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Last Updated
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December 9, 2021
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The Classic Olive Oil Cake Recipe

It is the perfect treat to make for your family.

Classic olive oil cake is a favorite in most countries around the Mediterranean sea. In Greece, where I come from, there are actually two versions of it:

The first one is very popular and consists of a layered cake that is frosted with chocolate glaze at the end.

The second version, which is what we have today, is a simple single-layer cake that is flavored with orange zest and coated with a syrup made from honey, orange juice, and sometimes Cognac or Brandy.

Despite its simple ingredients, classic olive oil cake is one of the most delicious cakes you will ever taste. The orange zest gives it a wonderful flavor, while the honey syrup makes it moist and tender. It is the perfect dessert for any occasion, and it always receives rave reviews from everyone who tries it.

If you are looking for a delicious and easy-to-make cake that will impress your friends and family, then you should definitely try classic olive oil cake. It is sure to become a favorite in your household!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Honey syrup:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac or Brandy (optional)

Instructions:

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in milk and olive oil at low speed until combined. Do not over mix!

3. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

4. Combine honey, orange juice, and Cognac or Brandy (optional) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Pierce hot cake all over with a fork or toothpick, then spoon about half of warm honey syrup over hot cake (reserve remaining syrup for another use). Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack before serving. The cake will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature or can be frozen and well-wrapped for up to 2 months.

-The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, but I like to add a bit more for extra flavor.

-If you want a really moist and tender cake, I suggest using all of the honey syrup. It might seem like a lot, but it is guaranteed to make this cake the moistest you will ever have! If you don't want a very sweet cake, you can omit the Cognac or Brandy.

-If your baking dish is only 8 inches across at its widest parts, I recommend using two pans instead of one (the batter won't rise too much). I usually divide the batter in half, place each half in an 8-inch pan, and bake one after the other.

-If you are looking for a light cake then this isn't it! This cake is very rich and dense, but that's exactly what makes it so good. If you can find extra virgin olive oil then definitely use that instead of regular olive oil, as it will give the cake a much more intense flavor.

Some variations of this recipe:

-Instead of Cognac or Brandy, you could use rum or Amaretto.

-You could also add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter for a little extra spice.

-For a chocolate version, replace 1/4 cup of the flour with cocoa powder and add 1/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips to the batter. Omit the orange zest. Replace honey syrup with 1/2 cup of chocolate syrup and omit Cognac or Brandy.

-If you want a really easy recipe, you can use the dry cake mix recipe instead. Instead of adding all of the ingredients in step 2, follow these steps:

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

2. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Beat in vanilla extract and then gradually add the dry cake mix (or flour) at low speed until combined.

5. Mix in milk and olive oil at low speed until combined. Do not over mix!

-If you want an even richer cake, use 1/2 cup of cream in place of the milk.

-To make a sour cream version, replace 1/2 cup of the whole milk with sour cream and add 1 teaspoon lemon zest to the batter.

-If you don't have an 8-inch pan, just use any other baking dish that is at least 2 inches deep.

-For a taller cake, double the recipe and use an 11 x 7 pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for about 65 minutes or until golden brown.

-If you can find extra virgin olive oil then definitely use that instead of regular olive oil, as it will give the cake more flavor.

-If you want to make this cake ahead of time, it's best to frost it once it has cooled completely. You can either use my chocolate frosting recipe or just melt 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and spread it over the top. Let the cake sit at room temperature until the chocolate sets.

-This cake can be served with whipped cream or vanilla sauce.

-You can also add a little orange zest and honey to the frosting for extra flavor and sweetness.

-If you want an even more intense chocolate cake, swap 1 cup of flour for cocoa powder and add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons espresso powder to the batter.

There you have it The perfect classic Olive Oil Cake recipe. Whether you are looking for a rich and decadent dessert or something a little bit lighter, I'm sure this recipe will satisfy your cravings. So go ahead and give it a try! You won't regret it.

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