Fluffy lemon cake with olive oil

This isn’t anything like the lemon cakes you have tasted before. The amazing fluffy structure of the cake comes from the use of both baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. And next to restituting butter for olive oil also make it a lighter cake. Intrigued? You won’t be disappointed when you try this version.


  • 240 ml il circolo extra virgin olive oil (plus more for the pan)
  • 255 g 0 flour (plus more for the pan)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 300 g sugar
  •  3 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 295 ml full fat milk at room temperature.


  1. Heat the oven to 190°C. Grease a spring from (diameter 22 cm) with extra virgin olive oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Oil the paper as well and flour the inside of the tin. Shake off any excess flour.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat sugar, eggs and lemon zest until very soft and fluffy for about 5 minutes. With the mixer still running, slowly add the olive oil and mix until all is incorporated.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add milk and lemon juice. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat to combine.
  5. Transfer the batter into the baking tin, level the top with a spatula and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  6. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then run a knife around the edge to release the sides of the cake from the mould.
  8. Transfer the cake onto a plate and return it to the wire rack to cool completely.


  • For an extra fragrant cake add a few drops of il circolo lemon olive oil to the cake batter before you transfer it to the oven.
  • In the unlikely event that you don’t finish the cake on the same day, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Baking – replacing butter by olive oil

Olive oil is a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet. What I hadn’t realized before is that you can use olive oil for baking as a substitute for butter. It makes your cake and other baked goods softer and it gives it a crumbly texture.

How to substitute olive oil for butter?

As a general rule, substitute 75-80% of the butter in a recipe with olive oil. For example, if a baking recipe requires 250 g of butter, use 200 g of olive oil instead. If the recipe uses melted butter, follow the instruction and replace the butter for olive oil at three-quarters of the amount.In some recipes, like carrot cake, canola (or another vegetable) oil is used. In that case you can swap the vegetable oil for olive oil one-on-one.

What olive oil can I use for baking?

That depends on your own tastebuds and on the type of cake you are making. A light fruity olive oil will subtly blend in with the taste of your baked goods. If you want to bring out the delicious flavour of a good quality olive oil in your baked goods, then use olive oil with medium to robust fruitiness – like il circolo oil.

Can I use any olive oil from the supermarket for baking?

If you want to improve the flavor of your cake, use a quality olive oil that tastes good. If you go for a lesser quality that will translate to the overall taste. Maybe as a guideline: If you wouldn’t use the olive oil for a salad dressing then don’t bother using it for baking.

Cakes and cookies with olive oil – recipes

Lemon biscuits with olive oil
Orange polenta cake with olive oil
Fluffy lemon cake with olive oil 

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