Olive oil cake with citrus and rosemary



Hi everyone! This is my first post for Throwback Thursdays and I am really grateful for the invitation from  Mollie over at  The Frugal Hausfrau .   This is one of those recipes that not only looks beautiful but is also easy to make. Really! The idea that baking is difficult or limited to a select few who have a talent for it is really a myth. Do I have a special talent? No. I have a good oven, I read instructions well and I have an interest in it. Having an interest in it is important! I know that the combination of ingredients seems a bit off putting because they don´t appear to make up anything sweet. Well, I made this for my husband the other day and he was thrilled. And the rosemary is very light but somehow contributes to the flavour of the oranges. We often think that olive oil is used only for savoury dishes but in Spain or Italy, it is used in sweet dishes too! I am quite sure that this is an Italian recipe. I adapted it slightly from Taste of Home. I hope you enjoy this, and hang on..the weekend is almost here!




  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 mandarins, rind finely grated, pith removed, flesh cut into 1cm rounds
  • 1 lemon, rind finely grated
  • 1 navel orange, rind finely grated, pith removed, flesh cut into 1cm rounds
  • 3 medium eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • Method


  • Step 1

Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 190C. Spray a 22cm round cake pan with olive oil spray. I used sunflower oil Line the bottom of the pan with baking paper and spray the paper with the cooking oil spray. I used sunflower oil again

  1. Step 2

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon of the rosemary. Add the mandarin rind, lemon rind and orange rind, then rub the mixture between your fingertips until it is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed for about 5 mins or until pale and thick. Beat in the milk. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup (180ml) of the oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture just until blended. Let the batter rest, covered, for about 10 mins.

  1. Step 3

Scatter the mandarin and orange rounds over the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Spread the batter over the citrus in the pan.

  1. Step 4

Bake for 30-40 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 mins, then invert the cake onto a cake plate.

  1. Dust with icing sugar
  2. The original recipe mentioned using a rosemary whipped cream and drizzling with olive oil. I did not do this but if you are interested, do check out the original recipe here
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I am also sharing this recipe on Fiesta Friday

Enjoy! Xxxx Natascha

44 thoughts on “Olive oil cake with citrus and rosemary

  1. I have somewhere in my notes recipe of sweet olive oil cake and still haven’t made it 😀 I think your post is the sign to prepare it ! 😀 Yours looks really moist and tasty! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing at FF party! Hope you are having fun!

    1. This is fun! I love how everyone has somethhing different! Thank you so much. I bet the cake you mentioned is excellent. Olive oil cakes, called “bizcochos” are very popular in Spain. They are not sweet and include yogurt. Hope you post your recipe! 😍😍😍

      1. First I thought it’s sweet, then that it’s not… 😀 now I can see that you put around 200g of sugar.. but may be with oil it’s ok.. actually. for me it’s too sweet, usually I use around 120-150g max per cake..
        And one more note- you forgot to mention olive oil in ingredients.. 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot! It seems like such a peculiar ingredient to add to a cake, but as you know, it works! I love how easy this is and a slice with a tea, a cozy blanket and a book to read is just blissful.❤❤😍😍😘😘

  2. I could almost smell this delicious cake from here. Yum! 😀 I am happy to see you here at Fiesta Friday, Natascha. Enjoy! Happy FF104! 😉 x

  3. I absolutely love the flavours in this cake. I have used olive oil in cakes before, so I don’t need to be convinced, but this is an unusually tempting recipe. Thanks for bringing it along to FF where I know it will get a lot of attention.

    1. Hi Hilda! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and such a kind comment at that too! I didn’t know anything about baking with olive oil until I came to Spain. Fiesta Friday is a lot of fun and I am grateful to have met such nice people like you! Xxxxxx

      1. Thanks Natasha. It’s so nice to meet you, although I see you have attended FF before. You have a lovely blog. I am also Canadian and have lived in Spain, although a very long time ago, but I still love to visit, and I am certainly influenced by Spanish food. In fact, that is probably where I first became aware of ‘real’ cooking.

      2. It really is a small world! Where did you live? Dod have any favourite places in Spain? The food here is wonderful but it is a shame that the majorit of women, say between 25 and 40, don,t cook. Last week was my first Fiesta Friday. Discovered new blogs and new recipes. Just great!

      3. I was in Spain a very long time ago. Did a year of independent study in Salamanca before it became a favourite destination for foreign students (I think I started something). Last spring we went to Madrid and travelled to Zaragoza, Toledo and Cordoba. I like the northern bits, also Extremadura and Andalucia, as long as it is not a touristy place. I would also love to visit a small place called Teruel (between Barcelona and Valencia) before it becomes too big. I never go to the coastal areas because the sheer volume of tourists puts me off. I also love Spanish music. If you haven’t heard him before you might like to listen to Bambino, a sort of pop flamenco artist from my day. He has a cult following, of which I am a member, but I don’t think you hear him a lot these days.

  4. This looks wonderful! We first tried olive oil for dessert in Spain. It was drizzled over vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with sea salt. We were astounded! So delicious. I have never baked a cake but I’ve started making bread recently and can see that baking is a slippery slope. Definitely going to add this to my “make in the near future” list! ~ sheri

    1. Hi! Thank you so much! It is true that olive oil is surprising in that it is not limited to savoury foods! If you have never baked a cake this is a nice and simple one to try! And as you say, it looks wonderful! If you can tackle a bread recipe you can tackle this cae recipe easily!! ❤❤❤👍👍👏👏👏👏😙😙😙🍰🍰🍰🍰

      1. Maybe! I don’t have a cast iron skillet and the cake pans available these days with the removeable rings are cheap and make cake making easier. Perhaps look it up online and check for other people’s experiences if they substituted with a cast iron skillet!

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