This not-too-sweet Meyer Lemon, Orange & Rosemary Olive Oil Cake is a dreamy ode to citrus season. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee!
Oh how I love an olive oil cake!
If you have never had an olive oil cake before then I can assure you are in for a real treat.
Not only are they incredibly easy to throw together (no need to use an electric mixer), but the possibilities for flavor combinations are endless!
This particular recipe takes full advantage of Citrus season with a combination of Meyer Lemons and Oranges. It's not overly sweet, making a perfect breakfast or snacking cake, and has a texture almost similar to a steamed pudding. Truly, it is delicious!
What is a Meyer Lemon?
A Meyer Lemon is a type of citrus fruit originating in China. It was named by the American agricultural explore Frank Meyer, who discovered it on a food exploration in the region. (If you're interested in the history of food exploration you should totally check out this book: The Food Explorer by Daniel Stone. I loved it!)
Meyer Lemons are different from standard lemons in that are slightly sweeter and much less bitter. While you could substitute the juice and zest of a regular lemon in the cake itself, I would not recommend doing so as a topping as it will be far too bitter. Just stick with orange slices and you'll be good to go!
All you will need is a 9 inch Springform pan (such as this one) , mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons and some parchment paper.
- Olive Oil: The key here is a reasonably good quality olive oil that doesn't have too strong a flavor. Most quality brands of extra virgin olive oil work great.
- Meyer Lemons: As mentioned, Meyer Lemons are slightly sweeter and less bitter than regular lemons, making them a great topper for the cake. If you can't get your hands on some simply use regular lemon juice and zest for the inside of the cake, and then stick with orange slices on top.
- Oranges: I used Navel Oranges for t his recipes but Cara Cara or Blood Oranges would also work great!
- Rosemary: Fresh rosemary is ideal for this recipe.
- Greek Yogurt: Full fat works best!
- Eggs: Bringing them to room temperature before mixing is ideal, but but not required.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Vanilla Extract
- Baking Soda
How should I serve this Meyer Lemon, Orange Olive Oil Cake?
This cake pairs perfectly with tea or coffee making it great for breakfast or brunch, as a snack or dessert.
I love topping it with a little Greek yogurt sweetened with honey. It's also great with whipped cream!
Tips & Tricks
Really make sure your pan is well oiled before adding the citrus slices and batter, and ideally use parchment paper. This will ensure your cake releases cleanly.
Check out more Dessert Recipes from The Jam Jar Kitchen!
Made this recipe? Let me know what you think in the comments!
The Jam Jar Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn income by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.
Hi, I see the ingredients list calls for honey... but the recipe doesn't mention it. Help!
Yes! So sorry! Add with the rest of the wet ingredients (yogurt, olive oil, etc.)
I will fix that ASAP
This cake was moist, flavorful and delish! Iâ€™ll definitely be making it again!
This cake was absolutely delicious! I loved that it was so simple to put together and yet looked like a real showstopper with the orange slices!
I love this! It was super easy to make.
I’m not sure what happened….cake turned out beautiful but once it cooled it fell almost 2 inches. Any idea why? The batter looked quite liquify…I may have aqueezed in too much juice
Hi Gilda, I'm so sorry to hear that!
There are a couple possible culprits for the cake sinking. My hunch though is that it may have been under baked. If it wasn't fully baked through the center won't have had the chance to set fully which would explain the sinking when it cooled. Different ovens cook at different temperatures so the best way to tell if the cake is baked is to insert a toothpick into the center. If if comes out clean you should be good to go.
Another common reason is because the oven was too hot, causing the cake to rise too quickly and then sink. Or if your leavening agent is expired or you accidentally used baking powder instead of baking soda. I hope this helps give some insight. I know it's always a bummer when a cake doesn't work out the way you'd hoped!
Have you tried or do you recommend using orange or lemon extract in the batter? And for the honey, do you use raw/unfiltered, or the regular/filtered kind?
Hi Sarah, thanks for your questions! No I don’t typically use any extracts in the recipe. I find zest to give the most natural citrus flavor. And I usually use local filtered honey but I’m sure unfiltered would be great too. Hope you enjoy!
We have fresh oranges and lemons in Arizona right now so extra special to share this cake with neighbors who contribute ingredients! ( citrus!). I just completed my 3rd cake tonight… it is positively lovely, impressive and even more delicious. It is not a real sweet cake so it’s perfect as a dessert in the sun after a feast on the patio.
This being said… who did it take 7 minutes to make???? WTH? It takes me a good hour ( and then some - when I double it- one full and two smaller cakes for neighbors) ! Zest,slice, 3 mixing bowls, 0prepare pans and so on! I always have fresh squeezed lemon, orange and grapefruit juice so I can just measure instead of juicing —- it saves me time while making this. Adjust prep time … uffdah! But still worth 2 hours!
Hi Holly, so glad you like the cake! Sorry that you feel the prep time was off. In looking at the recipe I’m not sure what made me out 7 minutes tbh. Must have been a typo! But I will change asap. Thanks!
Hi! Can't wait to make this recipe! How can I bake this in a muffin tin? I'd like to make individual small cakes and still use your gorgeous lemon slice on the bottom of each cake for presentation!
Hi Riley, i love this idea! I haven’t tried doing it myself so I don’t know what to recommend for cooking time but I’d probably start checking for doneness around 20-30 minutes in. Let me know how they turn out and I’ll keep you posted if I give it a try!