May 4, 2021

Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake

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.

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 orange 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.

loaf of vegan orange olive oil cake

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.

Here’s my take: oils add flavor to food and, in the case of plant oils like olive oil, some nutrition as well. Are they the most nutrient-dense source of fat in the diet? No, of course not. Avocados, nuts and seeds take that category as they provide other benefits in addition to fat.

But, that’s not to say that oils are unhealthful. Especially if a diet consists of mostly plant-based food.

For me? I like to focus on eating 80-90% whole plant-based foods with room for other foods that I enjoy. Things like dessert with both olive oil and sugar and more highly-processed foods. It’s what works for me and helps me balance desire to eat a mostly whole-food diet for overall health and longevity while still honoring my tastes and preferences.

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

Is Olive Oil better than butter in cake?

As an added bonus, olive oil creates the most 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.

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. 

basket of strawberries

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

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! 

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
  • Cuisine: healthy, vegan


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
  • Cuisine: healthy, 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
  • Cuisine: healthy, vegan


  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla 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


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray 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.

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vegan orange olive oil cake

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. 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. 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! 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

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

  6. Hello,
    Is the orange juice from the actual orange or concentrated orange juice from a bottle?

    Thanks 🙂

  7. Hi. When you say white vinegar, do you mean white wine vinegar or white distilled vinegar? Is it ok to use extra virgin olive oil?


  8. I came across this recipe during the Coronavirus quarantine by googling olive oil cake because that is all I had on hand. It turned out absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

  9. Going to make this tonight and use it as my kids Greek ‘vasilopita’ or New Years cake ! What brand / type of olive oil would you consider ‘fruity’ ? If I want to make this in a larger round pan (12”?) would I double or leave as is?

    • Hi Voula! Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you- hopefully you got it. If not- then I like California Ranch’s Olive Oil here, but really any decent olive oil will do. Since the flavor of the oil shines through in the cake, you want to select something that you enjoy the taste of. If you were to make it in a larger pan, then I would double it. However I haven’t done that and can’t verify that it works! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  10. So delicious! Very sophisticated flavors. I’m happy that I can make this for my vegan friends. I substituted part of the olive oil with Safflower oil since I did not have a fruity olive oil on hand, I had only a rich flavored, extra virgin.

  11. Made this yesterday and it’s so so good!! Got even better after sitting for a day. I used all whole wheat flour and a little less sugar (because I ran out ) and it turned out beautifully. The zest combined with the fruity olive oil is really a treat ❤️

  12. This was really, really good! I will definitely make this again and again. I used clementines for the oranges and next time I want to try lemons. Everyone loved this and it was gone in a couple of minutes. I should have made two loaves! Thank you!