Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake

By Alexandra Caspero on March 30, 2022
Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake! Perfect for brunch, dessert and special occasions.
12 Slices

Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake! This cake is so moist- thanks to the combo of olive oil and orange juice. Topped with fresh berries, it’s the perfect cake for spring!

Orange olive oil cake! Perfect for brunches, Mother’s Day or a casual afternoon of baking. Our local grocery store was having a crazy sale on strawberries last week, so I grabbed way more than we needed and began dreaming up various ways to use them.

First up? This simple vegan olive oil cake, studded with orange-scented berries. I’ve been into olive oil cakes ever since I made my lemon olive oil muffins last year. You all love those muffins as much as I do, so I wanted to create something that could be served in a cake version.

PS– if you are looking for a chocolate version of this cake, check out my chocolate olive oil cake. 

loaf of vegan orange olive oil cake

Is Olive Oil Healthy?

I did a presentation a few weeks ago and a participant asked about the health benefits of oil. When it comes to nutrition, there are so many dogmas out there and the idea that added oils can’t fit in a healthy diet is one of the many current trends I’m seeing.

Oils add flavor to food and, in the case of plant oils like olive oil, beneficial in an overall healthy diet. While they may not be as nutrient dense as other whole-fat sources like avocado and nuts, there are multiple systemic reviews showing benefits. 

Some argue that oil is a dense source of calories, which is true. But that’s mostly important if you are focused entirely on weight loss, which I’m not. 

That’s really the beauty of nutrition. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing to fit. And, run fast from diets that tell you it must. When we look at observational population research like The Blue Zones and the breadth of controlled studies, we know that few of us do things in 100% extremes. It’s what we do most of the time that matters most.

loaf of vegan orange olive oil cake

 

Ingredients for this Vegan Olive Oil Cake

Here’s what you’ll need for this orange olive oil cake. Scroll down for the full recipe card and directions at the end of this post. 

  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Other unsweetened milks will work in this recipe.
  • White vinegar or other acid; this helps give the almond milk a buttermilk tang. 
  • Fresh orange zest with orange juice 
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sugar. I use regular cane sugar for this recipe. I don’t recommend subbing brown sugar. You could use coconut sugar if desired. 
  • Olive oil. Of course! It’s an olive oil cake. 
  • All-purpose flour. Alternatively, you can use 1 cup all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour for a more wholesome cake.
  • Baking soda

How to make an Olive Oil Cake

Start by lightly spraying a loaf pan with cooking spray of line with parchment paper. Next, make your non dairy buttermilk by whisking together the milk and vinegar, then set aside for 5 minutes to curdle slightly. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract, sugar and olive oil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add in the almond milk and vinegar mixture. 

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula and stir until just combined, taking care not to over mix the cake batter. 

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack

To make the orange glaze that goes on top, whisk together 3 tablespoons powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon orange juice, then drizzle on top of the cake. Garnish with sliced strawberries!

I recommend storing in the fridge for 3-4 days, if it’ll last that long. I typically don’t recommend freezing leftover cake slices as I never think they are worth it, but if you must: wrap leftover cake completely in plastic wrap, then foil and place in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Is Olive Oil better than butter in cake?

As an added bonus, extra-virgin olive oil creates an incredibly moist cake compared to regular or vegan butter. Instead of the crumble, tender cake that you get with butter pound cakes, olive oil will keep the cake moist for 2-3 days after baking.

Think about the box cake mixes that you get in the store, you use oil instead of butter for most of them. Same principle here. Olive oil keeps the cake super moist while also imparting a delicious, fruity flavor.

basket of strawberries

What Olive Oil is best for Olive Oil Cake?

I call for a ‘fruity’ olive oil in this cake, so something with flavor! Give your olive oil a taste, it should be slightly grassy and complex. My go-to olive oil brand is California Olive Ranch; their unfiltered, cold-press olive oil is my go-to for salads, dressing, marinades and more.

However, no need to break the bank on this olive oil cake! It will still taste great using whatever olive oil you have around.

Can I use another oil instead of olive oil?

You can, but the flavor of the olive oil really shines in this cake. However, I’ve made it with a neutral oil before and it still works.

Do I have to add the orange glaze on top?

The cake itself is not very sweet so the orange glaze makes this more decadent. If you want to omit the orange glaze you can! It will be a more breakfast-like cake, which I love in the morning with a big cup of coffee.

Vegan Olive Oil Cake

More Vegan Cake Recipes:

If you try this vegan olive oil cake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!

Print
Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Berries

Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x
  • Category: breakfast, dessert
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: healthy, vegan
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake! This cake is SO moist- thanks to the olive oil and orange juice. Naturally vegan; perfect for Mother’s Day brunch, Easter and breakfast.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x
  • Category: breakfast, dessert
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: healthy, vegan
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x
  • Category: breakfast, dessert
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: healthy, vegan
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup fruity olive oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or, 1 cup all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Orange Glaze: 

  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

Orange Strawberries:

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray  a loaf pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking oil.
  2. Whisk together the almond milk and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract, sugar and olive oil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add in the almond milk.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir in the orange-milk mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan; gently remove and slice.
  7. When ready to serve; whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice. Drizzle on the cake. Toss the strawberries with orange juice and spoon over the cake slices.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

vegan orange olive oil cake

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. jmd
      May 6, 2022 AT 9:08 am

      Can I use soy milk instead of almond milk?

      1. Alex
        May 6, 2022 AT 12:09 pm

        Yes

    2. Robin
      April 5, 2022 AT 7:44 am

      Can I substitute rice flour for white flour to make this gluten free?

      1. Alex
        April 5, 2022 AT 10:05 am

        Hi Robin, I’d recommend doing a gluten-free all purpose blend instead. I wouldn’t think that rice flour on its own will have structure for this cake. Trader Joe’s and Bob’s Red Mill both make a gluten-free flour 1:1 blend that I’ve used in several recipes with great results.

    3. Tracy
      February 26, 2022 AT 9:05 am

      Thank you for this recipe! I will definitely make it again. I doubled it so I could bake in a bundt pan. I would double the zest next time for a stronger orange flavor in the cake. Instead of a powdered sugar glaze, I cooked some extra fresh oj down and poured on top once cooled. Delicious!

      1. Alex
        February 28, 2022 AT 5:53 am

        Love to hear that! Thanks, Tracy!

    4. Melissa
      December 20, 2021 AT 5:09 pm

      Hi, thank you for this lovely recipe! It was absolutely delicious.
      I plan to make it again this week. Do you think instead of unsweetened vanilla almond milk I could use plain unsweetened almond milk and add vanilla extract? If so, how much vanilla extract would you recommend?

      1. Alex
        December 20, 2021 AT 6:59 pm

        Yes, thqt would totally work! I’d recommend about 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

    5. Dushyanthi
      September 25, 2021 AT 6:39 am

      Hi, I can’t wait to try this recipe. Do you think that I can use oakmilk instead of almond milk?

      1. Alex
        September 26, 2021 AT 6:34 am

        Yes

    6. Rosemarie
      April 30, 2021 AT 3:00 pm

      Your olive oil pound cake is WONDERFUL!!! I love the orange flavor and the moistness! I added walnuts to it. It has become a new favorite and I look forward to making it again. Thank you so much for this recipe, Alex: it is truly DELISH! 🙂

      1. Alex
        May 2, 2021 AT 4:04 am

        So glad you liked it!

    7. Monique
      January 30, 2021 AT 12:20 am

      This was delicious! Super moist and flavourful, my guests couldn’t believe there were no eggs. I used fresh orange juice and will likely try it with lemon juice and zest next time. So good!! Also very forgiving as I forgot to mix the “buttermilk” with the sugar mixture so had to add it in last.

    8. Yasir
      October 9, 2020 AT 8:23 am

      I hope its fine to share modifications here, this was after some attempts. I used 100% whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup buttermilk, i heated 200ml fresh squeezed orange juice until it was 1/3 cup (80ml), 1/3 cup honey instead of sugar, added additional 1/2 tsp baking soda, added two eggs but separated and whipped egg whites and gently added into the liquid, then dry ingredients. the egg whites was key, previous attempts the bread collapsed. i know its very different from the original recipe, but it really turned out great IMHO, and i think still pretty healthy.

    9. Elizabeth
      June 14, 2020 AT 10:20 pm

      Ok! So, I made this recipe a second time and it was excellent. I wish I knew what went wrong the first time-but the second one baked perfectly. The only thing I changed the second time was cut the sugar in half and baked it in a cake pan instead of the loaf pan-I hope this would help it bake more evenly and it did. I don’t know if my changes helped at all-but I do know it was delicious-THANK YOU!

    10. Suzan
      June 5, 2020 AT 10:32 am

      Made this 2 times now. Easy, quick recipe and taste is amazing. Also tried your vegan gumbo recipe which was also a hit.

      1. Alex
        June 6, 2020 AT 5:51 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks Suzan!