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  • Writer's pictureSibel

Vegan Orange and Olive Oil Cake

This deliciously moist Orange and Olive Oil Cake can be thrown together in minutes with minimal effort. Top with vegan Greek yoghurt and crushed pistachios for a light and citrusy vegan cake.

Vegan Orange and Olive Oil Cake

If you've been following me for a while, you probably know how much I love desserts that taste amazing, but take minimal time and effort to prepare, and this cake ticks all the boxes! If you’ve never tried a cake with olive oil, you’re missing out! Olive oil cakes aren’t that popular here in the UK, but it’s widely used in baking throughout the Mediterranean, and I’ve tried quite a few olive oil cakes during my travels in Greece and Turkey. This recipe is inspired by an orange and semolina cake I saw on the menu of a village coffee shop in Kos, Greece; unfortunately, it wasn’t vegan, so I wasn’t able to try it, but my non-vegan friend tasted it for me and very kindly described the taste and texture of it. I loved the sound of it so made it my mission to create a vegan version at home.

Vegan Orange and Olive Oil Cake

How does this Orange and Olive Oil cake taste?

The olive oil adds extra moisture to the cake, but what makes it even more irresistible is that it’s soaked with an orange syrup giving it a melt-in-the-mouth texture. The addition of the semolina gives the cake a unique texture; it isn’t quite as fluffy as a regular cake, but the semolina holds it’s shape better in syrup-soaked cakes, so it gives a deliciously crumbly texture. The vegan Greek yogurt add a creamy and refreshing element to the cake which helps to balance out the sweetness.

Why make this Orange and Olive Oil cake

  • This cake is easy and can be out together in a few minutes

  • Deliciously moist and crumbly texture

  • Bursting with orange flavour

  • It’s egg-free and dairy-free

  • You won’t need any fancy baking equipment

  • It’s made with readily available ingredients, most of which you’ll already have in your pantry

  • This cake is perfect for those busy days when time is limited and expectations are high

Vegan Orange and Olive Oil Cake

Recipe Variations

This cake recipe creates a versatile base, so instead of orange you can use lemon juice and lemon zest, or you can experiment by adding additional spices such as cardamom or dried herbs such as rosemary or thyme.

Vegan Orange and Olive Oil Cake

How to serve Orange and Olive Oil Cake

This Orange and Olive Oil Cake tastes delicious on its own, but if you want to make it extra decadent, you can top with vegan Greek yogurt, crushed pistachios and orange slices. Alternatively, you can top it with coconut cream or orange flavoured icing. This cake is most delicious when it has cooled down completely and served at room temperature.

Ingredients for the Orange and Olive Oil Cake

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this cake:

Flour: You’ll need some self-raising flour. The addition of the self-raising flour will lighten the texture of the cake and help it to rise better.

Semolina: there are two types of semolina commonly sold in supermarkets; coarse semolina and fine semolina. For this recipe will you need fine semolina.

orange: you’ll need the zest and juice of fresh oranges. I’d recommend you use freshly squeezed orange juice rather than the bottled kind from concentrate.

Olive oil: I’ve used extra virgin olive oil but any type of olive oil will do. I have always preferred oil in cake rather than butter. Oil remains a liquid at room temperature, so it gives cakes a moister and softer texture.

Sugar: I’ve used caster sugar, but you can use any white sugar of your choice. I wouldn't recommend using brown sugars as they'll darken the colour of the cake. If you’re using a sweetener, the level of sweetness will vary, so you’ll have to adjust the amount you add accordingly.

Baking powder: The baking powder will help the cake rise and will give it a soft and fluffy texture.

Turmeric: this ingredient is optional but adding a small amount of turmeric to the cake batter will give it a rich, golden colour once it has been baked.

Greek Yoghurt: you’ll need some vegan Greek yogurt to go in the cake batter and on top of the cake after it’s been baked. If you don’t have any vegan Greek yogurt, you can use thick coconut cream instead.

Vegan Orange and Olive Oil Cake

How to make the Orange and Olive Oil Cake


Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F or gas mark 4). Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and combine. Add the olive oil, yoghurt and orange juice to the bowl and stir until combined.


Pour the batter into a greased and lined, 2lb loaf tin and place in the oven to bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down in the tin.


To make the syrup, add the sugar and orange juice to a small saucepan and let simmer for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup onto the cooled cake while it's still in the tin and allow the syrup to cool down completely. Remove the cake from the tin, top with some vegan Greek yogurt, crushed pistachios, and orange slices. Serve at room temperature.

How to store this cake

If you’re not eating this cake right away, store at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Olive oil cakes stay beautifully moist for days, so it's a great cake for preparing in advance.

Top Tips

  • I’d recommend using the gram measurements, rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.

  • Make sure not to cover the cake after you’ve poured the warm syrup over it as it will create steam, which can make the cake too soggy.

  • Let the cake cool down completely before topping with the yoghurt and slicing.

Printable Recipe


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