Everyone needs a vibrant, light, fluffy, moist lemon cake recipe up their sleeves. Easter is coming up and it wouldn’t be complete for me without a beautiful, seasonal lemon cake. My Grandma Faye loved all things lemon so it was essential at our Easter Sunday dinner. Her recipe, albeit wonderful, uses a cake mix and I wanted to create one from scratch. You can’t beat homemade!
Back in the day when I was competing in recipe contests, I found a contest where the grand prize was a trip to Italy! It had been at the top of my bucket list for years. I went straight to the kitchen and went to work! It was for Bertolli olive oil and since I assumed most people would go the savory route, I went to dessert. I wanted to create an Italian Lemon Cake using olive oil, reminiscent of the Tuscany countryside.
The result was a melt-in-your-mouth lemon cake that was not only super tender, fluffy, and moist but had a heavenly fresh lemon flavor as well.
This Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake is the perfect lemon cake.
The frosting can make or break a cake. So many of the frosting found on bakery cakes are overly sweet. This lemon vanilla cream cheese frosting uses butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and grated lemon zest. This creamy, silky frosting is the most ideal accompaniment to this fabulous Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake. A zester makes it much easier to remove only the best parts of the lemon.
This cake does call for olive oil and the wonderful thing is that you can use canola, vegetable, or coconut oil as well. I have made this cake many, many times and have used both canola oil and coconut oil with much success. You can even use coconut oil and top the cake with coconut flakes.
- Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake:
- 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Canola Oil)
- 3 Eggs
- 1⅓ cup Whole Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Zest
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Filling (optional):
- 1 cup Lemon Curd
- Lemon Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ½ cup Butter, softened
- 1 - 8 ounce package Cream Cheese, softened
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar (may need ¼ cup more depending on consistency)
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ teaspoon Lemon Zest (plus more for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla or Vanilla Beans (optional)
- Lemon Zest
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, add oil, eggs, whole milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cream for 2 minutes. In large bowl, add sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into egg mixture and fold. Spray two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place batter into baking pans. If using three 8-inch pans, bake for 20-26 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. If using two 9-inch pans, bake for 30-36 minutes. Cool.
- For frosting:
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl often. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest and cream together. Chill.
- Remove cakes from pan. Spread frosting on top of one cooled cake layer. Place other cooled cake layer on top and spread frosting all over. Garnish with lemon zest and fresh blackberries.
- Optional: Spread lemon curd on first cake layer and then top with frosting.
- Let chill for 20-30 minutes to let the frosting set up.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake. Find me on Instagram at @modern_honey.