Lemon Olive Oil Sponge Cake

I always seem to have an egg white or two in my freezer and this cake is my standard way to use them up. If you don’t have any egg whites in your freezer, you can skip this step and the cake is still really delicious (and even easier to make.) A recent addition to our local scene is Primo Olive Oil on Brownsboro Road. They have a lemon olive oil that is one of my new favorite ingredients for salad dressings and drizzling on soups. It adds a depth of lemon flavor to this favorite cake, but your favorite lightly flavored olive oil will be fine. You can dress up this cake with any seasonal fruit compote or sauce and serve it year-round. I serve this with the blueberry syrup I made with fresh blueberries last summer. You’ll need a springform pan for this recipe. A heavy-duty stand mixer is the best tool to really whip the eggs.
By | March 01, 2013


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Oil a 9½-inch springform pan; set aside.
  2. Whip the extra egg white (if using) until stiff peaks hold, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment, whisk the whole eggs at the highest speed for 3 minutes, until very thick. Add the sugar and whisk for 2 more minutes, until the mixture is foamy and pale. Continue whisking at the highest speed and add the olive oil, extracts, salt, lemon zest and juice. When all ingredients are combined, turn off the mixer.
  4. Sift the flour over the mixture and whisk in on the lowest speed. Once the flour is thoroughly mixed in and no lumps remain, add the beaten egg white (if using) and whisk in on lowest speed until no white streaks remain.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is golden brown, about 45–50 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife along the inside of the pan, and remove the pan ring, leaving the cake on the pan base. When completely cool, you can transfer the cake to a serving dish. Garnish with powdered sugar if desired. Lemon curd or any fruit sauce is a wonderful accompaniment.


  • 5 large eggs (plus 1 egg white, if you have one on hand)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for oiling pan
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup) freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for garnish (optional)
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