An easy recipe for Lemon Olive Oil Cake that also happens to be vegan and full of whole, unprocessed ingredients. Use whole wheat pastry flour for a tender cake with a nutritious boost!

I love talking about food with foodies.

I had a conversation with my friend Alisha, and she told me about an Olive Oil Cake that was so good, it “haunted her dreams.” Would I be up for the challenge of creating a similar cake?

I immediately agreed, knowing my baking would be restrained by Alisha’s vegan diet. She also mentioned that a cake made with as many whole, unprocessed ingredients as possible would be preferred. And, if I could have it done in time for spring, all the better.

Lemon olive oil cake on a cooling rack.

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Can you use Olive Oil to bake a cake?

When you bake with oil instead of butter in a cake recipe, you don’t have to wait for butter to soften. You can immediately, easily, cream oil and sugar together.

Extra virgin olive oil has a stronger flavor than other olive oils, so choose an oil with a mild taste when you’re baking.

Lemon olive oil cake on a cooling rack.

How to Make Vegan Buttermilk

Whisk together unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as unsweetened almond milk, with lemon juice and let it set aside to curdle.

In this recipe, I also added lemon zest to the buttermilk for an extra lemony boost.

Lemon olive oil cake slices on two plates.

Baking with Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

I used 100% whole wheat pastry flour in my recipe for the most nutrition and a nutty flavor. You could also use 50% whole wheat pastry flour and 50% all-purpose flour.

However, whole wheat flour is NOT the same as whole wheat pastry flour. All of your baked goods will be heavier and denser if you use regular whole wheat flour.

White glaze being drizzled over a lemon olive oil cake.

Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado sugar, also known as “sugar in the raw,” is an unprocessed form of sugar. You can substitute 1 cup of regular granulated sugar for the 1 cup of Turbinado in this recipe.

Lemon olive oil cake.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake (Vegan)

An easy recipe for Lemon Olive Oil Cake that also happens to be vegan and full of whole, unprocessed ingredients. Use whole wheat pastry flour for a tender cake with a nutritious boost!
4.91 from 22 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 321

Ingredients 

For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  • To make vegan buttermilk, in a small bowl whisk together almond milk, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set aside to blend for 5 minutes
  • Meanwhile, whisk together sugar and olive oil in a large bowl until creamy. Whisk in buttermilk mixture.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold into buttermilk mixture and stir until just incorporated.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few crumbs attached, about 45 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and cool at least 10 minutes in the pan. Remove to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet and cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  • Whisk together remaining powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cooled cake, allowing excess to drip off the cake onto the baking sheet beneath.

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 325mgPotassium: 120mgFiber: 3gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. I have this cake in the oven right now and it smells amazing!! I added in some fresh blueberries and almond extract, curious to see what it will taste like 🥰 Very excited to try my first olive oil cake after years of seeing them on my timeline!! Thanks for the recipe 💗

  2. Hi there, I have had my eye on this recipe for months. I am hosting a bridal shower for my sister in law, and have been tasked with making muffins and cupcakes. Do you think I could make this recipe in a muffin tin? Or as mini Bundt cakes? Thank you in advanced for your help with this!

    1. Hi Jessica, yes you absolutely can. The baking time needs to be adjusted, though, and off the top of my head I don’t know what it would be. If you are a confident baker, you could just check them as you go (start with 10 minutes or something, check them every 2 minutes after that, or something like that). When is your event? We could try to figure it out before you need to know, if we have enough time. Please write me at hello@culinaryhill.com or reply to this comment and let me know your timeline. Thank you! :) -Meggan

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