Olive Oil Cake

Olive Oil Cake


Don’t let the simplicity fool you — this lemon-scented olive oil cake is exceptionally good.


  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons packed lemon zest, from 2 lemons


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray an 8-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper (no need to spray the paper with cooking spray).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or beaters), beat the eggs and sugar at high speed for 30 seconds. Continue beating on high and add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Reduce the speed to low and gradually pour in the milk. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix on low until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and beat on medium-low speed until evenly combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and domed, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for about 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let cool on the rack until ready to serve. The cake can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. Serve with macerated strawberries, if desired. The cake will keep well for up to 4 days, under a cake dome or covered with foil at room temperature.