Olive oil helps create a lovely moist cake with a crispy coating. Classic Italian Olive Oil Cake is wonderful served with mixed fresh berries and a little whipped cream.

We used Grand Marnier liqueur in this recipe to add a hint of orange flavor. You can use any orange-flavored liqueur or substitute orange juice if you prefer.

This cake is even better the next day. Make it the day before an event. After it cools completely wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. The texture and flavor will be even better. It will last up to 3 days, if you can resist it for that long.

This Classic Italian Olive Oil Cake recipe is from my cookbook, The Big Book of Mediterranean Diet Cooking.

Italian olive oil cake

Italian Olive Oil Cake

Olive oil makes a moist cake with a crispy coating.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier (you can substitute orange juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, cream the eggs and sugar together using an electric hand mixer on low. Add the olive oil a little at a time mixing until combined. Add the milk and mix until combined. Add the Grand Marnier (or orange juice), vanilla extract, and almond extract, and mix until combined.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture, beating until a smooth batter forms. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cook completely on a wire rack.


This cake is wonderful served with fresh berries.
This cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
You can use orange juice in place of the liqueur if preferred.
Keyword cake, dessert, olive oil