One Bowl Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake
Today’s recipe is the simplest one bowl lemon olive oil pound cake ever! Perfectly tender and moist crumb cake that’s perfect for brunch, or dessert!
Did I just say olive oil pound cake?
Oh yes, I did. Olive oil. This stuff isn’t just for making savory dishes. It pairs so beautifully with lemons and a few select spices. And we use just enough olive oil to make the pound cake incredibly moist and tender.
Today’s lemon pound cake recipe inspired by our upcoming trip to Italy!
Can you tell I’m already dreaming about consuming my body weight in cheese, pasta, and pizza? I’m knee-deep in researching the best places to eat, things to do, and what to see and as I do all of this, I’d love to hear restaurant recommendations or activities!
Don’t ask my husband how many times he’s caught me practicing random phrases in Italian that I had Google translate for me. As I put together our itinerary, I can’t help but take a peek at the menus of the restaurants I’m researching. And that brings to me to an important question. When is it too early to decide what you’ll be ordering at a restaurant? Would you say just over a month is too early?
I’m already pretty set on what I’ll be getting at quite a few places.
But as I look through these menus, I keep getting all these ideas, and before I’ve even tasted all these offerings, I’m over here already making us risotto. Just the other day I finished booking our stay on the Amalfi coast which lead me to lemons. I’m told I need to eat any and everything with lemons while I’m there! And then I thought what’s more Italian than olive oil pound cake scented with lemons?
Don’t even ask me what’s going to happen when I’m back.
How to make olive oil pound cake:
Cake for breakfast?
Not only is it acceptable here at our house, but it’s also encouraged. It’s not something that happens all the time, but when I’ve got an olive oil loaf (or three to be accurate,) bad things are bound to happen.
Last week I made a few of these lemon olive oil pound cakes. The first one, I started it off with all your usual suspects, a little flour, baking powder, granulated sugar and then I decided that yogurt was the way to go with this one and while the pound cake was tasty, both hubby and I preferred the second version I made, which I’ll get to in just a second. The first time I made this lemon olive oil pound cake, I shared a picture over on insta, and within minutes I had messages from people asking for the recipe. This makes my heart so happy!
As the olive oil pound cake was cooling, I noticed that the center of the pound cake started to sink. Two things cause this to happen usually. 1.) the oven temperature wasn’t correct (it was either too high or too low for this type of cake) and 2.) too much leavening which caused the cake to rise rapidly but it couldn’t support the weight, and therefore it collapsed in on itself. WHAMP WHAMP. Even with this flaw, the olive oil pound cake was gone in less than 24 hours. I split the loaf with my parents, our friends, and left just enough for me to taste and ponder over how I was going to rework this.
The second time I made this, I reduced the baking powder and kept everything else the same. Again, it was a bust. Though delicious, it once again sank in the middle.
The third time I made this pound cake, I swapped the yogurt for milk and added a squeeze of lemon juice to it. I threw in a dash of nutmeg and a smidge of cinnamon just the way I had in the first batch and voila! The crumb on this pound cake was tender and rich. This olive oil pound cake will stay super moist for days and is light in texture. Not at all dense the way you expect an olive oil pound cake to be.
What you need to make a lemon olive oil pound cake:
- olive oil (of course)
- all-purpose flour
- large eggs
- whole milk
- baking powder
- lemon juice and lemon zest
- vanilla extract
- a pinch of each: nutmeg + cinnamon
The spices are entirely optional for today’s lemon pound cake recipe, but I promise you, I’ll never make this without them because they make the whole house smell DIVINE.
Overall, this olive oil pound cake is:
- Made using ONE BOWL. I repeat, just ONE BOWL.
- Tender and moist on the inside
- Sweet, but not too sweet
- Going to become your go-to dessert recipe
- An edible house freshener? What I’m trying to say is that it makes your house smell like a little corner bakery
What totally got me was that Anees loves this olive oil pound cake too. I mean that says a lot considering there isn’t an ounce of chocolate or mocha flavored anything in here! Side note: I legit had a talk with him about trying lemon flavored gelato while we were in Amalfi. I mean, you MUST.
I say we make olive oil pound cake a regular breakfast item.
Perfect to grab and go!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
One Bowl Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake
Today's recipe is the simplest one bowl lemon olive oil pound cake ever! Perfectly tender and moist crumb cake that's perfect for brunch, or dessert!
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup milk (I used 2%)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch of EACH: nutmeg AND cinnamon (optional but sooo good)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon EACH: vanilla extract, lemon zest, AND lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray (you can also line it with a piece of parchment paper and leave an overhang to act as a handle to help remove the cake from the pan if you’re worried about the cake sticking.)
- STIR: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and milk. When combined, stir in the lemon zest, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Fold in the flour until *just* combined. If you overmix, the pound cake will come out tough.
- BAKE: Pour the prepared batter into your loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Cool the pound cake for roughly 30 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the pan, and let cool to room temperature (about another 30 minutes.) Sometimes, I like to serve this dusted with a light coating of powdered sugar before slicing and serving!
Oh this looks delicious and so easy to make! And easy to source ingredients. Love your term “edible house freshener”. I’m excited for your trip to Italy… and it’s okay to plan your food choices before you even go! ?
Haha! Thanks Laurie! 🙂
Delicious. It’s the crumb that tastes so good! Because I had a bottle of expensive orange olive oil to finish up, I used it for this recipe with orange juice and orange zest in place of lemon.
Made this cake a couple of days ago, it was really lovely & super easy to make, I cut myself a decent slice with a few dollops of vanilla yoghurt, yummy indeed, thanks for sharing Marzia
Thanks for such a great post shared here.
Let me try this.
A lovely, easy to make not too sweet cake that was great served with fresh strawberries. I put the vanilla in with the lemon zest as it is mentioned in the ingredients but not in the directions. Beating the eggs before adding and mixing the baking powder with the flour will make it even easier to mix. Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi Vivian! The lemon zest is mentioned and used in step 2, must’ve just missed it. I’m glad you enjoyed the pound cake recipe though, it’s one of my absolute favorites! 🙂
Great recipe. I used vegetable oil and eggs straight out of the fridge but thankfully it turned out perfectly. Simple, not too sweet and easy to make. Thank you.
The recipe has the vanilla in the ingredients, but not in the instructions.
Please see step #2.
Oven temperature? I cant find it anywhere! Cake now in at 170 fan……fingers crossed!
Please see step #1.
Wow. What a perfect recipe! I was missing Italy and have been baking a lot lately and wanted to try my hand at an olive oil cake as I reminisced on a delicious one that was served to me upon my arrival in Pompeii, but I wanted to use my new loaf pan. It came out PERFECT. The lemon flavor is so light and just right, it’s so moist in the center, and the crust is just divine. I’ve never been so proud of something I baked! Thanks for making this recipe that I will he recreating for years to come!
What a great recipe! Just the right amount of tart and sweet. I wouldn’t even let being out of milk stop me from making this. I swapped in vanilla kefir and it turned out great!
This looks delicious! I’m on a limited diet due to my baby’s allergies– do you know if this can be made with an alternative milk, such as almond milk?
I haven’t tried it before, but I think almond milk should work just fine here!
Hi, any recs on the type of olive oil? Do you want to use a better tasting one so it stands out in the cake? Thanks!
Entirely up to you! If you enjoy the taste of olive oil, I’d use one that’s stronger and really stands out. I used a couple different mainstream brands when testing and we weren’t able to tell the loaves apart by much afterwards, so I wouldn’t say the flavor carries through too much at the end here!
Wow. This sounds amazing. I can’t wait to try it. Do you think it could be made into muffins instead of a loaf? Just adjust the cook time?
I think muffins could work, haven’t tried it before though! And yes, I suggest adjusting the baking time. I’d keep an eye on it starting at 15 minutes! 🙂
Can I use Pastry Flour instead of AP flour? I have a ton and i’m trying to use it up! Thanks for your advise, I really would love to make this cake!!
Unfortunately pastry flour isn’t a good sub for all purpose here! All purpose flour gives this cake a tighter crumb and using a lower protein flour (such as pastry) would change the overall texture of the cake.
Did you use regular olive oil or EVOO? How much difference would it make if you used EVOO?
Just regular olive oil, no need to splurge on EVOO. If EVOO is what you’d like to use, I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference in terms of taste here, should work just fine!
Can you add poppy seeds or do you think it will alter the taste ?
Thanks so much !
I think that would be delish ??
And Perfect it came was. Halved the bake time by putting it in a regular square 9″ cake dish. Had guests and it was the perfect quick choice. Thanks for a great recipe.
I made this Sunday afternoon. I had bought some Meyers Lemon and used that in the cake recipe! Just enough hint of lemon! Yum!!
Great recipe! I just made it with stevia (30 packets) and almond milk substituting for the sugar and milk and it turned out well – although cooked it only 45-50 minutes. I’m going to serve it for Easter dinner with a fresh raspberry sauce.
I am so excited to try this recipe, but I need to make it gluten free. Do you think swapping out the regular AP flour for a gluten free one-to-one flour would be ok?
Hi there! I’m glad to hear you’d like to try this recipe. Unfortunately, without further recipe testing it’s difficult for me to say whether that will work. In theory, the 1-1 baking mix should directly replace flour without hiccups, however I don’t feel confident saying yes as I haven’t tested it before!
This recepie is FANTASTIC! ???
I did 1 cup each Unbleached Flour & Whole wheat
Flour & did 1 cup sugar and added some wildflower
Honey. Used a Bundt pan and baked 40min.
AMAZING! Thank you for such an easy recepie!
(Added a lemon glad too?)
First time a cake I’ve made has come out super moist.
Great recipe. Easy to follow and great results.
Wow!…Easy, Delicious, Scarfed Down!
Can I substitute milk with buttermilk? I am reading to make it now and am out of milk!
Sorry, I’m not sure whether buttermilk would make a good substitute in this recipe. If you decide to give it a try, I would love to know how it went!
Really really yummy. The flavors are beautiful. I’ve made olive oil cakes before, tried various recipes including ones that add orange juice, etc. But this pound cake’s flavor is my favorite. Something about the cinnamon and nutmeg, gives it a lovely twist. Love this.
It doesn’t seem like very much lemon juice or zest. Can I add more?
Wow, baked these and nailed it at the first try because this recipe is GREAT.
Modifications I made:
-baked muffins instead, still at 350F. Watch them after 15 minutes, until done.
-did gluten free blend. I halved the recipe, so only needed 1 cup of flour. I blended 40-50% rice flour, 40% teff flour, 20% almond flour. Sorry, I’ve just got a rough estimate! The texture on these is fantastic. Can’t even tell they’re GF. And, I like being able to make my own blend of GF flour.
-used macadamia nut milk; I recommend the fattiest alternative milk you can get for baking
-halved the recipe, used two whole large eggs
-shaved off 30% of the sugar and it was still a tad too sweet for me. Sweeten to your liking, but I like it less sweet!
Yum! Thank you!! Can’t wait to make these agin and again.
This is a truly amazing cake. Simply wonderful. Six days later, this cake is still moist and delicious — even without a drizzle or glaze. I chose to make this with some leftover citrus — Meyer lemons and limes — and it is just dreamy. Because I am a citrus FREAK, I increased the total zest to 5t total — my only modification. I will be trying this with all kinds of citrus! Even my citrus-averse relatives thought this cake was lovely. Thank you so much for this excellent recipe!
Can I use whole milk?
That will work!
I dont have fresh lemon can lemon juice or lemon extract used as a substitute foe the lemon zest and if so how much?
Yes, just swap the fresh juice for bottled lemon juice (the same amount) and sub in about 1/8 teaspoon of lemon extract for the zest! Hope you enjoy the lemon pound cake
Ok my original comment was “the crust was pretty burnt and the lemon flavor was barely there” but on second thought I don’t think this is a bad thing. I like that the lemon flavor is understated and not too sugary, and the hard crust gave it structure. It actually wasn’t really burnt. The texture of this really is the star of the show. It’s not crumbly at all, but bouncy.