Olive oil cake is simple, rustic and elegant all at the same time. The olive oil, paired with cornmeal, gives this recipe its rustic texture and authentic Italian flavor. Topped with citrus glaze and lemon zest, you have a unique dessert easily prepared for your family.
We’re not opposed to serving this recipe for something other than dessert. The citrus flavor lends itself to an ‘eat me for breakfast’ vibe. Paired with an iced coffee, the combo might prove to be the cat’s pajamas!
We took special care to provide directions for greasing the pan in this recipe because the cake is fragile when it comes out of the oven. Typically, we opt for the ease of cooking spray, but for this recipe, the butter is essential.
Rustic Olive Oil Cake Recipe
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest, grated
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 -3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest, grated, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trace and cut out a circle on parchment paper using a 9" round cake pan as your guide. Butter cake pan then place parchment cutout in the bottom of the pan (on top of the butter). Butter top of the parchment and the sides of the pan then coat with cornmeal, like you would flour a cake pan.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt until well blended and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together eggs, oil, milk, vanilla, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until well combined. Add dry ingredients ⅓ at a time, mixing each addition just until no dry spots remain—the batter will be a little runny, but this is normal for an oil cake.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35–40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, or until the center is firm and bounces back when touched. Let the cake cool on a wire rack 30 minutes then invert to remove. Peel away the parchment, turn the cake right side up then place it directly onto the rack to cool completely.
- Stir together all ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Transfer the cake to a serving dish, pour the glaze over the top and allow it to set. Slice and serve!
When it comes to baking, olive oil is better suited for recipes requiring moderate heat, while vegetable oil works well in high temperatures.