Chocolate Olive Oil Cake that Will Make You Forget About Butter


I still see so many cake recipes made with butter. But oil makes the perfect tender crumb without a pat of dairy. With most cakes, you do want to use a neutral-tasting oil. But chocolate is special. It has a wonderful depth that compliments several rich flavors. Which is why dairy-free chocolate olive oil cake is such a beloved dessert.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache - also nut-free with egg-free and vegan option

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake that Will Make You Forget About Butter

Olive oil is a flavorful and versatile cooking oil that is often trusted in popular cooking methods such as sauteing, stir-frying, dressing, marinating and grilling. It can also earn your trust when it comes to baking.

Choosing Your Olive Oil

Unlike butter, all varieties of olive oil typically have high levels of mono-unsaturated fat and low levels of saturated fat. But it’s important to choose the right variety for your recipe.

Extra-virgin olive oil has the most full-bodied flavor, and the lowest smoke point, around 350 F. So it’s best to use it for low or medium heat cooking, or use it fresh in salad dressings or for drizzling.

On the other end of the spectrum, Extra-light olive oil has a more neutral flavor and a higher smoke point, over 400 F. It’s great for cooking and in all types of baked goods, like this dairy-free chocolate olive oil cake!

Double Duty Ingredient

When a recipe calls for greasing or buttering the pan, you can wipe it with olive oil instead. It’s an even better, naturally non-stick food.

How to Store Olive Oil

To maintain olive oil’s flavor and quality, store it in a cool, dark place that isn’t near the oven. You want to avoid keeping it near heat or light, and keep it sealed to avoid oxidation.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Recipe with Chocolate Ganache - also nut-free with egg-free and vegan optionThis photo was shared with us by Filippo Berio, and we did adapt the recipe from them and added our own dairy-free ganache.

Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.

We haven’t tested this recipe gluten-free, but if you do use egg, it should work well with your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in place of the flour.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
We've adapted this recipe to be dairy-free, and even added a dairy-free chocolate ganache. But it was inspired by Chef Sharon Sanders of Filippo Berio.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
  1. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the ½ cup olive oil, lite coconut milk or creamer, and vanilla. Add the egg and beat with a mixer until well blended.
  3. Scrape the batter into your prepared cake pan and sprinkle the top with the mini chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Place the cake on a cooling rack for 10 minutes then turn the cake out onto the rack and let it cool completely.
  6. Once cool, transfer the cake to a serving plate. If desired, pour on the dairy-free chocolate ganache, spreading it with a spatula as needed. If it's too thin, let it cool a little more, but if it's too thick, gently reheat it a little. Sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt, if desired.
Alisa's Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache: Put 1½ cups (about 1 10-ounce bag) dairy-free chocolate chips in a mixing bowl. Heat 1 cup of full fat coconut milk or coconut cream in a saucepan or in the microwave until very hot and steaming. Pour the coconut milk or cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Reheat it gently if all the chips aren't melted.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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