olive oil cake with cream cheese frosting

i got asked so many times for this recipe so i thought i should share! i went to an easter party at a friends and she served the olive oil cake from little flower bakery and OMFG it was soooo good. gid and i were obsessed, and we talked about it for days until i tracked down the recipe. not exaggerating.

they serve theirs with a brown butter frosting, but gid really thought it would be good with cream cheese instead — and it is! it’s a very grown up cake and it is so moist and special. it’s also super easy to make, so it’s perfect for a dinner party you’re throwing or attending.

cake recipe adapted from Little flower baking co.

frosting recipe adapted from wicked good kitchen

olive oil cake with cream cheese frosting

this olive oil cake is so moist and special. it’s also super easy to make, so it’s perfect for a dinner party you’re throwing or attending.


for the cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

for the frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter slightly softened
  • ½ cup salted butter slightly softened
  • 1 8 oz package chilled cream cheese
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 to 4½ cups confectioners’ sugar spooned in cup, leveled off & sifted


to make the cake

  1. preheat oven to 375°F. lightly grease 2 9″ cake pans with olive oil or butter. sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.
  2. in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat eggs on medium speed. slowly pour in olive oil and continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. pour in milk and orange juice and mix until just combined. add the orange zest. add dry ingredients on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. use a rubber spatula to scrape bowl to ensure all dry ingredients are incorporated. batter will look similar to pancake batter.
  3. pour batter into prepared pan. bake until cake begins to dome, about 30 minutes. rotate pan and continue baking until top is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. cool cake at least 2 hours before unmolding.

to make the frosting

  1. using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or handheld mixer) beat butter on medium speed until creamy.
  2. add cream cheese and vanilla, beat until fully incorporated. gradually increase mixer speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with rubber spatula.
  3. gradually add 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar, beating on low speed until well combined. add additional confectioners’ sugar until desired consistency for spreading and level of sweetness is reached.
  4. beat on high speed until well combined and smooth while scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, about 1 to 2 minutes. before frosting cake layers, you can re-beat buttercream to ensure smoothness.

i hope you like it as much as we do!

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  1. Therese Long says:

    Do you mean, bake for 30 the rotate and bake for ANOTHER 30-35 minutes? Or that it should take in total 30-35 minutes?

  2. Hallie Sharp says:

    Did you use the full amount of the icing tonice the cake as pictured?

    1. Molly Madfis says:

      there was leftover frosting! 🙂

  3. You have butter listed twice for the frosting – is that intentional? Looks great!

    1. Molly Madfis says:

      yes! you use one part unsalted and one part salted butters.

  4. Thanks for this amazing recipe! I baked this for our dinner party last night and everyone loved it. It was SO moist and is my new go to cake recipe. I used almond milk and all purpose gluten free flour and it worked out just fine!

  5. where did you get the cute leaves on top? what is it?

    1. Molly Madfis says:

      it’s fresh thyme! 🙂

  6. Looks delicious. Did you use the full amount of the icing tonice the cake as pictured?

    1. Molly Madfis says:

      actually i don’t think so if you want to half the recipe that would be fine!

  7. Molly,
    I’ve make this cake so many times ( I shouldn’t probably admit that in my outside voice LOL) and it is sooooooo delish. Love it. Thank you for sharing such a fab recipe!!

    Lynne from Design The Life You Want To Live / Knowlton and Co.

  8. If I wanted to use lemon instead of orange, would I change the 1/2 cup orange to a different measurement for lemon?