• M. DeLorenzo-Woods

Olive Oil Cake Recipe

Updated: May 10, 2020

Olive oil is the "olio sacro" in Italian culture. Our sacred life blood. We use it in our cuisine everyday, rub into our skin, dip our daily bread in it, anoint ourselves with it at home and in churches, use it for divination (il malocchio,) and love to incorporate it wherever we can, such as in cake! I make this cake to enjoy as a breakfast treat with coffee, a nighttime desert with wine, or even as a birthday cake, with the addition of a homemade icing! The recipe is adapted from the book Twenty Dinners by Ithai Schori and Chris Taylor, so I'm happy to share it. I don't tend to share too many family recipes ;) Those are in the vault! Here goes...


3/4 cup olive oil

1cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon clove OR 1/4 t. nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon star anise ground up or more!

1/2 teaspoon salt

I large egg + 1 yolk

1/2 granulated sugar (you can add more if you want it sweeter)

1/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons brandy OR 2 tablespoons nocino, strega, or other liquor that fits the flavor profile.)

1 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons orange juice (fresh squeezed is best!)

Powdered sugar for serving


1 cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons milk or more

optional natural food coloring

optional decorative/edible flowers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Oil a cake pan. I like to use a circular glass pie dish. You can also use a glass, loaf pan. Once oiled, lightly sprinkle with flour.

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Stir, make a well in the center, and set aside.

Combine wet ingredients. Whisk the eggs and oil together until combined. Whisk in the sugar. Once they are mixed well, add milk, brandy/liquore of choice, orange zest, and orange juice.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk well, until the batter is smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan.

Bake for 1 hour. The top should look pretty brown and crispy. Stick a toothpick in the middle and make sure it comes out clean. Top with powdered sugar and cinnamon, or with your birthday icing. If you want a basic morning treat, skip the powdered sugar all together.

Buon appetito!

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