Citrus Olive Oil Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This cake gets better as it sits. It can be baked up to 4 days ahead, and stored tightly wrapped at room temperature.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 10 to 12 servings
  • Olive oil and sugar for the pan
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • ⅓ cup almond flour or hazelnut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 3 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice (see note below for Citrus Options)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1¼ cups + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Drizzle the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round springform pan with oil and use your fingers to coat it. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and smooth to eliminate air bubbles. Coat the parchment with more oil. Generously sprinkle the pan with sugar and tilt to coat in an even layer.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, almond or hazelnut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the Grand Marnier, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  5. Using an electric mixer on high speed (use whisk attachment if working with a stand mixer), beat the 1 cup sugar, eggs, and lemon zest until the mixture is very light, thick, pale, and falls off the whisk or beaters in a slowly dissolving ribbon. This takes about 3 minutes if using a stand mixer and about 5 minutes if using a hand mixer.
  6. With mixer still on high speed, gradually stream in the 1¼ cups oil and beat until incorporated and the mixture is even thicker. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the Grand Marnier mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  7. Fold the batter several times with a large rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of bowl. Scrape the batter into your prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  8. Place the cake in your oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown, the center is firm to the touch, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
  10. Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick or skewer and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Let it absorb, and let the cake cool completely.
  11. For the best flavor and texture, wrap the cake in plastic and let it sit at room temperature at least a day before serving.
Citrus Options: If using regular lemon, increase the sugar in the batter by 2 tablespoons (1 cup + 2 tablespoons total). You can alternatively substitute orange (fresh-squeezed juice and zest) for the Meyer lemon. If using orange, there's no need to increase the sugar.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at