Olive Oil Citrus Cake: Perfect for the Fall


Ella Henry

Pictured: Glazed olive oil citrus cake with candied orange peel as garnish. Photo Credit: Rustic Fruit Desserts

Ella Henry, Food & Culture Editor

Olive oil is an ingredient used globally, but it never gets any of the limelight it deserves. We nonchalantly use it to oil hot pans or pour over our salads, without ever even realizing its potential in baking. At one point in time, olive oil had great value in people’s minds (it was even used as a currency in ancient Asia!). It’s been incorporated in politics, religion, and science, but somehow we’ve forgotten its great significance. Wanting to find something that represents how olive oil can shine on its own, I found the authors of Rustic Fruit Desserts, Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson. Below is a recipe for a dairy-free olive oil citrus cake.


Ingredients for the cake:

1 ¼ C cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

3 eggs

¾ C + 1 tbsp sugar

Zest of 1 grapefruit

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 C extra-virgin olive oil


Ingredients for the glaze:

¾ C confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp grapefruit juice



Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. With a paddle attachment, beat together eggs, zests, and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes. The mixture will get much fluffier and lighter in color. Add vanilla extract. With the mixer on a medium low speed, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add the flour mixture on a low speed until just combined. Grease a 9” round cake pan using olive oil and then sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over it. Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 350° F for 25-30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Sift the confectioners sugar into a bowl and whisk in grapefruit juice until perfectly smooth. Pour over the cooled cake (if the cake is too warm, the glaze will melt right off or absorb into the cake), and wait a few minutes until it hardens.

Garnish and enjoy!