This Italian-inspired Olive Oil Cake has a delicate flavor and moist texture with the unique addition of quality olive oil. Top with a homemade mascarpone frosting for a decadent cake that’s easy to make in just one bowl!
Olive oil cake is a delicious twist on traditional desserts, where olive oil takes center stage, bringing both moisture and a delicate flavor! Its fruity notes add a slightly savory touch to the flavor while creating a tender and moist texture like in this delicious Olive Oil Chocolate Cake.
This classic olive oil cake recipe gets topped with a homemade whipped mascarpone frosting that elevates the whole cake, adding a slightly sweet topping that pairs well with the classic Italian flavors!
Best Olive Oil To Use (Italian vs Spanish)
When it comes to selecting the ideal olive oil for this recipe, the choice between Italian and Spanish varieties can significantly influence the cake’s flavor. While Spanish olive oil is bolder, Italian olive oil offers a smoother, milder taste.
Opting for a high-quality olive oil (not necessarily top shelf) with rich color and smell makes sure the natural flavors shine through in the cake. Look at the labels when you’re choosing olive oil, as some can be cut with vegetable oil, diluting the natural taste!
Creamy Whipped Mascarpone Frosting
What makes this recipe stand out is the addition of frosting made with mascarpone cheese. This soft Italian cheese is creamy, tangy, and delicate, so it needs to be prepared in a slightly unique way. The butter and cheese are tempered slowly over a double boiler to make sure everything is at the same temperature. This makes sure the cheese doesn’t curdle or seize up, which would make a grainy texture.
By combining butter, mascarpone cheese, and other ingredients in a chilled environment and then whipping, this frosting achieves a velvety consistency that melts in your mouth and is just sweet enough to compliment the olive oil cake.
Moist olive oil cake for brunch with Greek yogurt and berries, or pair it with a mug of coffee or tea (or an Italian Cherry Margarita) for an upgraded afternoon treat. Dress it up with honey or powdered sugar for a classy dessert at formal gatherings or indulge in it anytime you crave a unique treat with a slightly savory note.
Olive Oil Cake Key Ingredients
Besides your usual pantry staple baking ingredients, this olive oil cake recipe uses some unique ingredients that help create the best flavor and texture!
- Mascarpone Cheese – This soft Italian cheese provides a rich and creamy base, adding creamy texture and a subtle tanginess to the frosting.
- Almond Extract – Infuses a hint of nutty sweetness, complementing the richness of the mascarpone complementing the Italian flavors.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – Contributes to the smooth consistency of the frosting, ensuring it’s light and airy.
Olive Oil Cake
- Olive Oil – Acts as the primary fat source, adds a unique depth of flavor, and is responsible for the cake’s moist and tender crumb.
- Lemon Zest and Juice – Adds bright citrus notes, balancing the richness of the olive oil and enhancing the overall freshness and aroma of the cake.
- Sour Cream – Provides additional moisture and richness to the cake batter.
- Cornstarch – Helps to tenderize the cake’s crumb and contributes to its soft texture while also providing structure and stability to the cake batter.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake Baking Tips
- Properly measure the flour by spooning it into a dry measuring cup and leveling it off with a straight edge for accurate measurement.
- Avoid overmixing the batter, as this can result in a tough and dense cake. Mix just until the ingredients are incorporated to maintain a tender crumb.
- Rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar helps release its oils, intensifying the lemon flavor in the cake.
- Grease the springform pan generously and line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent the cake from sticking.
- Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before removing it to avoid crumbling or breaking.
- Chill the mascarpone frosting in the refrigerator while preparing the cake to ensure it sets properly and is easy to whip.
- Whip the mascarpone frosting until thick and creamy, but be careful not to overbeat it, as it can become grainy.
Olive Oil Cake FAQs
Yes! Prepare the mascarpone frosting up to 2 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Let it come to room temperature and re-whip it before frosting the cake for the best consistency.
Yes! Just swap the all-purpose flour with a cup for cup gluten free baking flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill (the blue bag) or King Arthur Flour.
Yes, olive oil cakes can be considered healthier compared to cakes made with butter or vegetable oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy, and it also contains antioxidants and vitamins.
Several things could contribute to a dense olive oil cake, including overmixing the batter, using too much flour, or not incorporating enough air into the batter during mixing. Be sure to measure the flour correctly, and do not overmix the cake batter.
This cake should also work in a 9×9 square baking dish or anything that is of similar size to the 9″ springform.
Store the cooled and frosted cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days to maintain its freshness and moisture. If possible, avoid placing it in the refrigerator, as it may dry out the cake.
To freeze, wrap the unfrosted cake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before frosting and serving.
For more delicious cake recipes, check out my:
- Flourless Olive Oil Chocolate Cake
- Apple Fritter Skillet Cake
- Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Gooey Lemon Butter Cake
- Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram if you make this olive oil cake. I love seeing my recipes come to life in YOUR kitchen! To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print