A light, sweet, & citrusy cake bursting with whole grain goodness and heart healthy fats! This Lemon Olive Oil Cake is simple to make, naturally sweetened, and amazingly delicious. A refreshing change from decadent, rich desserts!
When it comes to olive oil my mind immediately goes back to my time spent in Italy after I graduated from college.
While I always say that Germany was my favorite part of my first trip to Europe, Italy definitely takes the winning position in terms of food! Being Italian myself, I felt right at home with all the homemade pastas, pizzas, and incredible seafood dishes. Everything was so fresh, so flavorful, and yet, so simple. It’s amazing what quality ingredients sourced from local vendors can do for a dish!
The one standout ingredient that was included in every meal was, of course, olive oil. Olive oil runs through the veins of Italians. And rightfully so! It’s the perfect addition to nearly ANY recipe and even tastes amazing on its own when it’s processed correctly. Lord knows I ate a ton of fresh Italian bread dipped in smooth, rich olive oil filled with herbs and spices before many a meal in Italy. I honestly don’t think I liked olive oil as much as I do now, until I was immersed in the culture of enjoying it daily while in Italy.
Aside from its amazing taste and versatility as an ingredient, olive oil provides innumerable health benefits and nutrients. We need to forget the fads that preach low-fat, oil-free diets. Olive oil is where it’s at when it comes to giving your body amazing nutrition in a concentrated source.
Why Olive Oil?
Here are just a few of the reasons I include olive oil in my daily diet…
- Contains 3 times the antioxidant polyphenols of commercial oils
- Helps promote healthy HDL levels already within normal range
- Helps inhibit LDL oxidation
- Supports endothelial function and cardiovascular health
- Promotes healthy blood pressure already within normal range
Aside from those reasons, it just TASTES good. I use it in salad dressings, in marinades, in roasted dishes, and even in SWEETS. That’s right! Did you know you can use olive oil as a healthy alternative to butter, refined oils, or margarine in baked goods?
The Italians have been doing it forever! And their specialty is the classic Olive Oil Cake.
Baking with Olive Oil
And of course, when it comes to baking, I’m always equipped with my favorite Bob’s Red Mill ingredients. Specifically their 1-to-1 GF Baking Flour which I’ve been using a ton recently to make traditional baked goods gluten-free.
Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 GF Flour bakes just like regular all purpose flour because it’s perfectly formulated to mimic traditional flour in recipes. It’s got a terrific taste and texture and you can use it with no additional specialty ingredients or custom recipes required.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
I promise you this Lemon Olive Oil Cake is a real winner. And I can say that with full confidence after experiencing a slice of this authentic cake in Italy.
It’s different from traditional cakes in that it is lighter, fluffier, and softer. Olive oil takes a typical cake and makes it more rustic cake, with a perfect crumb and a beautiful golden crust thanks to the high quality Bob’s Red Mill flour.
The recipe I am sharing today is my personal attempt at making a homemade olive oil cake inspired by the one I had in Italy. This Lemon Olive Oil Cake is incredibly flavorful and sweet, yet doesn’t leave you feeling heavy or weighed down like traditional desserts.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 9 slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8 square baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; set aside to settle for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine sugar and olive oil in a large bowl. Whisk in milk mixture.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold into milk mixture and stir until just mixed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool at least 10 minutes in the dish. Remove to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet and cool completely.
- Spread with your favorite vegan frosting (or dessert hummus like me!).
This cake is vegan, gluten-free, and naturally-sweetened. So easy to make too! No wonder Italians have been making these types of cakes for centuries. Time to make up for lost time and try this olive oil cake for yourself….TODAY!
This cake if perfect for when you’re craving something sweet, yet don’t want to ruin your healthy eating choices. It’s also a great alternative to chocolate desserts and perfect for welcoming spring in a few months! I think it would be perfect for serving at an Easter brunch as well.
And one last note, I frosted my cake with DESSERT HUMMUS. That’s right…Vanilla Bean Dessert Hummus made for the perfect creamy n’ sweet frosting and complimented the lemon flavored cake so well. It also adds a nice dose of plant-based protein making a slice of this cake incredibly well-balanced in terms of healthy fats, carbs, and protein!
Cake for breakfast? No one is stopping you! 😉
What are your favorite uses for olive oil?
Have you ever been to Italy?
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