Vegan olive oil cake: the pinnacle of sustainable dessert

Olive oil cake is truly a top-tier dessert: despite its use of olive oil instead of butter, it maintains an extremely moist texture. It’s not as sweet as most other cakes, since olive oil isn’t a very aggressive flavor, but nevertheless, it’s a unique taste and flavor that goes well with coffee or tea.

Just recently, I found a recipe for vegan olive oil cake from My Darling Vegan, and decided to try it out with a friend of mine (Sorin!). The interesting technique that the recipe uses is replacing butter (which allows the cake to rise fuller) with apple sauce and a tad of baking powder. Not to mention, olive oil contains healthy fats, which helped to justify me eating definitely more than my share’s worth.

Anyways, let’s see how our cake turned out!

Nutrition values from My Darling Vegan.

Recipe & Ingredients

3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup non-dairy milk( I use soy)
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of an 8″ pan with a piece of parchment paper. Generously spray the pan with cooking spray and set aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple sauce, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar until the mixture is thick and consistent. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring until the dry ingredients are evenly hydrated and the batter is thick and smooth. 
  4. Pour cake into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45-60 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 30 minutes before flipping onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 
  5. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar. Top with blackberries, lemon, and fresh mint. Serve immediately. 

Overall, I want to say good recipe! The cake was subtly hinted with olive oil, moist and zesty. Pro-tip: I would wait a bit for the cake to cool down before removing from the pan — I was too anxious to get a bit and immediately removed the cake when it came out of the oven (I know, rookie mistake) and the cake almost fell apart!

P.S. If you’re trying to figure out what brand of olive oil to use, Ethical Consumer has a great graphic for picking which brands best fit your interest and are ethical and sustainable!

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