Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Yum (1)
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Olive Oil Cake

  • Recipe: Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
  • Writer: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

This olive oil cake is the perfect treat for dark chocolate lovers. It’s not too sweet, deeply chocolaty, and great with a dollop of cardamom cream.

So… umm… it’s cake time! I’m not sure if it’s celebration cake or melancholy cake, but either way – it’s cake! I’m not typically huge on desserts, but occasionally I just need some “it’s-all-going-to-be-ok” chocolate cake.

This dish comes from the new book Simple Fare: Spring/Summer by Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers, whom I’ve been a fan of for years. Karen describes this cake as “a blend of sweet and savory.”

I have to say That this one is for all of you dark chocolate aficionados out there. It’s not too sweet, but it’s deeply chocolatey. The olive oil gives it a deep flavor but the cake itself is surprisingly light.

She tops it with cardamom whipped cream (the recipe is below), but I used some whipped coconut cream that I had on hand instead.

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Easy (1)
Food: Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (Source: BBC)

The book is a stunning large cookbook that feels like an art book. The book is suitably labeled “Spring/Summer” as the recipes are particularly seasonal (a Fall/Winter volume is planned later).

At first glance, the recipes seem quite easy (thus the name of the book!) but dive down and you’ll notice that each dish contains 2 or 3 ingenious “market variations” where Karen proposes modifying just a few items to change the food’s flavor profile.

The book isn’t vegetarian, but there are a lot of vegetable-based dishes (not so many vegan ones), and overall loads of ideas. I adore the way Karen characterizes her collection of recipes: “food as it should be: subtle, bright and gorgeous.”

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 55 minutes

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake From Simple Fare: Spring and Summer by Karen Mordechai. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.


  • ¾ cup (180ml) extra-virgin olive oil, more for greasing the pan
  • ½ cup (70g) good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (120ml) boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups (165g) of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (195g) superfine sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Cyprus flake salt (or flaky sea salt)

For the cardamom cream:

  • ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream (I used whipped coconut cream)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

For serving:

  • 1 teaspoon dried rose petals (I skipped)
  • ½ cup (65 g) chopped unsalted pistachios


Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (1)
Food: Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (Source: BBC)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) springform baking pan with a little olive oil and line the base with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the cocoa into a medium bowl and whisk in the boiling water until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla, then put aside to cool somewhat. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar, olive oil, and eggs until you have a light, frothy cream, about 3 minutes.
  4. Turn the speed on the mixer down and pour in the cocoa and vanilla mixture. Slowly add our mixture until it is uniformly combined, stopping the mixer and scraping down the bowl as required.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sides are set and the top of the cake still looks somewhat moist. A cake tester placed into the center should come out clean or with just a few crumbs on it. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  6. While the cake is baking, in a cooled metal or glass bowl using a hand mixer, whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add the cardamom and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and release the sides of the pan. Transfer the cake to a serving plate or cake stand. Sprinkle with extra flaky salt. Serve each slice with a dollop of cardamom cream and a dusting of rose petals, pistachios, and flaky salt.


Market Variations: replace the cardamom cream, rose petals, and pistachios with:

  • Variation 1: macadamia / violet / creme fraich
  • Variation 2: hazelnut / hibiscus / mascarpone