Basil olive oil cake is an amazing fresh twist on the classic Italian olive oil cake. This recipe for olive oil cake has sweet basil that is added to the batter which lends a beautiful aromatic flavor to the cake without overpowering it. This basil cake is moist and delicious and the perfect cake to make when you have an abundance of basil.
This basil olive oil cake is my go-to basil cake that I make to use up basil from my garden. It is moist but not overly heavy.
It is really easy to make too, with all the ingredients going right into the blender to mix and then the cake pans for baking.
The fresh basil just really adds a little interest and sweetness to the cake. I find it takes away the one noted aspect of most Italian olive oil cake recipes.
This Italian olive oil cake is great served in the summer when basil is plentiful but nice any time if you can't wait. This will definitely be a dessert that will impress anyone you make it for and they will never know how easy it was to make!
Basil cake ingredients
For the ingredients, they are fairly basic and things you will most likely have already in your pantry. Possibly the only thing you will need to purchase is the basil.
- all-purpose flour: This is the base of this olive oil cake. You can also use 1:1 gluten free flour if you prefer.
- olive oil: This is a basil olive oil cake so olive oil is important. You can use regular olive oil or extra virgin.
- fresh basil: This is a must. Fresh basil adds flavor and pairs so well with the sweet notes of the cake.
- milk: The milk helps keep the cake moist.
- eggs: The binder for the cake.
- lemon: Lemon helps brighten the flavor of the basil and the cake.
- Baking powder and baking soda: These give the cake rise and improve the texture.
Steps to make this basil olive oil cake
- Mix Wet Ingredients: Add all of your wet ingredients into a blender and blend well.
- Mix Dry Ingredients: Add all of your dry ingredients into a separate bowl.
- Combine: Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until incorporated.
- Add batter to cake pans: Pour into prepared cake pans.
- Bake: Bake and then cool
This basil cake is so easy and I promise, anyone can make this recipe. It is such an essential recipe to have in your repertoire.
I really love making this Italian basil cake as a special dessert (even though the effort that goes into making it is really simple). It is always loved by everyone who has eaten it.
The whipped cream for this basil cake recipe
When I serve this basil cake, I love to serve it with fresh whipped cream that is only lightly sweetened with sugar to leave the natural cream taste intact. Anytime I make a whipped cream (or a frosting), I will always only use a small amount of sugar. I just do not like a sickly sweet topping.
You can totally adjust this to your taste though and there will be no judgment.
Entertaining Ideas For This Italian Basil Cake
- Italian Birthday celebration (especially for adults who do not really care for traditional birthday cakes). You can add Cheesecake Bites or pizzelle and pizzelle cookies.
- Entertaining. We love making this along with pumpkin cake, our Classic Carrot Cake Recipe and our Italian apple cake. They are a winning combination.
- As a dessert to go with an amazing Italian dinner like this Italian Baked Meatballs or this Italian Baked Zucchini.
The uses for this cake are plenty and there is no wrong way to present this cake to someone. My favorite way of eating this is as an afternoon pick-me-up with some tea or coffee if I have any leftovers from the day before.
Tips for making the best olive oil cake
You can use whatever olive oil you have on hand and it will turn out great. I like a regular mild olive oil for making olive oil cake which you might see sold as everyday olive oil or not labeled extra virgin.
You can leave olive oil cake on the counter under a cake dome for the first day and then place it in the fridge after that. Olive oil cake will last for a couple days in the fridge.
More Italian Desserts
If you love this basil olive oil cake, you may also love these Italian desserts:
Basil Olive Oil Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ⅓ cups regular or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- 11 large basil leaves course chopped.
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- zest of 1 lemon
Whipped Sweet Cream
- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
- Oil, butter, or spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. You want a standard cake pan that is at least 2 inches deep.
- In a large bowl, sift your flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder.2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 ¾ cups sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Now, with a blender, add your olive oil, course chopped basil and milk and blitz on high speed for about 2 minutes until the basil is fully incorporated into the liquid and the olive oil milk mixture turns a light lime green.1 ⅓ cups regular or extra-virgin olive oil, 1 ¼ cups whole milk, 11 large basil leaves
- In another bowl, add your eggs and lemon zest and mix well.3 large eggs, zest of 1 lemon
- Now pour the basil mixture from the blender into this bowl and mix well. Next, add the dry ingredients; whisk until just combined
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and give it a light tapping (just lift the pan about an inch above the counter surface and drop it lightly) to get out any air bubbles.
- Bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out clean. If you see any jiggle in the middle of your cake when pulling it out of the oven, add a few more minutes of cooking at a time until it is firm and set.
- Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Invert your cake on to a plate and remove parchment paper on the bottom.
- With a hand mixer, stand mixer or whisk, mix your heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar (that has been sifted) until it starts to stiffen and form peaks at the tip of your whisk.1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
- Add a dollop to each slice of cake and enjoy!
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
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