This lemon and blueberry olive oil cake is going to be your new favourite thing to bake. It is the perfect cake to serve at the end of a holiday meal, the ideal cake to offer with an afternoon tea, and the best cake to snack on late at night, when you have already had dessert. I love how lemony this cake is, and the blueberries looks so beautiful in each slice. The olive oil makes the cake taste great, but also produces an amazing texture.
Baking this cake is so enjoyable, because it is easy and the result is always perfect. I promise that you are going to love this dessert, and so will everyone who tries it. It has been tested until perfect. Whether you use frozen or fresh blueberries, wild or cultivated blueberries or a mixture of all of these, the cake will be wonderful. I can’t wait until you try it!
Why this recipe works
Baking is a science, and for this reason it is important to follow recipes as closely as possible. Even more important is to find recipes that you can trust. This lemon and blueberry olive oil cake is definitely one you can believe in!
Beat your eggs well
When you are beating together your eggs (which should be at room temperature) with the sugar, do so for at least 5 minutes. This is going to make your mixture light and fluffy. Continue to beat for at least a minute or two once you add the lemon juice, milk and olive oil.
Do not overbeat your flour
When you add the flour, be sure to mix only enough so that the flour is no longer visible. Overbeating your batter when the flour has been added can lead to a dry, overly dense cake.
Release the aromatic oils from your lemon zest
The lemon zest contains many aromatic oils that have a lovely citrus taste. By rubbing the zest with the sugar you help to release some of these oils, which helps give your cake a really lovely citrus taste.
You will need some basic ingredients to make this amazing cake. You probably already have these at home, and if you don’t, they are easy to find!
Lemon – You will use both the rind (zest) and the juice of about 2 large lemons for this cake. I love how the citrus flavour and aroma really comes through. Always use fresh lemon juice – it is far superior than the bottled varieties.
Blueberries – In this cake you can use either fresh or frozen blueberries. If you are using frozen, you don’t even have to defrost them. I like to use wild blueberries which tend to be smaller than the cultivated varieties. You can use whatever you like (or have) however.
Olive oil – The fat in this cake is olive oil. Baking with olive oil is amazing because it adds so much flavour, and the texture of the cake is just amazing.
Flour – I use all purpose (also known as regular or plain) flour in most of my baking. This is a medium gluten white flour that has most of the wheat germ and bran removed. It is perfect for most baking.
Baking powder – This cake rises nicely because of the baking powder that is used as a leavening agent.
Baking soda – The baking soda works with the baking powder to give this lemon and blueberry cake a great crumb.
Sugar – Granulated white sugar sweetens this cake perfectly. Learn how I get the most out of the lemon zest by rubbing it together with the sugar.
Eggs – As usual, I use large eggs in my baking. Eggs act as a binder and help create the perfect cake!
How to make
Making this lemon and blueberry olive oil cake at home is really easy. See how I make it in the steps that follow:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest with the sugar and use your fingers to rub the two together. This will help release the fragrant oils from the lemon zest and will give the sugar a nice, light yellow hue.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs together with the sugar and zest. Beat for 5 minutes and then slowly pour in the lemon juice, milk and the olive oil.
With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture, leave behind about 1/4 cup of the flour. Add the blueberries to this 1/4 cup of flour and toss to coat. Once the flour in the mixing bowl has been well incorporated with the wet ingredients, add in the flour coated blueberries. Mix only until incorporated; do not over mix because doing so might crush your blueberries. Alternatively, you can add and mix in the blueberries by hand using a rubber spatula.
Grease a bundt pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Pour in the batter and then use a knife to swirl the batter a bit, in order to help distribute the blueberries evenly.
Bake on the middle rack of your oven for approximately 60 – 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool almost completely before removing it from the bundt pan.
Use a different type of oil
Although this is a lemon and blueberry olive oil cake, you can actually use a different oil in place of the olive oil in this cake. Or, you can use 1/2 the quantity olive oil and the other 1/2 of another milder (and cheaper) flavoured oil. If you do use a different type of oil, use the same amount.
Use a different citrus fruit
Instead of lemon zest and lemon juice, how about using orange zest and orange juice, or lime zest and lime juice. Either of these choices would be lovely.
Make muffins instead of a bundt cake, or two loaves
Although this recipe is perfect for a traditional bundt pan, you can also make muffins instead, or 2 loaves. Adjust the baking time; the muffins should take about 18 minutes and the loaves should take about 45 – 50 minutes. Check that they are done by inserting a toothpick into the center and checking for when it comes out clean.
Baking tips and helpful hints
Measure your ingredients carefully
If you are going to measure your flour in cups, then use the scoop method! Scoop up some flour with your measuring cup, and then level off the top by scraping off excess flour with a butter knife. Alternatively use the grams we have listed in the recipe.
Check your oven temperature
Ovens can be temperamental! If you find that your cakes consistently sink in the center, burn on the top before they are done, or take too long to bake, you may want to check the actual internal temperature of your oven. Sometimes, what you set your oven to is not what it ends up being. As well, some ovens have hot spots – areas of the oven that get warmer than others. If you wonder about the temperature regulation of your oven, you can purchase an oven thermometer.
Frequently asked questions
Is bottled lemon juice the same as fresh?
Nothing beats the bright lemony flavour of freshly squeezed lemon juice. If you have tasted bottled lemon juice you may have noticed that the flavour is a little off. This is because there are typically additives and preservatives added to the bottled lemon juice to keep it shelf-stable for a long period of time. Once opened, bottled lemon juice needs to be refrigerated. Whenever possible, use fresh lemons – you will be rewarded with a much better flavour!
What is the difference between lemon zest and lemon rind?
Lemon zest, which is what is used in this recipe, is the thin, coloured, outer layer of the skin called the flavedo. This layer contains lots of natural oils that are full of flavour and are not as acidic as the tart fruit. The rind is the zest with a bit of the bitter white underlayer. In baking you should try to avoid this bitter white underlayer because it is…you guessed it…bitter.
If you would prefer to use different fruit for this cake then you can try making this orange and cranberry olive oil cake. It is absolutely amazing, and perfect for any holiday dinner.
A beautiful addition to this lemon and blueberry olive oil cake would be the addition of some almond flavour. To the cake recipe add 1 teaspoon of almond extract (add it at the same time that you add the liquid ingredients (lemon juice, milk and olive oil). Then, when you add in the blueberries, add 1 cup of chopped or slivered almonds.
This cake will keep well for several days (3 – 4) in a well covered container at room temperature. I like to store it in a covered food storage container, or on a platter well covered in plastic wrap. If you would like to keep your cake fresh longer, store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Alternatively, you can freeze this cake to be enjoyed at a later time. You can either wrap the entire cake in plastic wrap, or cut it into individual pieces.
If you like this cake then I am pretty sure you will also enjoy these wonderful desserts. So much baking to be done!
Chocolate and blueberry cake This lenten (dairy free and egg free) cake is super simple and has a rich chocolate flavour that you will love.
Greek yogourt cake with orange So moist and bursting with orange flavour.
Lemon ricotta cake The ricotta makes this cake have such a fantastic texture and flavour.
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Lemon and blueberry olive oil cake
- 2 tbsp grated lemon zest, tightly packed
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups blueberries frozen or fresh
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup olive oil
- ¾ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup milk
- vegetable oil / spray for greasing the pan
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.2¾ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt
- In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest with the sugar and use your fingers to rub the two together. This will help release the fragrant oils from the lemon zest and will give the sugar a nice, light yellow hue.2 tbsp grated lemon zest, tightly packed, 1½ cups granulated sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs together with the sugar and zest. Beat for 5 minutes and then slowly pour in the lemon juice, milk and the olive oil.3 large eggs, ¾ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup milk, 1 cup olive oil
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture, leave behind about 1/4 cup of the flour. Add the blueberries to this 1/4 cup of flour and toss to coat. Once the flour in the mixing bowl has been well incorporated with the wet ingredients, add in the flour coated blueberries. Mix only until incorporated; do not over mix because doing so might crush your blueberries. Alternatively, you can add and mix in the blueberries by hand using a rubber spatula.2 cups blueberries
- Grease a bundt pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Pour in the batter and then use a knife to swirl the batter a bit, in order to help distribute the blueberries evenly.
- Bake on the middle rack of your oven for approximately 60 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool almost completely before removing it from the bundt pan.