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Lemon Olive Oil Layer Cake | The Little Epicurean

Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Mixed Berries

A beautiful and easy summertime cake. The clean flavors of the olive oil cake allow the fresh berries to shine. The Swiss buttercream adds a nice creaminess to this simple cake.
Yield: two 6-inch cakes & one 4-inch cake, or two 8-inch cakes
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Assembly: 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: olive oil cake, citrus olive oil cake, berries cake, summer cake, lemon olive oil cake
Servings: 12
Author: Maryanne Cabrera


Olive Oil Cake:

  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of half a lemon
  • fresh berries, as needed

Swiss Buttercream:

  • 6 large egg whites (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, softened
  • pinch fine sea salt


Olive Oil Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two- 6" cake plans and one- 4" cake pan with parchment paper.  Lightly grease with butter.  Set aside. Alternatively, use two-8" cake pans.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, olive oil, and milk. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and lemon zest until mixture is pale in color and slightly thickened (about 2 minute). Scrape down the bowl as necessary to ensure thorough mixing.
  • Alternate adding the flour mixture and wet mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until combined.
  • Divide batter between prepared cake pans. Level batter using a spoon or mini offset spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cakes are golden brown, and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before unmolding. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

Swiss Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and sugar. Place over a double boiler and continue to whisk until the temperature of the mixture is 120°F.  See notes for alternative without thermometer.*
  • Return bowl to stand mixer. With a whisk or paddle attachment, beat mixture at medium-high speed until it cools to a little warmer than room temperature. Reduce speed to medium and add butter one tablespoon at a time
  • Once all the butter is in, increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until buttercream is light and fluffy.


*Swiss Buttercream: Alternatively, if you don’t have a thermometer, heat the mixture until all the sugar has melted. You can test this by dipping your pointer finger into the warm mixture and rubbing it together with your thumb. The mixture should be smooth.  You should not be able to feel the granules of sugar.