Make Ahead

Limoncello Poppyseed Olive Oil Cake

May  6, 2019
1 Ratings
Photo by Megan Powers
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 1 9-inch cake
Author Notes

This recipe was adapted from the incredible Maialino's Olive Oil Cake.
Olive oil cake to me has always been dense and somewhat off-putting, leaving a sugary oily residue on my tongue; however, after making Maialino's version and reevaluating how olive oil can add incredible silkiness to a baked good, I decided to try again.
This cake is perfect. It is everything you love about a light lemon poppyseed muffin in the morning, a sophisticated silky soufflé for dessert, and the bright tart flavor of limoncello.
From the original recipe, I added whipped egg whites, poppy seeds, buttermilk, limoncello in the cake itself as well as the glaze, and candied lemon slices.
Simple, beautiful, and delicious. —Megan Powers

What You'll Need
  • For the Cake
  • 2 cups All purpose Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup Poppy Seeds
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/4 cups Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Zest
  • 3 Eggs, Separated
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • For the Glaze and Candied Lemons
  • 2 Small Lemons, Sliced into 1/8 inch Slices
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Limoncello
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
  1. For the Cake: Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and poppyseeds in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the olive oil, buttermilk, egg yolks, lemon juice, limoncello, zest, and vanilla. Whisk the wet into the dry, and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 inch springform pan. Whip the egg whites until you get stiff glossy peaks. Gently, fold about 1/2 cup of the whites into the batter. Fold the remainder of the whites into the batter, leaving just a few white streaks.
  3. Pour into the prepared pan, and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake has just a few moist crumbs attached. The top should be lightly browned, and there should be a tiny bit of jiggle when the pan is moved. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, remove and cool completely on a rack.
  4. For the glaze, Bring the lemon slices, sugar, and water to a boil in a pot on the stovetop. Reduce to a simmer, and let cook until the rind of the lemon becomes transparent, and the liquid turns into a thick syrup. This should take about 30 minutes. Let cool and dry on a drying rack.
  5. Combine the powdered sugar, limoncello, lemon juice, and zest to create a glaze to your preferred thickness. Glaze the cooled olive oil cake, and garnish with the candied lemon and a few extra poppy seeds.

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1 Review

Katherine S. March 2, 2024
Everyone who had a piece loved this cake. I made this though altered it quite substantially for two reasons: first, I did not have poppy seeds so I simply left them out and will do so in the future, secondly, I do not drink so no Limoncello. I added pecans and only used about a third of the sliced lemons. The whipped egg whites made it light and fluffy and it had a wonderful lemon flavor. This was the lightest and most flavorful olive oil cake I have ever eaten.