Lemon and Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

You might think olive oil in cakes is a bit strange.  However,  the flavorful blend of lemon zest and fresh rosemary in this moist lemon cake is a beautiful combination.  If you love lemon desserts, make this lemon rosemary olive oil cake this week!

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Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Recipe

Ways to eat more olive oil

My husband read a health related article several years ago that suggested that we need to significantly increase the amount of olive oil in our diet in order to maintain heart health. Since then, I have been trying to figure out how to do this without just chugging olive oil straight out of the bottle. I love the flavor of olive oil but there are only so many things I can do with it, right?

Like this lemon rosemary olive oil cake recipe?  Try these cake recipes, too!

olive oil drizzled over bread

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How to use olive oil in cooking

We have been using olive oil for grilling seafood, dipping our garlic bread in it, and using it to roast vegetables. Wherever I used to use butter I have been trying to use olive oil instead. Making an olive oil cake was a new idea for me, but a delicious one for sure!  What are some other ways to eat more olive oil in your day? Try a few of these ideas:

  1. Drizzle it over salad.  Either as homemade salad dressing or just a splash of oil and vinegar. Try my Cajun lime salad dressing!
  2. Use in marinades or sauces.  Great for meat or vegetables that you want to grill.
  3. Add at the end of cooking, drizzle food with olive oil for a burst of flavor. Great for pasta meals, meat, or vegetables, 
  4. Use instead of butter or margarine as a healthy dip for bread.  
  5. Saute with it instead of canola oil, which really, no one should be eating at all. 
  6. Make olive oil cake! 

Bottle of rosemary infused olive oil

Choosing the best olive oil

Olive oils all have slightly different flavors to them that depend on the variety of the olive used, the climate it grew in, and how it was pressed. Making sure to pair these varieties of olive oils with the right sorts of foods will provide the best balance of flavors in your final dish. 

If you want to use the olive oil as a salad dressing or to drizzle over bread, pick extra virgin olive oil for a more robust taste.  Baking with olive oil doesn’t require quite so much finesse.  You can substitute olive oil for just about any other cooking oil in most baked recipes. 

It’s delicious in homemade quick breads or brownies. Olive oil does have a stronger flavor than some other oils. This might affect the flavor of the baked product slightly. Use half olive oil and half vegetable to start if you are concerned about flavor.

Choosing an olive oil at the grocery store can be challenging.  However, keep in mind that you really do get what you pay for.  Look for a ‘best buy’ date to ensure that it is fresh and only buy olive oil in a dark bottle as it is sensitive to light.

Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Tips for Making this Lemon Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

I decided to take those delicious flavors and create a tasty dessert and it was incredibly easy to make. Fresh lemons and rosemary right from the garden are a delicious combination.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Double the recipe and freeze a cake for later!

I doubled the recipe and made an extra Lemon and Rosemary olive oil cake to keep in the freezer as a last minute dessert the next time we have guests over for dinner. People will be wowed by my ability to whip up something tasty on a moments notice and I will actually have done nothing but thaw it out a few hours ahead of time!

olive oil cake recipe #shop

Use fresh lemons and rosemary

I highly recommend using fresh lemons and rosemary for this recipe. While you can certainly make a tasty dessert with a bottle of lemon juice and a jar of dried rosemary, I don’t think the flavor will be quite as developed.

For all you gardeners out there, rosemary is incredibly easy to grow yourself. I have a shrub in the back yard and while it doesn’t exactly thrive in the cold weather I can go out and snip a few sprigs whenever I need them. Combined with the light and almost fruity taste of the olive oi/l this was a delicious way to boost the amount of olive oil in my diet!

lemon rosemary olive oil cake recipe_edited-1 #shop

Cool the cake completely before drizzling with glaze

Don’t be impatient!  Let the cake cool completely before glazing or the glaze will melt.  Sprinkle the glazed cake with additional fresh rosemary before serving.  

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe with Fresh Rosemary

Looking for a moist cake recipe? This homemade lemon olive oil cake is infused with fresh rosemary and drizzled with a light icing for a beautiful balance of sweet and savory (and if you love the flavor of fresh lemons, make lemon pudding, too!). A simple lemon cake for everyday desserts or slightly elegant to wow friends and family. Seriously my favorite lemon dessert recipe!  

Homemade olive oil cake with lemons and rosemary.

Yield: 8

Lemon and Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Homemade olive oil cake with lemons and rosemary.

Love lemon desserts? Make lemon rosemary olive oil cake! The blend of lemon zest and fresh rosemary in this moist lemon cake is a beautiful combination!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • grated zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup STAR Arbequina olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary plus a few more needles for decorating
  • FOR THE GLAZE: 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 TBSP (approximately) lemon juice. Add more or less juice depending on desired consistency.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs for 1 minute or until slightly frothy
  3. Add sugar and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes
  4. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until combined.
  5. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and dried rosemary.
  6. Add the olive oil and flour mixture to the eggs mixture.
  7. Using a wooden spoon to mix just until combined.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool and remove from pan.
  10. Mix glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cake immediately before serving. Sprinkle with a few remaining rosemary needles if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 267mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information not always accurate


16 thoughts on “Lemon and Rosemary Olive Oil Cake”

  1. Oh my goodness, that cake looks absolutely delicious! I have never had lemon and rosemary in a dessert before. I have got to try this!

  2. Wow… it sounds interesting!!! I never would have thought to put olive oil in cake. it looks yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Diane, wonderful post! I had no idea Olive Oil paired up with foods…like wine! This could be the next big thing. Your education on the different oils is Fab. The pictures make my mouth water. Awesome job!

    • Im glad you found the post informative and the recipe tasty looking! We are enjoying the cake and I look forward to trying the other two varieties in a few other kitchen creations!


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