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Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Perfect for entertaining on these hot summer days.

Lemon zest, juice, extract, and Limoncello add so much AMAZING lemon flavor to this EASY, ridiculously moist no-mixer cake that’s unique and INCREDIBLE!!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes



  • 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello (Gran Marnier may be substituted)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting




  1. Preheat oven to 325F, add a circle of parchment paper to the base of a 9-inch springform pan, and spray the parchment paper and the sides of the pan very well with cooking spray; set aside. Do not make this cake in a regular 9-inch cake pan. Most are only about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep and this cake rises to about 2 1/2 to 3 inches on the sides and nearly 4 inches in the center. It will overflow in a regular 9-inch pan.
  2. To a large bowl, add the olive oil, eggs, and whisk well to emulsify and incorporate.
  3. Add the milk, lemon zest, lemon juice (I was able to get sufficient zest and juice from one very large ripe lemon), Limoncello, lemon extract, and whisk to incorporate.
  4. Add the sugar and whisk to incorporate.
  5. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and whisk until just incorporated; don’t overmix. The batter in on the thin side; this is normal.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, place pan on a baking sheet as insurance against a leaky springform pan, and bake for about 68 to 75 minutes. Start checking after 60 minutes since all ovens vary. Cake will be golden browned and domed in the center when done, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Allow cake to cool in the springform pan for about 1 hour before releasing it and allowing the cake to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  8. Dust with confectioners’ sugar prior to serving. Cake will keep airtight at room temp for 1 week and although I haven’t tried it, I think this cake would freeze very well for up to 3 months.



This cake bakes in a fairly cool oven for a long duration, low and slow. Start checking your cake at 60 minutes but due to oven and climate variances, it could take as long as 75 minutes or so to bake; watch you cake and not the clock.

Don’t be alarmed if a small circular patch on the top of the cake appears to be burning somewhat early on in the baking process, or at any time while baking. Ultimately it doesn’t darken much more. This may or may not happen to you, but I am pointing it out as nothing to worry about.