Two Layers of Tender Olive Oil Cake filled with Lemon Mascarpone Cream.
This Olive Oil Cake is moist and flavorful, with a soft, tender crumb that’s not too sweet. It’s perfectly delicious all on it’s own, completely unadorned aside from its crackling sugary top. But, split in half and filled with a thick layer of lemon mascarpone cream transforms this simple, unassuming cake into something special.
Olive Oil Cake is one of the quickest, simplest cakes you can make. Greasing the pan and whipping up the batter will take you about 10 minutes tops, and you’ll be pulling the cake from the oven in another 40. Sprinkling the top with sugar before baking gives it a crackly sweet crust that’s all the adornment it needs.
Just slice and serve. Cake in under an hour.
Even better, because olive oil is liquid at room temperature, olive oil cake will stay moist for days. How many days? I’m not sure, because an olive oil cake has never lasted more than a few days in this house. But, at least 4.
Olive Oil Cake is one of those cakes at home in any situation.
Afternoon snack? So satisfying.
To welcome new neighbors or thank your child’s teacher? Perfect.
For breakfast, eaten in the car on the way to an early morning meeting, a second olive oil cake on the seat next to you as a gift for your client? Been there. Done that. Will do it again.
For a birthday or dinner party? Ok. Now, you’re going to need some lemon mascarpone cream.
Like olive oil cake, lemon Mascarpone Cream is easy to make.
And heaven to eat. It’s essentially pastry cream beaten with some mascarpone and lemon extract. It’s thick and creamy, and like the olive oil cake itself, not too sweet, producing rich cake that’s not cloying.
Mascarpone is best known for being the star ingredient in tiramisu. It’s like the Italian version of English clotted cream or French crème fraîche – rich and creamy with a slight tang.
Mascarpone also similar to cream cheese, especially in consistency. This is good because depending on where you live, mascarpone can be difficult to find. If you want to bake this cake and discover that your local market doesn’t stock mascarpone, just substitute cream cheese.
The key to using cream cheese instead of mascarpone is to use half as much. The flavor of cream cheese is much stronger than mascarpone. If you use too much, it becomes the star ingredient, making the filling taste something like cheesecake. Not bad, per se, but not what we’re going for here.
The lemon mascarpone cream can be made the day you’re planning to serve the cake or days in advance. I love options like this. Keep in mind that the cream needs at least three hours to chill, but can also be made 3 days in advance.
Used in this Olive Oil Cake Recipe:
More popular cake recipes:
- The Perfect Spice Cake
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More Delicious pastry cream filled desserts:
- Cream Filled Doughnuts
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- Chocolate Eclairs
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- Apple Butter and Pastry Cream Hand Pies
- Classic French Napoleon
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- Blackberry and Amaretto Custard Tarts
- As the filling for Vanilla Layer Cake or Devil’s Food Layer Cake
This Olive Oil cake is moist and flavorful, with a soft, tender crumb that’s not too sweet. perfectly delicious all on it’s own, completely unadorned aside from its crackling sugary top. But, split in half and filled with a thick layer of lemon mascarpone cream transforms this simple, unassuming cake into something special.
FOR THE MASCARPONE CREAM FILLING:
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
- 2 tsp cold water
- 1 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 8 oz mascarpone (or 4 oz cream cheese), at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract (orange extract is also delicious)
FOR THE OLIVE OIL CAKE:
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup plus another 1/4 cup granulated sugar for sprinkling on the top of the cake
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
MAKE THE MASCARPONE CREAM FILLING:
- In a small dish, stir the gelatin and water together to combine. There should be just enough water to moisten the gelatin, creating a thick paste. Set aside.
- Add milk, sugar, salt, egg yolks and cornstarch to a heavy bottomed saucepan and whisk vigorously to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, at which point the mixture will have thickened to the point that the whisk will leave tracks as you stir. Remove from the heat and whisk vigorously for 30 seconds longer. Pour into a bowl.
- Break the gelatin into small pieces, dropping them into the hot cream. Whisk until the gelatin is completely incorporated, about 20 seconds. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap over the surface of the cream. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Add the chilled cream to the bowl of an electric mixer along with the mascarpone and vanilla and lemon extracts. Using the whisk attachment, beat the cream with the mascarpone on medium-high speed until completely combined and smooth. Taste and add more lemon extract if you want a stronger lemon flavor. The mascarpone cream is now ready to use. If not using it right away, cover and refrigerate the cream for up to 2 days.
MAKE THE OLIVE OIL CAKE:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch springform pan with vegetable shorting.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a small bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- Using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until frothy. Add 1 1/4 cup sugar and the lemon zest and beat on high speed until the mixture is fluffy and pale yellow, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and, with the mixer running, pour in the olive oil in a thin, steady stream. Continue to beat until the olive oil is completely incorporated.
- Turn off the mixer and add half the flour. Beat on low just until the flour is mostly incorporated into the batter. Add the milk and continue to mix on low speed just until the milk is incorporated. Add the rest of the flour and beat on low just until incorporated. Stir with a rubber spatula to make sure there isn’t any unmixed flour along the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into the greased springform pan and place in the center of the oven. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the top of the batter in an even layer. Bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without evidence of raw batter.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely, then run a flat metal spatula or table knife around the inside the sides of the pan. Remove the side of the pan.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
- Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into two layers, placing the top layer on a parchment covered baking sheet.
- Spread the lemon mascarpone filling evenly over the bottom layer of cake, smoothing it out into a flat layer. Carefully lift the top portion of cake and place over the mascarpone cream.
- The cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving, wrapped in plastic wrap.
*Olive Oil cake by itself does not need to be refrigerated, but the mascarpone cream does. So, once you fill your cake, store it in the refrigerator.
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