Cakes/ Desserts

Gluten Free Olive Oil Lemon Cake

If I could only have one dessert for the rest of my life, it would most definitely contain lemons. I think citrus balances out sweets in such an addictive way; lemon juice brightens any dish! This olive oil lemon cake has a different texture than most cakes we’re use to, because there is no butter in the cake. Olive oil, however, is a great compliment to lemons and pairs so well with my lemon ricotta frosting. This one-tier cake requires less time and technique to bring together than most cakes; so it’s the perfect recipe if you want to keep baking simple.

olive oil lemon cake

When I first tried my olive oil lemon cake, it reminded me of a cake baked with almond flour or some other dry flour. It’s not a particularly moist cake, and the lemon ricotta frosting adds some much-needed creaminess. However, it’s not overly indulgent, which is a refreshing change from most desserts. To ensure that you don’t end up with a gluey texture, do not over-mix the batter once the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients. In order to keep this cake crumbly gently add in the dry ingredients and preserve the air in the batter.

Olive oil is a very dense ingredient; so the center of your cake may need more time in the oven than the recipe calls for. When the bake timer goes off, make sure a toothpick comes out of the center completely clean. Feel free to give it more time if it doesn’t look completely set. You don’t want the outside of the cake to get too dry, but this is not a moist cake to begin with.

My lemon ricotta frosting is creamy enough to eat alone with a spoon, and useful for many other future recipes. Let the cake cool completely before you frost, then let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. I hope you enjoy this bright, flavorful cake recipe!

Olive Oil Lemon Cake with Lemon Ricotta Frosting

Print Recipe
Serves: 8-10 Prep Time:25 Cooking Time:40


  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 5 eggs, room temperature, whites and yolks divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil (mild)
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, then snap in place and spray the entire inside of the pan with cooking spray.


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.


In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and 3/4 cup granulated sugar on medium speed until creamy and pale in color, about two minutes.


Beat in the olive oil until fully incorporated. Beat in the ricotta cheese and lemon juice until well combined.


Rinse your beaters. In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed for one minute until foamy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and beat on high speed for another two to three minutes, until stiff peaks form.


Fold the flour mixture into the egg yolk batter until just combined, then fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined.


Transfer the batter to the springform pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center completely clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting. Beat the butter, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice until creamy. Beat one cup of confectioners sugar in at a time until well combined and fluffy.


Once the cake has cooled, Use half of the frosting to frost just the top of the cake. Let the frosting set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Let it set for 30 more minutes before cutting and serving.


Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.

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