Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Orange

Last Updated on September 30, 2021 by Chenée Lewis

This rosemary olive oil cake is bursting with orange flavor and it’s so moist and easy to make! I love making this orange rosemary cake recipe for any occasion! And if you love olive oil cakes, you’ve got to try my Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Crystallized Ginger or my Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Lemon and Pistachio!

rosemary olive oil cake topped with rosemary
Orange Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Recipe

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Orange Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Recipe

This olive oil cake was the result of some experimenting after a Great British Bake-Off binge got me very excited about olive oil cake. So I picked some brightly flavored olive oil and settled on brightening up the cake with some orange zest and a little rosemary. The flavors worked perfectly, and this orange rosemary olive oil cake was born!

If you haven’t had an olive oil cake, you’re missing out! The olive oil balances sweetness perfectly. And in this version, the orange and rosemary flavors complement the olive oil so well. So you end up with a less decadent dessert, but one that is so satisfying, especially after a delicious Italian meal! Plus, olive oil keeps the cake moist for days and gives it a distinctive flavor that is amazing! Best of all, it’s SO easy– truly a bowl-and-whisk recipe!

a cut rosemary citrus olive oil cake
Rosemary Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Ingredients

  • orange zest – the main source of the orange flavor in this olive oil cake! It brightens up the cake so much — I love how much flavor it adds.
  • eggs – your eggs should be room temperature to ensure a light and fluffy cake.
  • white sugar – adds a little sweetness.
  • extra-virgin olive oil – I used this one, but you can use whatever full-flavored EVOO you prefer! Just make sure you enjoy the flavor, since it’s a major part of the flavor of this orange rosemary cake recipe.
  • whole milk  – helps to add a little moisture, while keeping the texture nice and light.
  • pure vanilla extract – the flavor of vanilla balances so well with the orange in this cake!
  • orange extract – this is optional, if you want to boost the orange flavor. If you don’t have orange extract, you can also just bump up the amount of orange zest!
  • all-purpose flour –  measured using the spoon-and-level method, or even better — measured by weight using a food scale.
  • baking powder
  • kosher salt
  • optional toppings including more olive oil to bump up that EVOO flavor, powdered sugar, and a rosemary sprig for garnish.

Equipment

This orange rosemary cake recipe is so easy, you won’t need any special equipment! All you’ll need is a cake pan, a whisk, a bowl, and (ideally) a food scale to measure your flour.

Orange Rosemary Cake Recipe, Step by Step

The best part about this orange olive oil cake is how easy it is. I’ve been baking a lot of cakes recently, and this cake was a welcome break. This recipe calls for NO stand mixer, NO handheld mixer, NO softening of butter, and NO layering/assembling. It all comes together with a quick whisk (just try to set out your eggs to come to room temp).

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Recipe
  1. It takes about 5 minutes to get the batter together, basically as long as it took for the oven to preheat. You’ll just whisk together all of the ingredients in order in one bowl and then add it to your cake pan!
  2. You’ll bake it for about 35 minutes and let it cool.
  3. You can brush on some olive oil on the warm cake to bump up the olive oil flavor, or dust it with powdered sugar. I like to garnish with a sprig of rosemary for a nice touch. I wanted to keep this recipe simple, but you could definitely trade out the powdered sugar topping for a citrus icing or glaze, or even a cream cheese frosting. This orange rosemary cake recipe is pretty much foolproof, so I would definitely feel free to customize! Let me know what changes you make in the comments!

Tips and F.A.Q.

How do you use olive oil in a cake?

We’ll use olive oil to replace butter in this cake, giving our cake a more moist texture and a slightly fruity, peppery flavor. We also use olive oil to help keep the cake moist, since oil has a higher fat content than butter.

a slice of rosemary olive oil cake

Will olive oil ruin a cake?

Quite the contrary! I find that this orange rosemary olive oil cake is quicker and easier to make than most cakes, and has a lovely balanced sweetness. The olive oil and rosemary also give the cake a more complex flavor that is perfect!

Can I use dried rosemary instead of fresh?

I haven’t tried this cake with dried rosemary, so I can’t say if it would work or not — I highly recommend using fresh rosemary.

How do I store this orange rosemary olive oil cake?

This rosemary olive oil cake will keep, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.

More Cake Recipes You’ll Love

rosemary olive oil cake topped with rosemary

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Orange

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This rosemary olive oil cake is bursting with orange flavor and it's so moist and easy to make! I love making this orange rosemary olive oil cake recipe for any occasion!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine :Italian, Mediterranean
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 382kcal
Recipe Source: Chenée Lewis

Ingredients

Optional Toppings:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour; line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl until well combined.
    1 cup granulated sugar, 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Add in orange zest and rosemary and mix well.
    2 tbsp finely grated orange zest, 1 ½ tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • Add olive oil, milk, and eggs, and extracts, mixing gently between each addition. Batter will be very liquidy.
    3 large eggs, ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, ⅔ cup whole milk, ½ tsp pure vanilla extract, ½ tsp orange extract
  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. .
  • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, brush with additional olive oil, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
    Olive oil
  • Store at room temperature wrapped loosely in foil or plastic wrap. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving, and garnish with a rosemary sprig.
    Powdered sugar, Sprig of rosemary

Notes

Olive Oil: I used California Olive Ranch Rich & Robust olive oil because I wanted a more full olive oil flavor.  You can use whatever olive oil you like, as long as it has a flavor you enjoy!
Storage and Freezing: This rosemary olive oil cake will keep, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 8 slices | Calories: 382 kcal | Carbohydrates: 44 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 1 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Cholesterol: 72 mg | Sodium: 132 mg | Potassium: 82 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 26 g | Calcium: 39 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
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rosemary olive oil cake
Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Orange

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