Olive Oil Citrus Cake

In my house, olive oil, zest and the juice from citrus, generally means – marinate the chicken breasts and light the BBQ.  However, today, I used these few ingredients in a whole new way.  In a cake!

The fusion of the citrus zest and the olive oil, mixing around in my kitchen aid, permeated my kitchen with the most wonderful scent.  I could not wait for this cake to emerge from the oven.

I am going to make this cake over and over again.  Next time, mini olive oil citrus cakes, anyone?


wrapped in plastic wrap, the cake will keep for 2-3 days!

Olive Oil Citrus Cake


1 1/4 cups unsifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbls plus 3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 grapefruit
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 – 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbls. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice


• preheat oven to 350*.  using a paper towel, coat a 8″ round baking pan with olive oil, then sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar. set pan aside.
for the cake
• sift the flour, baking powder, and salt, twice.
• using your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and the zests on high speed for 5 minutes, until the eggs thickened.
• add the vanilla, turn the mixer down to low speed and add the olive oil into the batter, pouring slowly along the edge of the bowl.
• add the flour and mix on low speed until incorporated.  pour into prepared pan.
• bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and has domed in the center.  cool to room temperature.
for the glaze
• sift the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl.  whisk in the grapefruit juice to combine.  pour over the cooled cake.

The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com

Showing 20 comments
  • Maria

    This is my kind of cake. I love the glaze too!

  • Brooke

    Yum! I’m not a baker but this recipe and photos make me want to get over my fear. Gorgeous! Looks like a perfect breakfast dessert!

  • Christy

    i have been wanted to make something like this for a very long time….i work with dominican sisters of mission san jose and they produce their own olive oil. i thought it would be really nice to bring a cake made with their olive oil to one of our meetings. thanks for the delicious recipe!

  • Ju (The Little Teochew)

    Oh, beautiful! It’s on my to-do list. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  • naomi

    I love anything citrus. This looks and sounds wonderful! Mini(s)-YES!!!

  • Kim

    I love this king of cake! It looks delicious!

  • Barbara

    Sounds delicious. The glaze is beautiful.

  • Rosa's Yummy Yums

    That cake looks so delicious and moist! I love anything citrusy.cheers,Rosa

  • Sandie {A Bloggable Life}

    This looks fantastic. I have a recipe for a different kind of olive oil cake floating around here that you just inspired me to try! Thanks 🙂

  • Carolyn

    I’ve been meaning to try olive oil cake! I’d have to find a way to make mine lower carb, but you have inspired me!

  • The Urban Baker

    I am so glad you like this cake as much as I do:Maria – the cake and the glaze are greatBrooke – it is a perfect breakfast dessertChristy -you are so lucky to have home grown olive oil. what a fabulous gift you have!Ju – is your to do list as long as mine?naomi – citrus is one of those very good thingskim – it is deliciousbarbara – this is one of those “go to” cakes. so deliciousRosa – i love citrus as wellSandie – so glad this cake has inspired youCarolyn – I am sure olive oil and almond meal would be a great combo!Thanks again for all your wonderful comments. I look forward to reading all your inspiring blogs!x

  • La Lola

    oh and of course this cake looks divine! quite an intriguing name, but i might be gutsy enough to try it!

  • marla {family fresh cooking}

    I love olive oil in cake. It adds such a nice texture and flavor.

  • Jane

    Oh, I couldn’t agree with you more. I absolutely love the combo of olive oil and citrus in a cake. It’s just such a unique blend of flavors and I think the olive oil impacts a cake’s texture in an interesting way as well. I made an orange polenta cake with olive oil this past winter and it was unlike anything I’d had before. Lovely post and, as always, beautiful photos!

  • Patricia Scarpin

    I just got this book! It is filled with delicious recipes – and this is one I can’t wait to try. Your cake is perfect, Susan!

  • Cindy

    Isn’t that supposed to be 1 cup extra virgin olive oil … not 1/4 cup?

    • Susan

      Cindy, thanks for the edit. It’s salt!

    • Susan

      yes, cindy – sorry for the above comment. it is 1 cup of olive oil

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