Olive Oil Cake

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It’s not just the flavor of this olive oil cake that wins tasters over; it’s the texture, also. Olive oil cakes are just as rich as their buttery peers, more moist, and don’t leave you with the same heavy feeling.

This cake is lightly spiced and has sweet splashes of vanilla along with the tart pucker of oranges.

Olive oil cake with oranges

I brought this cake to my book club and as they collectively tasted the cake, the group of outspoken women was left speechless for several moments. To say it was hit would be an understatement.

Baking Tips

Olive Oil Cake The choice of olive oil can make a big difference in the flavor of the cake. Some olive oils taste highly acidic and citrusy, while others are more smooth and buttery. Be sure that you like the taste of your oil before using it in this recipe.

This cake works like an upside-down cake or upside-down cupcakes. You begin by placing thin orange slices at the bottom of your cake pan in a pool of melted butter and brown sugar and invert when the cake is done (more on that in a bit). You won’t have to peel the oranges because their skins soften up and taste almost caramelized after the bake.

Placing sliced oranges in the pan

After placing orange slices, thoroughly grease your cake pan and pour cake batter on top of the orange slices. The cake doesn’t rise much, so the batter will come almost to the top of the pan.

Pouring batter into pan

After baking, remove the cake from the oven and wait about ten minutes before you invert it. If you wait too long, the orange topping will harden at the bottom and will become impossible to remove.

Slice of Olive Oil Cake

You can store this cake at room temperature for up to five days or refrigerate or freeze it if you can resist eating it all first!


I normally make this cake in an 8″ round pan, but you can also make it as a loaf (I may like it even better that way!). Here’s a version I made in a loaf pan using blood oranges.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Pound Cake

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Slice of Olive Oil Cake
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4.67 from 6 votes

Olive Oil Cake

This olive oil cake is just as rich as its buttery peers, more moist, and won't leave you with the same heavy feeling. I make mine lightly spiced and add vanilla along with freshly-sliced oranges.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 237kcal
Author Stefani


Orange Topping Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 4.5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 small orange washed and thinly sliced

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom Add an extra two teaspoons for a stronger cardamom flavor or replace with other spices if you you prefer those flavors.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest zest of about one large orange


Orange Topping Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Place butter and brown sugar into the bottom of an 8" round cake pan and place into the oven for about 5 minutes or until the sugar and butter are melted. Swirl the pan to evenly distribute the melted ingredients over the bottom.
  • Quickly arrange orange slices on the melted butter/sugar - a little overlap is fine.
  • Thoroughly grease the pan.

Cake Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat sugar and eggs until thick and pale yellow.
  • Mix in milk and vanilla until just combined.
  • Add in olive oil a little bit at a time until just combined.
  • Mix in dry ingredients a little bit at a time until just combined.
  • Fold in orange zest.
  • Pour batter over oranges.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 40 minutes into the bake, check to see if the top is getting overly brown. If so, cover with foil for the remainder of the bake.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a board. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  • When cool, slice and serve.


I have two lovely bloggers to thank for this recipe. First, I was inspired to make an upside-down blood orange and cardamom cake after seeing the beautiful caramelized blood orange and cardamom cake by Louise on Cygnet Kitchen. The olive oil pound cake recipe that I used as the base of the cake was adapted from the citrus olive oil cake by Naomi of Baker's Royale. Both bloggers are exceptionally talented and I encourage you to check out their recipes and stunning photography.


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Jual ayam potong jogjasays:

    great article, it’s help me to make some delicius cake

  2. konveksi tassays:

    5 stars
    thank you for sharing your recipe, i could try it at home

  3. tas seminarsays:

    4 stars
    nyam nyam it look so delicious

  4. Jasa Pembuatan Websitesays:

    5 stars
    I seem to want to make it at home

  5. Percetakan Taskertassays:

    5 stars
    Wow i like it

  6. estersays:

    5 stars
    thanks information, great website

  7. idwebsitesays:

    nice olive oil.
    how can i buy this one?

  8. gitarinsays:

    5 stars
    wow amazing oil!

  9. TutorialPediasays:

    4 stars
    nice oil.
    i want this one

  10. portal-ilmu.comsays:

    Looks yummy :D

  11. Kellysays:

    1 star
    I made this and almost cried when the cake wouldn’t come out because the oranges are burnt to the bottim of the pan. I followed the recipe to. The. Letter. And am an experienced baker.

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  13. FR Productionsays:

    5 stars
    It’s look delicius, Thank for sharing this recipe, it was inspiring me so much!

  14. khulafasays:

    thanks fo sharing it. i really like it, always succes


  15. Kajian muslimsays:

    looks very nice :), thanks for sharing my brother.

  16. Ahli Tas Kertassays:

    good food recipes, i want to eat it… :)

  17. Williamsays:

    I should try that In home

  18. dhonniessays:

    i want try this at my home

  19. Paket Pernikahansays:

    wow cool. Now I know how to make this cake have a blood like zombie . berrrrr I will try to make it…..

  20. June @ How to Philosophize with Cakesays:

    What a lovely loaf cake that looks like! The combo of blood orange + cardamom sounds delish :)

  21. Sarah - The Charming Detroitersays:

    This looks incredible! I love blood oranges and they are currently on sale at my local market :D Which of course means I bought too many and now need something to do with them. Looks like I found a solution! Thanks for sharing :)

  22. Sarahsays:

    What a lovely recipe in which to try the locally made blood orange infused olive oil that I just purchased.

  23. Joumanasays:

    I’m getting blood oranges in my organic box thursday morning and have ladies over for tea that afternoon. Your timing rocks!

  24. Laurasays:

    I’m very intrigued by this recipe, especially since I was just considering trying (but haven’t gotten around to yet) a friend’s recipe for biscotti that also calls for olive oil. I’m wondering about that – I’ve never used olive oil in baking because I thought the flavor would be too strong. Did you use extra virgin? Or is it possible/necessary to find non-EV olive oil?

    • Stefsays:

      I used extra virgin oil. Some varieties have a stronger olive flavor than others, but on the whole most are pretty mild and you should be fine.

  25. Louise | Cygnet Kitchensays:

    This looks absolutely wonderful Stef! I am so pleased my cake inspired you! Thank you so much for your kind words, you have made my day! <3 x

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