lemon olive oil cake, lemon cake, lemon olive oil rosemary cake

This is an adaption of one of my favorite cake recipes, ever,  from 101 Cookbooks–a rosemary olive oil cake with dark chocolate.

I’ve been meaning to try this with new flavors for a long time; a pile of lemons from a neighborhood tree finally made it happen!

A note on this cake: I’ve made this at least a dozen times, and have tried to mess around with the proportions: less oil or eggs, using all whole wheat flour, etc. I really don’t recommend it, the texture of this cake as is is moist, tender, and just perfect, and any changes result in a much drier cake that just isn’t the same.

Also, I really do recommend using the best ingredients in this recipe: a good quality extra virgin olive oil, organic lemons, fresh rosemary, and farm-fresh or organic cage-free eggs. It is a simple cake and the flavors of each ingredient really do come through.


1 1/4 cup unbleached flour

3/4 cup turbinado sugar (+ a bit more for sprinkling)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt (+ a couple pinches more for sprinkling)

3 eggs

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup almond milk (or any milk or milk substitute you prefer–whole or low fat, but not non-fat)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest from two organic lemons

juice from one lemon (about 1/4 cup or more)

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped very finely


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil pans with olive oil. Mix dry ingredients, then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, egg and olive oil. Mix then add the milk or milk substitute. Pour into pan of your choice–a large loaf pan is my favorite choice. Here I used my new favorite kitchen item–a vintage mini loaf pan (thanks Dad!)

Before baking, sprinkle a teaspoon or so of sugar and a pinch of sea salt on top. Bake until golden brown, and the sugar is caramelized; 40-50 minutes.