Olive Oil

The Trick to Ultra-Moist Desserts Is Already in Your Pantry

November 29, 2017

The first time I had olive oil in a dessert—that is, olive oil that was present and proud and of its olive oiliest self—was in this genius cake from Maialino in Gramercy Park. It was a revelation: The cake was simultaneously moist and light, perfumed with the grassy, spicy flavor of the olive oil.

Since then, I've become an olive oil-baking convert. I substitute it for other fats (following Alice Medrich's guide, of course) in cakes, cookies, puddings, and quickbreads. I've used this liquid gold to whip up a silly easy press-in crust, or pair it with bright citrus (in custards and tarts) or chocolate of all stripes. If you want to dip your toe into the world of olive oil baking, we've rounded up 14 recipes to get you started:

Do you have any favorite desserts that make good use of olive oil? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • sharon
  • AntoniaJames
  • A
  • PS007
A kitchen scientist and dog-lover. Someday I want to have you over for dinner.


sharon December 2, 2017
So can I use olive oil in place of vegetable oil for a box mix?
AntoniaJames November 29, 2017
This one looks likes a winner: https://food52.com/recipes/74447-olive-oil-cake-with-creme-fraiche-pistachios-orange-and-chocolate?from_feed=1 ;o)
A November 29, 2017
What about the flavor that butter adds? For me that would be conspicuously missing....

I can't fathom putting oil in cakes anymore - I always use melted butter instead. A few minutes less bake time and my cakes are just as moist as when I used to use veg oil.

PS007 December 3, 2017
It's just a different flavor, olive oil cakes are awesome when done right. But that doesn't mean you have to completely abandon butter, just another weapon in your arsenal.