Lemon Olive Oil Bundt Cake is fluffy, light, and very soft! It is made with olive oil, and plenty of fresh lemon juice and zest. A simple and complex in flavor cake that is great for an afternoon coffee or tea break. The perfect cake to make for any occasion.
Full of zesty lemon flavor and hints of floral from the olive oil. This dairy-free Bundt cake could also be made in a springform pan. It truly is a no-fuss recipe and your house smells amazing while you're baking this delicious Italian cake away.
My adoration of Bundt cakes goes far and deep. My adoration for lemon desserts (and in savory recipes) also is very serious! I do not like to use lemon extract. I prefer FRESH lemon, and this cake is tart and bursting with citrus in every bite.
If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you may know that I've been obsessed with Bundt cakes for quite some time! I even had a group of bakers baking different Bundts with me every month!
Make this cake for company, or your family (or even for just yourself!). There is nothing wrong with making yourself a fabulous Bundt cake...I'm sure you deserve it!
Three (yes, 3!!) whole lemons are used. First, you zest the lemon. Then you cut them, and squeeze out all the juice. No need for any lemon extract...I promise you!
This cake will become a fast favorite in your house:
- A mixture of olive oil (and you could mix with some mild vegetable oil) makes this cake super soft, and not overpowered in olive flavor (or oily).
- Fresh citrus paired with pure vanilla extract makes for the most delicious flavor combo.
What is an olive oil cake?
In Italy, you could end up calling this a ciambellone. Since a "ciambella" is a ring. And I do actually have the big Italian ring pan. I couldn't find it at the moment and ended up using my favorite Bundt pan.
An olive cake is baked with olive oil instead of butter (or margarine). During olive harvest in Italy, you'll find fabulous cakes made with fruity olive oil in the place of butter.
Does this cake taste like olive oil?
- Depending on which sort of olive oil you use. If you use an expensive extra-virgin, it will have a strong and fruity olive oil flavor.
- Use a mild flavored olive oil like "regular" olive oil, and it will be hard to detect the flavor.
- In case you are looking to have a very distinct and strong olive flavor, go ahead and use an extra virgin olive oil.
- If you aren't into the flavor of olive oil at all, you could use a neutral cooking oil in its place. I have a strong extra-virgin olive oil so I did use less and a bit of vegetable oil.
- Since there is a the addition of fresh lemon juice and zest, the cake does not have an overpowering olive oil flavor.
I have baked quite a few Bundts, and I have always prepped the pan with baking spray. My personal experience has been not noticing any difference in the volume of the cake.
No, it does not make your cake stick to the pan. Super important to have a very clean cake pan. After you get any old cake crumbs out of the crevices, then you spray with baking spray.
Since you're also using the zest in this recipe, it is better to use organic lemons.
If you're not baking this in a Bundt pan, it's best to use a springform pan. If you use a regular 9-inch cake pan, it will end up overflowing.
Yes, you could sub 1-1 gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur's are both great brands).
What ingredients are in a lemon olive oil Bundt cake?
Here is all you'll need to make this delicious cake (full printable recipe below):
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Sea salt
- Granulated sugar
- Olive oil (and some vegetable oil)
- Pure vanilla extract
- Lemon zest
- Milk (I used unsweetened almond, but you could use regular milk or whatever dairy-free milk you like)
How to make a lemon olive oil cake?
Gather up all your ingredients. Prep your cake pan. I used a large Bundt pan. You could use springform pan or even 2 9-inch cake pans.
Whisk the dry ingredients together. After that, whisk together the wet ingredients.
Next, start to combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, a little bit at a time.
Next step, pour the cake into the prepped cake pan (I used a large Bundt pan, but you could use a springform pan).
Bake the cake on 350F for 50-60 minutes.
Let the cake cool down a bit in the pan. When ready to remove, place the serving plate on top of the pan and carefully flip it over (it's a fast, swift move). I highly recommend using baking spray...the cake should pop right onto the serving plate.
You could keep it really simple like we did, and dust on some confectioner's sugar.
Tips for making the best lemon Bundt cake
- If you're making this in a Bundt pan, it's very important to work with a very clean pan. No old crumbs baked in any crevice. Once you have your Bundt pan very clean, I suggest using baking spray to prep the pan.
- Use the amount of lemon zest recommended in the recipe. If you use less, the flavor won't be the same.
- Don’t over-mix your batter once you’ve added the flour or you will get a gummy texture.
- Allow the cake to cool partially in the pan before attempting to release it. Run a thin butter knife around the edges if it seems like it’s a bit stuck.
How to store this Bundt cake?
Any leftovers could be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It may seem a bit dry when you take it out of the fridge. Since it's a dense cake, let it come to room temperature before enjoying
Can I freeze lemon olive oil cake?
Yes, you can freeze this cake in slices or even the entire cake. Once it cools down completely, you could cut individual slices and wrap with plastic wrap. Place the wrapped slices in a zipped lock bag (just be sure to squeeze out all the air before sealing the bag shut).
You could also store it in airtight container. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Make sure you thaw the night before.
More lemon dessert recipes:
- Lemon Curd Tart
- Italian Lemon Knot Cookies
- Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd Filling
- Lemon Cornmeal Cookies (Biscotti di Meliga)
- Lemon Yogurt Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Bundt Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup milk I used unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- zest from 3 lemons should be about 2 Tablespoons
- Confectioner’s sugar optional-for sifting on top
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour your Bundt pan (regular 10 cup bundt pan). I personally prefer to use baking spray for Bundt pans.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
- In a separate bowl, add the sugar, eggs, and oil. Whisk together to combine.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the milk (I used unsweetened almond milk). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula to incorporate all the flour mixture to the batter, making sure to not overmix. The batter will be on the thin side.
- Pour the batter into prepared Bundt pan (or springform pan).
- Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Check the cake at 50 minutes. Every oven is different and it may be ready sooner. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes.
- Carefully flip the cake out of the pan onto serving plate; cool on wire rack. Dust on confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Olive oil: I have a really nice Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil and it has a very strong flavor. I used a combo of the olive oil with some vegetable oil. If you have a more mild, regular olive oil on hand, go ahead and use just that (no need to use a combo with vegetable oil). Also, depends on how much you enjoy the olive oil flavor. Light olive oil that is mild flavored is best for baking.
- Lemons: Best to use organic lemons since you’re using the zest. Only use the yellow not white part of the lemon to zest (the white part is bitter). Don’t forget to zest the lemons before you squeeze out the juice.
- Mixing: The batter is on the thin side and it needs to be whisked together. There is not need to overmix the batter. If you overbeat it, you’ll get a rubbery textured cake.
- Baking pan: I used a large Bundt pan. You could use a 9”-springform pan or split between 2 (9-inch) cake pans.
- Yield: My Lemon Olive Oil Cake recipe yields 12 generous slices (up to 16, depending on how thick you cut the slices).
- Storage: Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best to bring to room temperature before enjoying (it will be harder cold from the olive oil).
- Freezer: The cooled cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap. Best to freeze wrapped slices and place in zipped lock freezer bag (don’t forget to date the bag)and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
Hi, excited to try this! It says 1 Tsp salt and then 1 Tsp sea salt- just checking if that means to put 2 Tsps of salt or if that's a mistake. Thanks!
Hi Shira-Yes just 1 tsp of salt (I like to use sea salt). Hope that helps! HAPPY BAKING!
Just wanted to let you know that we absolutely LOVE this cake. It's very flavorful and so easy to put together.
Thank you for sharing the recipe. Will be trying it this week. Do you use extra virgin olive oil or light olive oil?
Hi JJ, Extra-virgin is fine...but keep in mind it does have a stronger/fruitier flavor. Light olive oil would work better if you prefer a subtle olive oil flavor. If you're ok with the stronger olive oil flavor, use extra-virgin. Hope that helps!