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Basil Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Whipped Cream

Basil Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Whipped Cream

Olive oil cake is an amazing fresh twist on the classic Italian olive oil cake.  The sweet basil lends a beautiful aromatic flavor to the cake without overpowering it.  The olive oil makes this cake rich 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.

This Italian 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! The ingredients are fairly basic and things you will most likely have already in your pantry.

Ingredients you will need for this olive oil cake are:

  • all purpose flour
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil
  • milk
  • eggs
  • lemon
  • and baking powder and baking soda

I really love making this cake as a special dessert (even though the effort making it is simple) because it really is loved by everyone who has eaten it. I always serve it with fresh whipped cream that is only lightly sweetened with sugar to leave the natural cream taste in tact. You can opt to leave out the whipped cream or substitute your favorite dairy or non-dairy whipped topping.

This basil olive oil cake is perfect for dessert, snack or breakfast. It is light and not overpowering despite having basil and olive oil in it, two very strong flavored ingredients.

Give this a try and you will see why the Italians love their olive cakes! If you are a fan of Italian desserts like I am then you may also want to check out my Italian Berry Cake with Mascarpone. It is really simple, beautiful and delicious.


Basil olive oil cake
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5 from 1 vote

Basil Olive Oil Cake

the fragrant basil with the moist olive oil cake is a wonderful fresh and delicious dessert


  • 2 ​ ​cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 ​ ​cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 ​ ​t​​easpoon​ of​ kosher salt
  • 1/2 ​ ​teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 ​ ​teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/3 ​ ​cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 ​ ​cups whole milk
  • 3 ​ ​large eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 11 large basil leaves course chopped. Large means each basil leaf measures about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long usually they get this large when grown hydroponically. If you have smaller basil leaves (usually they are when grown in the garden) increase this amount by double, or 22 small basil leaves.
  • Whipped Sweet Cream
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp 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.
  • 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.
  • In another bowl, add your eggs and lemon zest and mix well.
  • 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.
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream
  • With a hand mixer, stand mixer or whisk, mix your heavy cream and 1 tbsp of powdered sugar (that has been sifted) until ​it starts to stiffen and form peaks at the tip of your whisk.
  • Add a dollop to each slice of cake and enjoy!
Basil Olive oil Cake

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7 thoughts on “Basil Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Whipped Cream”

  • Hey Melissa, I was super excited when I saw this recipe, but since there are no comments or reviews yet, I have a couple questions. First, I notice that this recipe calls for more olive oil than many of the olive oil cake recipes I have seen, is there a reason for that? How would altering the quantity affect the texture? Second, have you had plenty of success using all purpose flour? I’ve noticed that other recipes call for cake flour. Hoping to make it next week. Thanks, hope to hear from you soon!

    • Hi Levi. Thanks for your questions! Like many cake recipes, the quantities will vary on the liquids but I used my olive oil cake recipe that I have used for years with the only difference of adding the basil to add some flavor. I have always used all purpose flour for this cake and haven’t tried the other recipes that use cake flour. This is a very moist cake that can hold up to the strength of all purpose flour 🙂 If you have a good recipe for olive oil cake that you like and it uses cake flour and less olive oil, you can use that too and just follow the step in this recipe that mixes the basil and liquids in a blender! I hope this helps!

    • Hi. It is hard to know how much to cut back since I haven’t tried the olive oil. I would say if the olive oil has a very pronounced basil flavor then cut the fresh basil in half.
      I hope this helps 🙂

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