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Olive Oil Cake

olive oil cake

A parve favorite; use real vanilla beans for unsurpassed flavor and fragrance.

This is my favorite cake. I created this recipe several years ago and have used it in my restaurants, catering and at home. It is delicious and does not use any fake fats or phony ingredients. Go big and splurge on a vanilla bean. The extra flavor and exotic fragrance are big payoffs in the finished product.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8 - 10Servings


  • 3 eggs
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon; reserve zest
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1½ cups extra virgin olive oil, such as Colavita
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. Using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar to a ribbon stage.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: wine, lemon juice and zest, and olive oil. Add vanilla bean.
  5. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.
  6. With a mixer running on low, add one-third of the dry mixture to the beaten eggs, then add one-third of the wet mixture, and continue in this manner until all ingredients are mixed together.
  7. Be careful not to over-beat the cake, or it will be tough.
  8. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top springs back lightly.
  9. Cool for two hours and dust with powdered sugar before serving.


Plump, juicy vanilla beans add an unparalleled floral and exotic fragrance to any recipe. Vanilla extract will work just fine, but a real vanilla bean raises the bar. Look for soft and fat beans. Place the bean on a cutting board. Using a paring knife, slice about 7/8 of the bean in half lengthwise. Scrape the back of your knife along one of the halves to collect the black, gooey seeds, where all the flavor and aroma come from. Add the seeds to your mixing bowl. Save the scraped bean and store it in your sugar container. Your sugar will become scented with vanilla. Or, you can put the vanilla bean in a bottle of vodka and enjoy a vanilla-scented cocktail!