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Lemon Olive Oil Cake

This Lemon Olive Oil Cake is supremely moist, ultra lemony, and downright decadently delicious. It’s perfect for breakfast or dessert and uses no butter!

A glazed lemon olive oil cake on a white plate, topped with icing and garnished with lemon slices.
This lemon olive oil cake is supremely moist for the perfect breakfast or dessert!

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

This cake is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy; here’s why it works:

  • Super Moist: We’ve been using olive oil in cakes for years now, which creates an amazingly moist cake.
  • Intense Lemon Flavor: The cake boasts an irresistible lemon syrup poured over the warm cake. It soaks right in, resulting in a supremely lemony and rich cake. It’s just like our Lemon Poppy Seed Bread.
  • Easy to Make: This loaf cake uses simple pantry ingredients, making it an easy and convenient bake.
  • Breakfast or Dessert: We love that this Lemon Olive Oil Cake can be served as a breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
  • People Love it: It’s a recipe that will definitely impress your guests, just like our Best Sweet Breakfast Recipes.

Key Recipe Ingredients

Overhead shot of lemon olive oil cake ingredients on a dark surface.
  • Whole Yogurt – The whole yogurt not only adds moisture to the cake but also gives it a wonderfully tender crumb.
  • Freshly Grated Lemon Zest –  Packed with flavor, the lemon zest is the star of the show here, giving the cake a bright, citrusy kick.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – This is the secret to the cake’s incredibly moist texture, and it also adds a subtle, fruity note that pairs beautifully with the lemon.
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice – It’s used in both the lemon syrup and the glaze, and it’s what gives the cake its intense lemon flavor.

Substitutions And Variations

Here are some of our favorite variations and substitutions to make this recipe your own:

  • Sugar: If you prefer your desserts less sweet, feel free to reduce the amount of sugar in both the cake and the syrup.
  • Eggs: For a vegan version of this cake, you can try using flax eggs or any other egg substitute you like.
  • Flour: To make this cake gluten-free, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Other Citrus Fruits: For a fun twist, you can try using other citrus fruits like oranges or even grapefruits in this cake.
A golden-brown lemon olive loaf cake, slightly cracked on top, placed on a white surface with lemon wedges around it.
Olive oil makes this delicious lemon cake super soft and decadent.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×5″ loaf pan. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, and olive oil.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently fold the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture. Transfer batter to pan and bake 60-70 minutes.
  1. For the lemon syrup, combine lemon juice and sugar and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Poke holes in the warm cake and brush the syrup over it.
  2. For the lemon glaze, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and whisk until it becomes a thick-drizzle consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

Take a look at our favorite prep-ahead strategies for this recipe:

  • Make Entirely Ahead: This cake keeps well when stored in an airtight container at room temperature, so feel free to make it a day in advance.
  • Freeze For Later: You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in a freezer-safe container to keep it moist. Allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying it again.
A plate with several slices of glazed lemon olive oil cake, garnished with lemon wedges.
The simple lemon glaze makes this Lemon Olive Oil Cake super irresistible!

What to Serve with lemon Loaf cake

Commonly Asked Questions

What type of olive oil should I use for this cake?

We recommend using a good quality extra virgin olive oil for this cake.

Can I use another type of oil instead of olive oil?

You can use canola oil, melted coconut oil, or vegetable oil as well.

Why do I need to poke holes in the cake?

Poking holes in the cake allows the lemon syrup to penetrate and soak into the cake, giving it a moist and tangy flavor. It’s an extra step, but it’s definitely worth it!

How long does Lemon Olive Oil Cake keep?

This cake can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be sure to store it in an airtight container.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

5 from 8 ratings
This Lemon Olive Oil Cake is supremely moist, ultra lemony, and decadent. Perfect for breakfast or dessert!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Amy Dong


For the Lemon Cake:

For the Lemon Syrup:

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • 2 TB lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 lemon zest, zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven 350F, with rack on lower middle position. Lightly grease 9×5″ loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a bowl, hand-whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, and olive oil. Whisk until well incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, hand-whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold flour mixture together with the yogurt mixture until most lumps are gone – a few small lumps are fine.
  • Use a rubber spatula to transfer batter into greased loaf pan and bake 60-70 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean, with a few tender crumbs attached. Let cake cool in pan slightly at room temp, while you make the lemon syrup.
  • Combine the 2 ingredients for Lemon Syrup into a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until completely dissolved.
  • Use a sharp knife to loosen warm cake from pan and carefully flip cake over onto a serving platter. Using a bamboo skewer or toothpick, poke holes throughout top of cake. Brush lemon syrup over the cake until it's soaked into the cake. Let cake cool.
  • Make the lemon glaze by combining the 3 ingredients for Lemon Glaze in a small bowl and stirring until it becomes a thick-drizzle consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake. Glaze will firm up in 5 minutes. Slice and serve.


  • This cake is delicious as leftovers. Keep in an airtight container at room temp 1-2 days. It can also be frozen, in airtight container, for several weeks.
  • Always use freshly grated lemon zest for the best flavor. Avoid using the white pith of the lemon, as it can be bitter.
  • Don’t rush the mixing process. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Over-mixing can make the cake tough.
  • Poking holes in the cake before adding the lemon syrup allows it to soak in and infuse the cake with even more lemony goodness.
  • Let the cake cool completely before adding the lemon glaze. This will prevent the glaze from melting and will give your cake a beautiful, glossy finish.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you! 
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Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Bake

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5 from 8 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Dee
    • 5 stars

    First time making an olive oil cake. Turned out great.

      • Amy Dong

      SO glad you liked it! 🙂

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