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Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake

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Adapted from Melissa Stadler's "Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake" recipe from Modern Honey.

Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake. Soft and tender moist lemon cake topped with lemon vanilla cream cheese frosting. The perfect lemon cake! www.modernhoney.com


PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: 24 mins

TOTAL TIME: 39  mins


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup Lemon Olive Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1⅓ cup Whole Milk
  • 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)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, add oil, eggs, whole milk, 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.

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.