Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

updated Jun 29, 2021
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

This ultra-moist chocolate cake is deep and rich in flavor and best served with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts.

Serves8 to 12

Prep10 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 35 minutes

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Credit: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

Ridiculously moist and plush olive oil cake is hard to compete with. In fact, I adore it so much, it was our wedding cake. Although the more classic citrus-kissed version has almost always been my preference (and what we served), there are moments when only something involving chocolate will do. This twist is full of deep, dark chocolate flavor, but what makes this cake stand out from countless other chocolate cakes are the delicate savory notes that come through thanks to the olive oil. It comes together in minutes in a single bowl with pantry ingredients and results in something that ends up feeling pretty special — making it perfect for both celebratory and last-minute cake cravings. Serving a simple chocolate cake like this with freshly whipped cream is nonnegotiable, in my opinion — so is the scattering of crunchy toasted hazelnuts.

I find that this cake evolves overnight, once the crumb has had even more time to draw out the flavor of the olive oil, resulting in greater flavor depth. So, in the name of science, hold onto a few slices to see how they change. You may even find you prefer the cake after a night’s rest, which means it can be a make-ahead dessert the next time you go about baking it.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

This ultra-moist chocolate cake is deep and rich in flavor and best served with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 35 minutes

Serves 8 to 12

Nutritional Info


  • 3/4 cup

    unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 3/4 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pan

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    boiling water

  • Freshly whipped cream, for serving

  • Chopped toasted hazelnuts, for serving


  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.

  2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan or an 8- or 9-inch (20 or 23 cm) round cake pan with parchment paper. Coat the paper and sides of the pan with olive oil. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, breaking up any large clumps of cocoa powder, until combined.

  4. Add the olive oil, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is almost smooth with just a few small lumps; do not overmix. Mix in the boiling water. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  5. Bake until the edges of the cake have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean with just a few crumbs, 25 to 35 minutes.

  6. Transfer the cake in its pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Run a knife around the cake to loosen it. If using a springform pan, unclasp the sides. Otherwise, flip the cake onto a plate, peel away the parchment, and flip it back onto the rack or serving plate.

  7. Serve slices warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream and hazelnuts.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from Mediterranean Every Day © 2020 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2020 Sheela Prakash Photography: Kristin Teig Photography. First Published in 2020 by The Harvard Common Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group