This light lemon drizzle olive oil cake uses oil in place of butter for an unusual twist on the ever popular lemon drizzle cake. The cake is dairy free and is perfect for a mid-afternoon treat.
Olive oil vs butter
While it can never be claimed that cake is a healthy food I am a firm believer that cake and other sweet treats are all part of a healthy diet if eaten in moderation. And baking is as much about sharing as the baking itself so you can always share the spoils.
If you use my recipes a lot you will know that a lot of my bakes use butter. Personally I do not use margarine as I feel strongly that as butter is a natural product, overall it will be a healthier product to something made in a factory. The calories are the same and butter tastes soooo much nicer.
But there are times when it is good to try alternatives, such as oil. The biggest advantage of oil is that it tends to be lower in saturated fats, although now the jury is now out on whether saturated fats really are more unhealthy than non saturated fats.
It also makes this cake suitable for anyone who needs to have a dairy free diet.
Again, when it comes to oil I like to use one that is as natural and as unrefined as possible and my two oils of choice for all cooking are cold pressed rapeseed oil (as it less refined than most vegetable oils and is grown in the UK so less food miles) and extra virgin olive oil for flavour.
New improved lemon drizzle olive oil cake
Over time as well as producing new recipes for Only Crumbs Remain I have also been updating the older posts, often because my photography has improved.
The original lemon drizzle olive oil cake recipe on Only Crumbs Remain produced a cake that was light and full of flavour. I loved it and so did many of you as it is one of my most popular posts. But on revisiting the post to see if there was any improvements to be made, even though the photography was fine it has always bugged me that the cake I made then had sunk in the middle.
So I remade the cake several times each time tweaking the recipe slightly. I tried a different shapes and sizes of tins and altered the recipe slightly, but no matter how I tweaked the recipe it always sank a little in the middle. Something was not quite right.
So how could I really improve the recipe? Could I make a cake equally tasty but without the tendency to sink?
I decided to go back to the drawing board and start again, and yes, now I think i have the perfect lemon drizzle cake made with olive oil. This new version was adapted from my recipe for Almond Bizcocho which I wrote for Recipes Made Easy a few years back ( an orange loaf cake made with rapeseed oil).
Made with lemons and with the addition of a lovely drizzle of tangy lemon flavoured icing, I think it is equally as delicious as the original cake but without the dip in the middle!
The wonderfully flavoursome moist light crumb remains and even with the addition of almonds which are not in the original recipe it’s predominant flavour is lemon, (as you would hope with it being a lemon drizzle cake!) but the subtle notes of olive oil can also still be picked out.
And it is super easy to make no mixers required for this, just a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon.
If you have already made the original lemon cake then do try this one and tell me what you think. I hope you will agree this is even better. But if you would prefer to stick to the one you know you can find the original lemon drizzle cake recipe here.
Which Olive oil do I use for making cakes?
Now, I’m sure you’re fully aware that there are many types of olive oil available in the supermarket these days, each having their own qualities and being suitable for different types of cooking and food preparation.
Perhaps the safest option (flavour wise) for this cake is to use a light olive oil and leave the stronger oils for salads. It is more refined than extra virgin olive oil but has a more subtle flavour which will not overpower the lemon. The flavour of extra virgin olive oil will vary considerably depending on how and where it is produced and although I only use this, I actually like playing around with the different brands and seeing which work to my liking.
Or like in my Almond bizcocho you could use an unrefined rapeseed oil instead.
Try this cake and see if your friends can tell that you have used oil in place of butter.
Lemon drizzle olive oil cake step by step
Lemon drizzle olive oil cake
Lmon olive oil cake
- 200 ml (7floz) olive oil
- 200 g (7oz) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 75 g (3oz) ground almonds
- 175 g (6oz) golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 unwaxed lemon zest & juice
Lemon drizzle icing
- 1 tbsp lemon curd optional
- 150 g (5oz) icing sugar
- 1 unwaxed lemon Zest & Juice
- 20cm (8in) spring clip or loosed bottomed round cake tin.
- baking parchment
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 170℃ (Fan 150℃) / 3325℉ / Gas 3. Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8in) round tin with baking parchment.
- Sift 200g (7oz) plain flour, 2tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in 175g (6oz) caster sugar and 75g (3oz) ground almonds.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and drop in 3 eggs. Pour in 200 ml (7floz) olive oil and the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon. Mix well with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven and bake for 45–50 minutes until risen and golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides of the tin. A skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should also come out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the tin before carefully transferring to a wire rack and allow to cool for another 10 minutes.
To Make the drizzle icing
- Place 1 tbsp lemon curd, if using into a bowl. Stir with a spoon to slacken it with either a pastry brush or the back of a teaspoon carefully coat the top of the warm cake with the lemon curd.
- Place 150g (5oz) icing sugar and the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon into a bowl and stir until smooth.
- Spoon the lemon icing over the top of the cake and use the back of the spoon to encourage it to trickle down the sides of the cake a little.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
- Use either a light olive oil or extra virgin. The extra virgin will bring a more robust flavour, whereas the light version is far more mellow without overpowering the lemon.
- Alternatively, try an unrefined rapeseed oil
- Add 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary with the lemon zest and juice for a delicious variation.