This olive oil honey cake is simple yet elegant with a moist tender crumb and delicate flavor of fruity olive oil and sweet floral honey. It can easily be made vegan by swapping the honey for maple syrup.
Thank you Carapelli Olive Oil for sponsoring this post. For more information and a store locator, please visit CarapelliUSA.com and be sure to check out Carapelli’s social channels: Facebook and Instagram.
Start with Good Olive Oil
I loooooove olive oil. 95% of the recipes on my blog have it listed in the ingredients. Olive oil is a staple that my family cannot live without. We cook with it, bake with it, and nourish our skin with it. Olive oil pretty much is the best thing ever if you ask me. So when the lovely folks at Carapelli Olive Oil invited me to create an elegant recipe using their amazing Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I gladly accepted.
Olive Oil Cake can be simple and rustic, which I love, but I thought it would be fun to jazz it up a bit with the flavor of some local honey and top it with fresh figs and raspberries and the last of the edible flowers from our garden this season. You can really taste the fresh, earthy, almost sweet flavor of Carapelli’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil with hints of apple and almonds in this cake. The crumb is delightfully moist with slightly crispy edges, and the flavor of the honey really shines through as well, blending perfectly with the soft, balanced fruity olive oil.
Carapelli Olive Oil was founded in 1893 in the heart of Tuscany, Italy, where they have mastered the art of producing beautifully balanced olive oils, skillfully crafted in harmony with nature. They make it their mission to create a masterpiece in every bottle of olive oil produced by selecting only the highest quality olives nurtured by nature and harvested delicately at the optimal time. To find a store that carries Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil near you and discover many more delicious olive oil recipes head over to CarapelliUSA.com.
Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil add a fruity balanced layer of flavor to this cake while providing a moist tender crumb structure. It’s perfect with the flavors of honey and lemon zest.
Flour: All-purpose flour works great in this recipe to produce a light airy cake. You can swap it our with cake flour fo an even light crumb structure. To make a gluten-free honey cake swap the purpose flour out with a 1-1 gluten free flour blend.
Sugar: Granulated sugar is used along with the honey to sweeten the cake. Honey can have a string flavor so I found it was more palatable to ad half honey and half sugar to this recipe. If you like a strong honey flavor then feel free to replace the sugar with more honey.
Milk: I kept this recipe dairy-free and egg-free so it would be vegan-friendly. Any type of milk can be used. I prefer unsweetened soy milk when baking. Regular diary milk and other non-diary milks can be used in this recipe.
Lemon: Lemon zest adds a nice citrus flavor to balance the sweetness of the honey and the earthy fruity flavor of extra-virgin olive oil. Lemon juice is used to make a honey-lemon syrup to brush onto and soak into the cake, which keeps is moist and adds more honey-lemon flavor.
How to Make Honey Olive Oil Cake
Step 1: Make the Cake Batter
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Measure the wet ingredients into a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup and whisk them together.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir together until just combined into a smooth batter. Be careful not to over-mix the batter or the cake will be dense. A few lumps in the batter are ok.
Step 2: Bake the Cake
Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake it until it is dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 3: Make the Honey-Lemon Syrup
Simply whisk honey and lemon juice together to make the syrup. Brush it onto the cake while it is still warm so the syrup soaks into and flavors the cake.
Step 4: Make the Lemon Glaze:
Whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice together to make a smooth lemon glaze. Drizzle the lemon glaze over the cake once it has cooled to room temperature.
Step 5: Garnish the Cake
This step s optional but make a beautiful presentation. Top the cake with fresh berries and figs, edible flowers and mint leaves. Drizzle more honey over the the fruit and sprinkle more lemon zest onto the top of the cake before serving it.
Store the glazed but ungarnished cake at room temperature, wrapped or in a sealed container for up to 3 days. If the cake has fresh fruit on it then store it in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap or in a sealed container. You can also remove the fruit and store the cake at room temperature as detailed above.
Technically you can’t make a truly vegan honey cake, since honey is and animal product made by honeybees. You can replace the honey with a vegan honey alternative, maple syrup or golden syrup. This honey cake recipe is already dairy-free and egg-free though, so you just need to replace the honey to make it vegan.
Yes, to make this cake gluten-free simply replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten free 1-1 flour blend.
Yes, this cake can be frozen after it is brushed with the syrup and once it has cooled to room temperature, but before it is glazed and garnished. Wrap the cake cooled cake in plastic wrap then place it into a freezer bag and freeze it for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake to room temperature then proceed with glazing and garnishing it.
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- 210 g all-purpose flour 1-1/2 cups
- 67 g granulated sugar 1/3 cup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest from 2 whole lemons
- 67 g Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/3 cup
- 130 g unsweetened non-dairy milk 1/2 cup, such as soy or almond milk
- 113 g honey 1/3 cup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 130 g powdered sugar 1 cup
- 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and up to 2 tablespoons
Garnish – Optional
- 3 whole fresh figs optional
- 1/3 cup raspberries optional
- 1/4 cup edible flowers optional
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a standard 8×4″ loaf pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom and long sides of the loaf pan with a little overhang.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest in a medium-size mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, milk, honey, vinegar, and vanilla.
- Add wet mixture to dry and stir with a spatula until incorporated about 1 minute.
- Spread cake batter into prepared pan and bake on center rack for about 45 minutes or until it is dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- To make Honey-Lemon Syrup simply whisk together the lemon juice and honey until dissolved.
- When cake is done remove from oven cool cake in pan on cool rack for 10 minutes. Brush the top of the cake with honey-lemon syrup while it is still warm. Lift cake out of the loaf pan using the parchment paper overhang and cool to room temperature.
- To make the lemon glaze, whisk lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Start with 1-1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice and add more if the glaze seems too thick. Pour glaze over cooled cake.
- Optionally decorate the top of the cake with fresh figs, raspberries and edible flowers.
- Swap honey with maple syrup or golden syrup to make this cake vegan-friendly.
- Store ungarnished cake at room temperature, wrapped or in a sealed container for up to 3 days.