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?