Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

By Alexandra Caspero on July 8, 2022
Paired with coffee, this is one of my favorite cakes to serve for company.
Makes 1 loaf

Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake! This incredibly moist chocolate olive oil cake is perfect for brunch and dessert.

I’ve been in a cake mood lately. Maybe it’s because my kids are home with my this summer and I’m in a celebratory mood or maybe it’s because I recently perfected this decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake. While that chocolate cake recipe is best for birthday parties and big gatherings, I wanted to create something that I could share with friends over coffee.

A cake that isn’t too sweet, yet still rich enough to be called a cake. This chocolate olive oil cake fits the bill perfectly. As with my other Orange Olive Oil Cake, this cake is dairy and egg-free and gets most of it’s moistness from the olive oil. It’s a subtle richness that I absolutely love, especially paired with a good cup of coffee. Or, red wine. Trust me on this one for a fun dessert pairing!

Whether you plan on making this for brunch, for friends, or for a Tuesday by yourself with a good book 💕, this everyday cake is a keeper.

Here’s how to make it.

Everything You Need for making this Chocolate Olive Oil Cake:

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake on a yellow plate

Ingredients

Here’s everything you need for this incredibly moist chocolate olive oil cake:

  • flour 
  • cocoa powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • sugar & brown sugar
  • olive oil
  • cinnamon
  • coffee
  • vanilla extract 
  • vinegar

What type of olive oil is best?

This recipe was tested with fancy extra-virgin olive oil, a Costco brand and a Trader Joe’s brand. You don’t need the fancy stuff! I could barely taste a difference between the cheaper olive oil and a more expensive extra virgin version.

Does type of cocoa powder matter?

I use Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe. There is a difference in cocoa powders and which type you use will matter in most baking recipes that call for baking soda or baking powder. Dutch-process cocoa powder is neutralized, which means it does not react with baking soda and needs to be used with baking powder instead.

Natural cocoa is the kind that I use in most my chocolate baking recipes and in this olive oil cake. Natural cocoa powder is more acidic, bitter in flavor and will combine well with baking soda to help give rise and lift to this cake. Hershey’s regular baking powder is natural cocoa powder. (PS- if you ever aren’t sure which cocoa to use in a recipe, err on natural).

Raw cacao powder is different as it’s processed from the cacoa bean (instead of roasted cocoa beans). You can use it in recipes, but it will affect the taste and I haven’t tried it in this chocolate olive oil cake recipe to guarantee success.

Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients

    In a large bowl whisk together the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar and cinnamon.dry ingredients for chocolate olive oil cake

  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients

    In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar with olive oil to combine. Add in the brewed coffee, vanilla and vinegar and whisk until smooth.

  3. Stir the wet and dry together

    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.

  4. Bake until tender

    Pour into a well-greased loaf pan, then bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the cake pan.

chocolate olive oil cake

What I love most about this cake is how easy it comes together! You don’t need a fancy stand mixer or special pans like other olive oil cake recipes. The color is also unreal– it’s almost black! Stunning and perfect for entertaining.

I considered and tried a few toppings like a chocolate glaze for more chocolate flavor but ultimately settled on a dusting of powdered sugar mostly for contrast in appearance. You don’t need it if you don’t have it, just makes the intense, rich chocolate color pop more.

You can also serve it on a platter with a few pieces of fruit, like strawberries or raspberries for another contrast of color. Either way, I know you are going to love this chocolate olive oil cake as much as we do!

two slices of chocolate cake on a plate

FAQ

Is it OK to bake a cake with olive oil?

Yup. You can bake with olive oil– and this is true not only for this cake recipe but for any cake if you run out of a more neutral oil.

Can you taste olive oil in chocolate cake?

Olive oil gives a slight flavor to the cake, but it’s outshined by the chocolate flavor in this cake recipe. I love the velvety richness that olive oil gives to cakes and highly recommend trying it.

How to store this cake?

I store wrapped or under a cake dome on the counter for 2-3 days. If it’s longer than that, then I’ll cut individual slices and freeze them.

More Vegan Chocolate Recipes

Print
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: dessert, cake, chocolate
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake! This incredibly moist chocolate olive oil cake is perfect for brunch and dessert. Delicious with coffee!


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: dessert, cake, chocolate
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: dessert, cake, chocolate
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar and cinnamon. 
  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk the brown sugar with olive oil to combine. Add in the brewed coffee, vanilla and vinegar and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Notes

I don’t think you need the powdered sugar, but it does make it pretty!

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Carly
      July 25, 2022 AT 5:42 pm

      So happy I found this recipe! I adapted it slightly to try and recreate a similar cake from a local bakery; I subbed strong-brewed Earl Grey for the coffee and swapped the zest of half a large orange instead of the cinnamon. Really great! I will definitely make this again 🙂

    2. Ann
      July 15, 2022 AT 12:17 pm

      I have been trying to eat more healthy but still love desserts. For whatever reason this sounded rather healthy so I made it. It tastes great and I feel a little less guilty eating this chocolate cake.