumb in your cakes. Unlike butter, which can solidify when cool, olive oil maintains its liquid form, ensuring your cake stays luscious and moist from the first bite to the last.

3. Flavor Versatility

Olive oil comes in various types, each with its unique flavor profile. This versatility allows you to experiment and tailor your cake to your preferred flavor intensity. You can also experiment with infused olive oils! We'll give you all the olive oil baking tips further down.

Olive Oil Cake

Choosing the Right Olive Oil from Texas Hill Country Olive Co.

For an exceptional olive oil cake, selecting the right olive oil is crucial. A low quality olive oil will not only give you less health benefits, but also just not taste all that great.

Texas Hill Country Olive Co. offers a range of high-quality olive oils, and we'll break them down so that you can pick the right flavor for you!

Delicate & Buttery Olive Oils

If you are just starting out with olive oil baking, and want to take it easy, a delicate extra virgin olive oil is the best choice. Our Sola Stella Extra Virgin Olive Oil is incredibly comparable to butter, and imparts that delicate flavor all the while adding the health benefits you get from a high quality olive oil.

Another delicious delicate oil option is our Spaniard Extra Virgin Olive Oil! It's incredibly light and mild, with fruity notes. Perfect if you want just a little of that olive oil flavor coming through.

Try our recipe for Chocolate Fudge cake with Sola Stella

Robust & Peppery Olive Oils

If you want the olive oil in your cake to be the star of the show, try a more robust oil. With a robust oil, the flavor is more intense, with grassy and peppery notes. Often the more robust the oil, the higher the health benefits. Choosing a robust oil will really allow the olive oil flavor to come through.

Our Texas Miller's Blend Olive Oil really comes through on the peppery notes, and is one of our most awarded oils - for good reason!

The Super Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also peppery, yet with some more fruity notes. It's another delicious oil - perfect for baking!

Herb Infused Olive Oils

This may be one of our favorite ways to use our herb infused olive oils, particularly our Rosemary Infused and Basil Infused Olive Oils. Both types of oil pair deliciously in a lemon cake, but there are even more combinations to try!

Here are a few pairing suggestions for each one:

  • Orange Cake + Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
  • Chocolate Cake + Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
  • Strawberry Cake + Basil Infused Olive Oil
  • Key Lime Cake + Basil Infused Olive Oil

Spicy Infused Olive Oils

If you are a spice lover, than using a spicy infused olive oil in a cake will be a huge game changer. Unsure? Have you tried jalapeño cornbread before? It's really not all that different! Here are a few combinations to try with some of our spicier olive oils, like Jalapeño Infused and Harissa Infused Olive Oils (or Hatch Green Chile - seasonal product):

Citrus Infused Olive Oils

Infused olive oils are a fun way to add a more specific burst of flavor, depending on the type of cake you're looking to create.

Citrus infused oils are one of our top choices for creating a moist and zesty olive oil cake that will impress anyone who tastes it!

Try our Lemon Infused Olive Oil or our Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil in a delicious cake! Doesn't a blood orange olive oil cake sound mouthwatering (see recipe below).

Olive Oil Cake - Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake Recipe


  • 1/2 cup Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we used Spaniard Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 4 medium blood oranges (about 1½ lb)
  • 1 ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 ⅓ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp finely grated blood orange zest
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • Extra virgin olive oil for the pan


  1. Preheat Oven and Prepare Pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a springform pan with oil, line the bottom with parchment paper, and coat again with oil.

  2. Prepare Blood Oranges: Slice blood oranges thinly, discarding seeds. Squeeze ends for 2 tablespoons of juice.

  3. Build Upside-Down Layer: Whisk 1/3 cup sugar with blood orange juice, pour into the pan. Arrange blood orange slices in an overlapping pattern in the pan.

  4. Mix Dry Ingredients: Whisk cake flour, semolina, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

  5. Mix Wet Ingredients: Stir together blood orange zest and vanilla.

  6. Beat Eggs and Sugar: Beat eggs and remaining 1 cup sugar until light, thick, and pale (about 5 minutes).

  7. Beat in Oil: Gradually stream in oils while beating until fully incorporated.

  8. Alternate Adding Wet and Dry Ingredients: Add flour mixture and wet mixture alternately, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold batter with a spatula to ensure even mixing.

  9. Fill Pan and Bake: Gently pour batter over blood orange slices. Smooth the top and bake at 350°F until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (35 to 45 minutes).

  10. Cool and Unmold: Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, remove the outer ring, and invert the cake onto a wire rack. Peel away the parchment and let the cake cool completely.

  11. Enhance Flavor: For optimal flavor and texture, wrap the cake in plastic and let it sit at room temperature for at least a day before serving.

                  Time to Enjoy Your Olive Oil Cake!

                  So next time you're looking to make a cake, opt for olive oil instead of butter! Not only does it create a decadent and moist cake, but it makes it a tad healthier (it's still a cake, after all).

                  Want to try a different delicious cake recipe using olive oil? Try one of these:

                  Want to download the recipe for the Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake that is pictured? Click below!

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