If you think about it, it’s pretty impressive how many different versions of cake exist. The relatively simple batter of flour, milk, eggs, sugar, and butter or oil can come together in so many ways (here are 25 tasty examples!), and the small changes between these types of cake make a big difference in the end result. Take this Lemon Olive Oil Cake, for instance. Trading in plain old vegetable oil for its zesty cousin makes for a supremely moist and tender crumb that, when combined with the brightness of citrus, is irresistible.
Of course, olive oil is just one of the details that contributes to the cake’s unique characteristics. It has a tangy hominess, courtesy of buttermilk, and rises beautifully since the eggs and sugar are treated to a nice long spin in the mixer. Lemon does double duty in the batter, adding both vibrance from the juice and sharpness from the zest. Combine all these components with olive oil’s savory spin and you’ve got a deceptively magical cake.
Oh, and then there’s the lemon cream: luscious, zippy, and not too sweet. I kept things simple by making this a naked cake, only layering the cream between the cake rounds and leaving the sides exposed. Double the frosting ingredients, if you like, to make enough to coat it from top to bottom.
This lemon cake‘s appearance may be straightforward, but its flavor is provocative. It’s both rich and bright, simple and sophisticated. While you can’t necessarily taste the olive oil, it bestows a savory undertow that will cause your fellow revelers to wonder, “Hmm…what is that?” Meanwhile, the lemony zing is a delight.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe
I highly recommend serving this Lemon Olive Oil Cake at your next gathering. It’s sure to impress!
Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Cream
- 1 cup ice-cold whipping cream
- 2 tblsps powdered sugar
- 1 tblsp finely shredded lemon peel
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (189 grams) sugar
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 4 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- To make the Lemon Cream, combine cream, sugar, peel, and juice in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer or large whisk until soft peaks form. Cover and chill up to 4 hours ahead. Whisk before spreading on cake.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease three 6 x 2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper; grease the paper. Set pans aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer about 5 minutes or until pale and thick ribbons form.
- In another large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl combine the olive oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, and buttermilk.
- Beat the vanilla into beaten egg mixture on low speed. With mixer on low speed, add the dry and wet ingredients in three additions, starting with dry and ending with wet. After the last addition, turn mixer off and whisk until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans, filling each half full (1 2/3 cups batter each).
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean and cakes are golden and pull away from sides. Remove and cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely.
- To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread top of cake with 3/4 cup of the cream, pushing just past the edges. Place another cake layer on top. Spread with another 3/4 cup cream, pushing just past the edges. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread with the remaining frosting. Use an offset spatula or the flat side of a knife to skim the sides of the cake, pulling off any frosting overhang.