Olive oil is a great vegetable oil to cook with, but it is also an excellent oil to bake with provided that you use it in the right kind of recipes. The strong flavor of good quality olive oil often has citrus, black pepper and green pepper notes, as well as the flavor of olives, and it can overwhlem the flavors in some cakes. Other flavors work very well with olive oil and chocolate is one of them. This Chocolate Olive Oil Cake is a simple, everyday chocolate cake that makes good use of olive oil – and just might win over a few people who didn’t believe that you could bake a delicious dessert using it.
The cake has a fine, tender crumb and a very light texture. You’re not going to find as much olive oil flavor in this cake as you would in a non-chocolate cake, since chocolate just has a strong flavor. Still, the pepperiness of the olive oil blends well with the dark chocolate and cocoa powder, helping to create a deeper and more unique chocolate flavor overall. I used a blend of olive oil and butter in the cake because I like to have that hint of butter in with the chocolate. Some olive oils are quite strongly flavored and using some butter gives the cake a softer, rounder flavor.
In spite of all the sugar in the cake, the finished dessert is not too sweet and has a lovely bittersweet chocolate flavor to it. The cake is delicious on its own or with a simple dollop of whipped cream, but if you want to dress it up you can frost it with an Easy Chocolate Buttercream or this Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting, which is what I used on the slice of cake in the photo. The cake will keep well for a couple of days after baking as long as you keep it stored in an airtight container.
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together the butter and dark chocolate until smooth. Allow to cool slightly until it is almost body temperature, then stir mixture and olive oil into the sugar mixture.
Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, stirring only until no streaks of dry ingredients remain and batter is just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clear or with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.