Can You Use Olive Oil In Cake Mix?

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We know what you’re thinking—olive oil and cake mix together? Really? It definitely sounds very odd! But, you’ll be amazed when you find that bakers have been using olive oil in their cakes for a very long time!

So, can you use olive oil in cake mix? Yes, you can use olive oil in cake mix. It makes your cake soft, moist, and spongy, like a cake should be! When incorporating olive oil in place of vegetable oil or butter, make sure to account for any changes in flavor that might affect that cake. 

Now, let’s get started with the article to know more about how to use olive oil in cake mix. 

Is It Possible to Use Olive Oil In Cake Mix?

Olive oil has the highest monounsaturated fats among all the oils. It means that it is the healthiest for our body compared to canola oil or vegetable oil. 

Vegetable oil is most commonly used in cake mixes, so you can easily shift from vegetable oil to olive oil. Not only does it make your cake a little healthier, but it also retains the soft and moist quality of the cake

It makes for a great substitute for butter as well. Butter is high in fat and calories, and it is expensive! You can use olive oil instead of butter to make your cake healthy and cheaper.

But make sure to use the right brand of olive oil. A good brand of olive oil can give your cake a subtle and neutral taste. 

How To Use Olive Oil In Cake Mix

Olive oil cakes can get a bit tricky. They are soft and moist, but they do not provide the aeration created by butter and sugar. 

You have to understand the flavor profile of the cakes you are baking. If you are baking a confetti or vanilla cake, then try and go for butter. A vanilla cake does not have any other flavor except for butter and vanilla. 

In the end result, the flavor of the oil does come through. So, if you are not comfortable with the flavor, then I would suggest switching to butter

However, certain recipes call for vegetable oil or olive oil. They are specially curated for baking a cake in which the flavor is more nuanced. 

Here are a few things you should keep in mind while baking an olive oil cake: 

Altering The Recipe

If the recipe calls for butter, then use 75 percent oil. For example, if the recipe asks you to use 1 cup of butter in a cake, use 150 ml or 5 oz. of olive oil. 

If the recipe demands the use of vegetable oil, then you can substitute it by using an equal amount of olive oil. The flavor will be different as extra virgin olive oil can have a bit of a fruity flavor, but it is very mild. 

If you do not want a fruity flavor in your cake, then reduce the quantity of oil by 10-20 percent

Cook Time

The cook time is not altered while baking and remains the same, regardless of which oil is used. However, you want the perfectly soft and moist texture of the cake.

So after a certain time period, check by inserting the cake tester, and if it comes out clean, your cake is baked.  

Read The Instructions 

If you are using a cake mix, it is essential to read the instructions on the cake box. Normally, cake mix boxes usually ask the bakers to use oil. There are very few premixes available in the market which use butter.

Cake mix is inexpensive, so the entire idea of baking a cake using a cake mix calls for using affordable products. 


The flavor of an olive oil cake is different from a cake that uses vegetable oil or butter. 

Good olive oil has a fruity taste, but vegetable oil has a very mild flavor. The ingredients in a cake that uses butter are often suited around using the rich creaminess of butter. 

In an olive oil cake, the flavor is very distinct, and you can taste the olive oil in the cake. However, if you use the oil in little quantity and pair it with good flavoring, then no one will be able to distinguish the flavor. 

It will be good to use whipping cream or buttercream to decorate the cake. It will help to mellow down the oil flavor in the cake. 

Different Cakes

You cannot use olive oil in all cakes. Its flavor will be best paired with cakes that have additional ingredients. 

For example, do not put olive oil in vanilla or confetti cake because they have no other flavor to add to it. Instead, they only have vanilla flavor, so the oil flavor will come through more.

Use olive oil in chocolate or carrot cakes. The flavor of the chocolate and carrots will overpower the flavor of oil. Almond cake and Chocolate Orange cake taste best with olive oil

What Does Olive Oil Cake Taste Like?

The taste of olive oil cakes depends upon the quality you are using. 

If you are using regular olive oil, then its flavor will be subtle and mild. But with extra-virgin olive oil, the taste varies from fruity to slightly bitter. The bitter taste in the oil comes from the method through which olives are processed. 

With the cold-pressed method, the oil from the olive is squeezed, and it retains the bitter flavor of olives. Hence we recommend that you use extra light olive oil so the flavor in the cake can be mild and not bitter. 

Overall the taste of olive oil cakes is mild and fruity. However, the cakes are pleasantly tasty and provide a different flavor profile to regular cakes.

Its texture is also very soft and moist. So the aeration created by butter and sugar will not be missed. 

How To Make the Perfect Olive Oil Cake

To make the perfect olive oil cake, you will have to follow the below-mentioned process:


  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Almond Meal – ¼ cup
  3. Sugar – 2 cups
  4. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Egg – 1
  6. Olive Oil – 170 ml or 5.7 oz
  7. Milk – 120 ml or 4 oz
  8. Zest of 1 lemon
  9. Salt – ½ tsp
  10. Almond Extract – ½ tsp 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Mix egg, olive oil, milk, and almond extract together in a large bowl. 
  3. In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients like flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt together. 
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture slowly until no lumps remain. 
  5. Pour the batter into a cake tin.
  6. Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until it turns golden in color. Keep a cake tester handy to test if the cake is ready or not. 
  7. Insert the cake tester into the cake, and if it is dry, then the cake is ready. If it comes out wet, then place the cake back in the oven for a couple more minutes.

Tips For Making The Best Olive Oil Cake

Here are some tips for you to follow when you bake your next olive oil cake:


If you are dealing with a butter cake, then use only 75 percent oil in the cake. However, if the recipe has vegetable oil in it, then use an equal measure of olive oil. 

Follow the Recipe 

Follow the recipe exactly as it is mentioned on the cake mix box. The recipe is made to be followed exactly, so don’t stray too far from it.

Oil Used 

Use extra light olive oil as it will provide a mild flavor to the cake as opposed to extra virgin olive oil, which provides a fruity and bitter flavor. 

Additional Flavors 

Use additional flavors in the cake, like lemon, orange, carrots,  or almonds to give a different flavor to the cake. Citrus fruits work wonders with olive oil, so they are highly recommended. 

Cook Time

The cook time for olive oil cake does not change. Keep your cake tester ready and once the time is up, check if it is baked. It will take the same time as it takes a typical cake to bake. 


Olive oil cakes taste good even without garnishing them. However, you can enhance its flavor by sieving sugar dust on it. It will provide a slightly sweet flavor to the cake and elevate its taste. 


Storing the cake properly is important. Make sure to place it in an airtight container for up to 2 days on the counter. You can also store it in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Final Thoughts 

Olive oil provides a different flavor dimension to the cake. It seems like an odd flavor combination with cake, but it gives good results. It can be a substitute for butter as well as vegetable oil because the texture remains soft and moist. 

Overall, we would recommend using good-quality olive oil in your cakes to give them a different flavor and to make them a bit healthier. 

Up Next: Sourdough Rolls

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