Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Do you want a fabulously tart and lemony loaf in your recipe collection? This is definitely the one! It has a wonderful fluffy crumb texture, a very lemony zing from the syrup and the glaze plus the cake itself. It’s moist from the syrup and has a wonderful richness from the olive oil. I’m telling you - you do not need to look any further for a perfect lemon olive oil cake!

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

How did I find this recipe? It actually found me! Appetite by Random House so graciously sent me my very own copy of The Wickaninnish Cookbook and I got to sample and share some of the wonderful recipes from the book.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

The Wickaninnish Cookbook is a book with a collection of beautiful recipes based on signature dishes (including their backstories) served at the exquisite Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino BC. It is full of sophisticated dishes that are marvelously prepared, styled and photographed, and many very approachable ones too.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I will pull directly from the Inn’s website to describe this award winning Hotel. “Perched on the edge of the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino combines heritage and elegance with untamed natural beauty. Framed by ancient rainforest and the Pacific Ocean, each room at the Wickaninnish Inn is designed to charm with its attention to detail and connection with nature.” Doesn’t that sound like the perfect escape? You should see the beauty that surrounds it. Beautiful photography of the hotel and its surroundings are included throughout the cookbook along with the food.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I can dream about seaside dining at the Inn one day and hopefully I will get there. In the meantime though, I can enjoy some of the hotels finest dishes in the comfort of my own home through this cookbook. In it is a compilation of the hotel’s favourite signature dishes from past and present chefs. The Pacific Ocean is literally at the Inn’s doorstep so the book has some marvelous seafood dishes. There are also some amazing healthy breakfast dishes that I can’t wait to try along with exquisite desserts and cocktail recipes!! Appetite Random House has kindly offered to give away a copy of the book to one of my followers to enjoy but for the rest I wanted to makes sure you got a little glimpse of some of the recipes in the book.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

A cake that can be made in a food processor

I chose to do the lemon olive oil cake and a delicious seafood recipe which I will be sharing soon. Let’s talk about the olive oil cake. I already described it to you but I will tell you about a few changes I made to it. The recipe calls for splitting the batter into two loaf pans but I did not do that. I thought the full batter was the perfect amount for a regular sized loaf tin or for two minis, but not for two regular sized loaf tins. I also did not use the full amount of syrup in the cake as I wanted the cake to maintain its crumb - feel free to use the full amount for a bit of a soaked texture though. That’s pretty much it. My husband loved this loaf sliced and served with a dollop of whip cream (unsweetened) that he thought perfectly balanced the tartness of the cake and mellowed the sweetness.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

The recipe calls for making the cake in the food processor but mine is still in Trinidad waiting for me and my mom’s is too small for the full batter so I used my mixer and it was just fine. I also used the light corn syrup instead of the invert sugar because I couldn’t find any. The recipe is delicious, simple and a crowd pleaser. Definitely do try it out and don’t forget to qualify for the giveaway to win the beautiful cookbook this recipe comes from - The Wickaninnish Inn cookbook!

Lemon Olive Oil Cake


Makes 2 small loaves or 1 larger one

For the cake

  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) invert sugar or light corn syrup (see note)
  • 4 eggs
  • ⅞ cup (175 g) sugar or ¾ cup plus 2 tbsps
  • 1¾ cups (220 g) flour
  • 2 tsp (10 g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 g) salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ⅞ cup (200 mL) olive oil

For the lemon syrup

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) lemon juice

For the lemon glaze

  • 3 to 4 Tbsp (45 to 60 mL) lemon juice
  • 2 cups (240 g) icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two small loaf pans or 1 larger one with parchment paper.

  2. In a food processor, place the invert sugar (or corn syrup) and eggs and blend until the mixture is light and frothy. (Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.) Once the mixture starts to get fluffy, slowly stream in the sugar and continue to blend until almost white.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then sift twice to make sure everything is well combined. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the food processor, add the lemon zest, and process until everything is combined. Continue to process and slowly add in the olive oil until fully emulsified.

  4. Scrape the batter into the parchment-lined loaf pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

  5. While the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup: In a small pot, bring the sugar and water just to a boil, stirring often, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Pour into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the lemon juice. (The lemon syrup can be made ahead of time and will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.)

  6. Remove the loaves from the oven and brush with the lemon syrup while still hot. Allow to cool completely.

  7. Make the lemon glaze: Whisk the lemon juice and icing sugar together until fully blended. The glaze should be thick but still pourable. If necessary, add more sugar or lemon juice until you reach the desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled loaves and allow to set for about an hour before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

(see more notes about the recipe in my post)

Ever wondered why your baked goods don’t turn out the way they do at your favourite bakery? That’s because pastry chefs have some clever tricks up their white sleeves—tools like ice cream stabilizers, gelatin sheets, and invert sugar. The last is a syrup used in confectionery, patisserie and ice cream to prevent crystallization. It gives food a tender mouthfeel, and increase the browning effect. The best-known brand name is Trimoline; unfortunately, it’s not readily available to home cooks. You can use an equal amount of light corn syrup as a substitute.

Excerpted from The Wickaninnish Cookbook: Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge by The Wickaninnish Inn. Copyright © 2018 Wickaninnish Inn. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake