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This rich chocolate cake gets its tender, luscious crumb from olive oil

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Appears in May-June 2022

1¼ hours 35 minutes active, plus cooling

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Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

This rustic chocolate cake is made with two surprising ingredients: olive oil and lemon juice. Extra-virgin olive oil lends fruity, peppery flavor notes. For a less prominent flavor, use light olive oil (“light” indicates the oil is refined, not lower in fat). You could even use a combination of oils—for example, a robust extra-virgin olive oil tempered with a little neutral oil. The lemon juice brings a brightness that balances the richness of the oil and chocolate, and its acidity reacts with the baking soda to provide lift. We prefer the deeper, darker color that Dutch-processed cocoa gives the cake, but natural cocoa works fine, too, if that’s what you have on hand. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or with ice cream or gelato. Store leftovers well wrapped at room temperature for up to three days.

10 to 12



Don’t overbake the cake. Be sure to test it by inserting a toothpick into the center; it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached, as if baking brownies. Don’t be alarmed when the center of the cake deflates as it cools; this is normal.

1¼ hours

35 minutes active, plus cooling

Brady S.

This was not my favourite chocolate cake - I much preferred the stovetop chocolate cake or the Swedish sticky chocolate cake from Milk Street. It's possible my olive oil was tasteless, but I couldn't detect it, and the lemon overpowered the chocolate taste, for me.

Joshua A.

I agree 100% with Brady S. There are so many wonderful recipes on Milk Street, but this was not my (or my family's) favorite. Although the texture was very interesting, the cake was quite bitter and too lemony. Ice cream helped. I used a more neutral olive oil, and I'm glad I did--I think if I had used a richer olive oil, it might have accentuated the bitterness.

Diana L.

This was a good cake. My kid loved it. You do taste a bit of lemon (just slightly). I did not have light olive oil, so I have put half of grade seed oil and half extra virgin olive oil. When I have tasted it before baking, it tasted like olive oil. I was actually afraid it will taste like that after baking. It did not. Overall, its an easy cake to make and its delicious. One thing about mine, it did not look like on the picture. It did not deflate in the center as much. I wonder why???

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