Lemon Olive Oil Cake made with fresh lemons grown from the garden. If you’ve ever grown a lemon, you understand the excitement and the significance of it finally being ready to slice open. It took me two years to produce these lemons and almost an entire year waiting on them to turn yellow. For a while, I started to think it was a lime tree. I made sure the lemon tree was watered weekly. I gave it residency in my guest room during the colder months and even changed its pot a few times to make sure it had enough room to grow. Once my lemons started to turn yellow this spring, I immediately started brainstorming what I would make with them. This was going to be a big moment for me! If you want to learn patience, grow a lemon. When my brother and his girlfriend sent me this lemon tree as a housewarming gift a few years ago, my mission was to keep it alive and healthy! I think this was the plant that got me started on my current fruit bush obsession.
I remember trying lemon olive oil cake for the first time when I was on summer break in college. A few summers in a row, I worked at a summer camp in East Hampton. One of the families I babysat for on a Friday night left me a piece of orange olive oil cake. She insisted I try it because her grandmother made the best. This was the first time I had ever heard of such a dessert before. After the kids went to bed, I put on a movie and decided to dive into a slice of the orange olive oil cake. I was so intrigued! I was in love at first bite. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to recreate a recipe for it. Olive oil cakes are moist, dense, not overly sweet, and easy to customize with your favorite flavors. I may have to try to make a strawberry one this summer.
I knew the lemons I grew deserved to be made into a lemon olive oil cake. I’ve done the cookies, cupcakes, and other lemon-flavored desserts before, but a lemon olive oil cake is sophisticated, just like my lemons!
I’m going to admit to something funny.
I’m secretly obsessed with finding blogs written by women in their sixties who love to garden, bake, and have garden parties with their friends. I find their blogs so relaxing and everything I dream of being when I’m their age. I imagine my retirement to look something like that. Kyle and I have talked about purchasing bed and breakfast 15-20 years from now where we can grow beautiful flowers for guests, decorate the rooms cozy, and treat them to the best coffee, and desserts just like my olive oil cake (even better if the ingredients come from the gardens!) One of our favorite things to do is stay at a bed and breakfast together when we travel, so it only seems fitting that we’d buy one in the future. When I make recipes like this, I am excited about that dream coming actual one day. I imagine guests sitting in our gardens drinking tea and biting into desserts that I’ve made. Even if it’s just a daydream, it makes me smile. Sometimes I get lost in baking and start to daydream. That’s why it’s therapeutic to me.
This lemon olive oil cake is AMAZING, and you need to add it to your baking list. I love how light, lemony, and moist (sorry, I said it) this cake is. It has just the perfect sweetness to pair with the tart lemon. This cake is a great recipe for bringing out after dinner to enjoy with tea, or maybe you are one of those women I just talked about, and you’re about to have a garden party. This would be a perfect recipe to impress your garden guests (oh, and please invite me!)
I caught my husband diving into the leftovers this morning, so I think it’s also safe to say this would be a perfect breakfast cake.
I love recipes that can be made without the electric mixer. You only need two bowls, a cake pan, and a few stirring utensils. It makes the cleanup and baking prep so much easier and less time-consuming.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake Video
I haven’t tried to make this recipe with any substitutions, but if you’re not a lemon fan, try using orange juice! You can top the cake with any fruit purée. This 4th of July, I want to make this cake with all kinds of berries added to it. It’s perfectly refreshing for the hot and humid days down here in the south.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
- 1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 /2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 3/4 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 3 Tbsps Lemon Zest
- 1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325-degrees.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk the sugar, olive oil, and eggs together in a separate mixing bowl. Mix in the buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and lightly mix.
- Add the batter to a greased 9" x 3" cake pan. I lined the bottom with parchment paper and sprayed cooking spray on top.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes.
I keep the cake stored in the refrigerator. I love olive oil cake because it doesn’t dry out. The longer it sits, the better it gets! You could also make a lemon glaze for the top, but I love keeping it on the lighter side with the powdered sugar. The powdered sugar will sink into the cake after a while, so if you’re going to store it in the refrigerator before guests arrive, add the powder sugar dust right before serving!
I am so excited for you to try this recipe out! We currently have one piece left (Kyle is presently behind me eating some), so it looks like I’ll have to make another this weekend!
Questions for you!
- Have you ever grown lemons?
- Have you ever tried olive oil cake?
- What flavor of olive oil cake should I make next?
Ok, I’ve read your blog for a while (love it!) and I’ve never commented but this is just too funny not to.
I can’t believe there’s such a thing as olive oil cake!
When I was 5 years old I decided to bake my first cake: chocolate.
My mom wasn’t home but I knew the recipe by heart so proceeded mixing the ingredients until I realized we were out of vegetable oil. I thought to myself, well we have olive oil, it looks pretty similar, so went right ahead and poured it in, only to panick when I tasted the batter and it tasted almost savory because of the olive oil. So I decided to pour cans of condensed milk (lol) to mask the taste.
My mom arrived just as I was trying to fit the metal baking pan into the microwave (because I was afraid of using matches to turn on the oven haha).
She kept the microwave really high up on top of the fridge so we kids couldn’t reach it, but determined to bake my cake I stacked chairs on top of each other, and as my mom entered the apartment, her first view was her 5 year old on the tip of her toes on top of poorly balanced stacked up chairs trying to shove the baking pan into the microwave. She dropped everything and ran “noooooooooo” like slow mo hahaha.
Well, that day I was going to a sleepover at my bestie, and my mom said she would bake my cake while I was out.
When I returned the next day, there was no cake left she said, because my dad ate it all, cause it was so good.
To this day (I’m 40 now) I don’t know if she threw it out right away, baked it and then threw it out (if it was uneatable), or if my dad really ate it all, which wouldn’t be so out of character for him at that time haha.
So there’s my olive oil cake story for you. Maybe I was like a pioneer in this lol.
Oh, and to answer your 1st question, I used to have a lemon tree, my mom planted it and I think it was mutant because the yield was insane, my guess estimate is around 300+ lemons per year, I never had to buy any (and I use a lot) and we were always giving away baskets to relatives, friends…
Unfortunately it was attacked by ants and they killed it! It was so fast and a year after my mom passed away too, which was so upsetting…maybe the tree was grieving 🤷🏻♀️
Maybe your mom needed that tree up in heaven with her 🍋 ♥️
This story made me laugh! It’s the mystery of the chocolate olive oil cake! I remember always trying to bake when I was little. I’d throw so many random ingredients into a bowl and they were AWFUL lol but my mom always pretended to enjoy them. She eventually bought me a kids cooking book so I got a little better 😉
Oh my gosh!!! I made this last night and WOW!!!! SO GOOD!! It’s my new favorite… I’m making an orange one this weekend 🤣
YAY! I’m so happy you loved it. I have to make it with orange now, too! Another commenter just said they made it with orange and it was good! 😊 We bought some coconut whipped cream to add to the top yesterday and you way want to try that with the orange! Orange cream olive oil cake? yes please!!!
I made this over the weekend with freshly squeezed orange juice instead of lemons and it was fabulous. I live in Florida so it was only fitting.
TOTALLY trying it with orange now!!!
Any type of lemon cake or lemon bread has my name on it. This looks delicious.
I recently placed an order with my grocery store for pickup, and they had everything I ordered EXCEPT the slice of lemon cake I had in my cart.
Oh the agony.
Nooooooo that is the worst 😭
OMG YESSS. This looks amazing! Making a grocery list now to make for my friend’s bday brunch tomorrow. Also, pleaseeee open a bed and breakfast! I’d come for opening weekend lol. Love all your flower and baking pics. So inspiring <3
Awwww yes!!! ♥️
Jeff Laskowski says
I am making the cake this morning for dessert on Easter. Very interesting recipe and aromatic (lemons and vanilla)! I’ll let you know how it turns out as it is baking now.
Hope you enjoy!