Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

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Now before you click away in panic, hear me out.  I know you’re used to making your cakes with butter or margarine, but if you haven’t had an olive oil cake, you’re missing out.  The oil adds a beautiful richness and moistness to the cake that butter just can’t do.  They’re amazing, and no, they don’t taste like olive oil.

When I was in Italy a couple years ago, we were lucky enough to do a cooking class.  One of the things we made was an olive oil cake, which was the first time I’d had one.  The guys were a little scared, but the instructor shared how olive oil is actually amazing when it comes to baking.  We went for it, and we were pleasantly surprised by the yumminess of the cake we’d eaten.  I’ve been using olive oil in my baking ever since, especially with Little Miss’s dairy allergy.  Trust me.  Try it in muffins or a quick bread the next time you make them.

Anyway.  Some friends and I ate at an Italian restaurant a few weeks ago, and on the dessert menu was a chocolate olive oil cake.  I insisted we add that to the shared desserts because I had to see how it was.  I’m not a huge chocolate cake fan – I find them too spongy and dry for my personal preference – and I was intrigued to see if the olive oil would help.  It did.  Oh did it ever.  The cake practically melted in our mouths, and I vowed then and there that I was going to make my own chocolate olive oil cake.

Chocolate olive oil cake plated with raspberry sauce

Ironically, I ran out of olive oil just before Thanksgiving when I was assigned to bring a dessert.  Fortuitous, no?  When I headed to Walmart to pick up a new bottle of olive oil, I was intrigued by all the different varieties I found.  The STAR olive oil comes in four flavors (the butter flavored oil is on another shelf, and I skipped over that, as I want my olive oil to be pure with no added ingredients).  The names are fun – Arbequina (for vegetables), Hojiblanca (for poultry and fish), and Picual (for beef and lamb).  I hadn’t seen recommended uses like this in my olive oil before.

Star olive oil on the shelf at Walmart

While I wasn’t making beef, lamb, poultry, fish, or vegetables, I was intrigued by the differences.  There are no changes in ingredients, nor is the nutritional information different in any way amongst the three bottles.  I checked.  My guess is that the flavor notes (yes, olive oil has flavor notes, just like wine) are different.  Since I wanted the traditional grassy flavor, I ended up choosing the vegetables bottle, figuring it was the most versatile.  I am intrigued do one day do a side by side test of all three, however.

Once home, I couldn’t wait to get cooking.  And neither could my helper for the day, Little Miss!

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients:
5 T boiling water
1/3 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 t vanilla bean paste
1 t coffee extract
3 eggs
2/3 c STAR olive oil
1 c sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c  flour

Directions:
Flip a round cake pan upsidedown.  Using a pencil, trace the bottom of the pan to make a circle guide.  Cut out the circle following the guide as closely as you can, but being perfect isn’t the key.

Grease the round cake pan.  Lay your cut parchment paper pencil side down inside the cake pan.  It will help release your cake later, and if it isn’t all the way to the edges covering the bottom, it will still work just find.  I’m not an artist, and my daughter’s cutting skills leave a bit to be desired.

Parchment lining cake pan

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Bring water to boil in a pot.  I find it far easier to boil a bunch of water and use my measuring spoons to scoop out the right amount, then enjoy a cup of tea with the rest of the water rather than trying to boil exactly 5 T of water.

In a small bowl, add your cocoa.  Measure the boiling water into your cocoa, and add the vanilla bean paste and coffee extract.  Stir with a fork until combined.  It will be fairly thick, so expect this.

Thick cocoa mixture for olive oil cake

In another larger bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and olive oil.  Whip until the mixture has lightened in color and texture.  This is most of what will give you the light texture in your cake.

Olive oil, eggs, and sugar nicely whipped

Add the cocoa mixture and mix until well combined.  Add the baking soda and salt, and mix again.  Add the flour and slowly mix until just combined.  Be sure to scrape down your bowl and use your spatula for a last few stirs to ensure that everything is evenly mixed.

Use a spatula to scrape down sides and finish the mixing

Pour the olive oil cake batter into your round cake pan.  You’ll notice that some bubbles will start to rise to the surface from your whipping.  If you life, go ahead and bang your cake on the counter a few times to get them to pop, which will reduce air holes in your finished cake.

Chocolate olive oil cake ready to bake

Bake your cake for 45-50 minutes, until your cake tester comes out clean.  Your cake should start to have some beautiful cracks in the top of it when it has finished baking.  Let it cool for ten or so minutes, and the sides will pull away from the pan a bit.  Remove from the pan and let it cool fully on a rack, leaving the parchment paper on for stability while it’s cooling.

Chocolate olive oil cake baked

Remove the parchment paper when you place it on your serving dish.  Dusting it with powdered sugar is plenty of added flavor to this.  It doesn’t need any fancy frosting or filling.  If you like, make a quick raspberry syrup to serve on the side.

Chocolate olive oil cake with powdered sugar dusting

Store covered on the counter for two to three days.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 8-10 pieces

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients

  • 5 T boiling water
  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla bean paste
  • 1 t coffee extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 c STAR olive oil
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c flour

Instructions

  1. Flip a round cake pan upsidedown. Using a pencil, trace the bottom of the pan to make a circle guide. Cut out the circle following the guide as closely as you can, but being perfect isn't the key.
  2. Grease the round cake pan. Lay your cut parchment paper pencil side down inside the cake pan. It will help release your cake later, and if it isn't all the way to the edges covering the bottom, it will still work just find. I'm not an artist, and my daughter's cutting skills leave a bit to be desired.
  3. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Bring water to boil in a pot. I find it far easier to boil a bunch of water and use my measuring spoons to scoop out the right amount, then enjoy a cup of tea with the rest of the water rather than trying to boil exactly 5 T of water.
  4. In a small bowl, add your cocoa. Measure the boiling water into your cocoa, and add the vanilla bean paste and coffee extract. Stir with a fork until combined. It will be fairly thick, so expect this.
  5. In another larger bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and olive oil. Whip until the mixture has lightened in color and texture. This is most of what will give you the light texture in your cake.
  6. Add the cocoa mixture and mix until well combined. Add the baking soda and salt, and mix again. Add the flour and slowly mix until just combined. Be sure to scrape down your bowl and use your spatula for a last few stirs to ensure that everything is evenly mixed.
  7. Pour the olive oil cake batter into your round cake pan. You'll notice that some bubbles will start to rise to the surface from your whipping. If you life, go ahead and bang your cake on the counter a few times to get them to pop, which will reduce air holes in your finished cake.
  8. Bake your cake for 45-50 minutes, until your cake tester comes out clean. Your cake should start to have some beautiful cracks in the top of it when it has finished baking. Let it cool for ten or so minutes, and the sides will pull away from the pan a bit. Remove from the pan and let it cool fully on a rack, leaving the parchment paper on for stability while it's cooling.
  9. Remove the parchment paper when you place it on your serving dish. Dusting it with powdered sugar is plenty of added flavor to this. It doesn't need any fancy frosting or filling. If you like, make a quick raspberry syrup to serve on the side.
  10. Store covered on the counter for two to three days.
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So are you ready to get cooking with STAR Olive oil yourself?  There is an inducement.  Right now, there is an olive oil giveaway on the STAR Fine Foods Facebook page.  It’s the perfect excuse.

I love that this cake is dairy free, which means Little Miss can eat it – and she adored the cake.  She ate most of the little bit that was left over from Thanksgiving where everyone descended upon my beautiful olive oil cake.  The STAR olive oils are also gluten free, which means that you could adjust this recipe to use a different flour and have a gorgeous GFCF chocolate cake to impress anyone!


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Comments

  1. How delicious is this?! Thank you! #client

  2. I saved the recipe for this delicious-sounding cake!

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