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Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Torta di Cioccolato di Olio di Oliva

Even cakes taste better made with olive oil, and this super chocolate, dense cake is so moist that it keeps well for a week in the refrigerator, but I can say with certainty that it will never last that long; as an alternative the batter can be poured into cupcake pans for smaller versions. This cake freezes well too.



2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour

1 cup King Arthur cake flour

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons cocoa (Perugina, if available)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups hot water


1 8-ounce package mascarpone cheese at room temperature

3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon oil or 1 tablespoon almond extract

Crystallized white sugar for sprinkling on top

Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. With a hand mixer on low speed beat in the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans. If using silicone muffin pans, no pan preparation is necessary. If using regular muffin pans, lightly grease them with butter. If using regular 9-inch cake pans, the same preparation.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not overbake the cake. It should be firm to the touch, and a cake skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean.

Put the cake pans on cooling racks and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans to cool completely. Frost when cool with frosting below.

Beat the mascarpone cheese in a bowl until smooth; gradually add in enough of the sugar to make a smooth frosting that is not runny. Stir in the cinnamon oil or the almond extract.

Frost the cake layers and sprinkle the crystallized sugar over the top. Or if you are making the cupcakes, frost them and sprinkle the tops with the sugar.

Cut the cake into wedges to serve.

Note: You may use either regular all purpose flour or cake flour in this recipe; both will give great results. For the icing, use either the cream cheese or an equal amount of Mascarpone cheese for an even richer frosting.


  1. Therese's avatar


    This is an amazingly tasty chocolate cake. I could not believe that a cake without eggs, milk, or sour cream could be so good!
  2. Laura's avatar


    The cake had good flavor and texture. It was delicate in holding its form as a larger cake. I will make smaller cakes from it next time.
  3. Bakemeacake's avatar


    This is the one of the best chocolate cakes I've had. Generally, I don't even eat chocolate cake! I've made this three or four times. It is easy, delicious, and the olive oil helps the cake last longer. I keep it in the fridge and serve it cold--yum!
  4. Stephanie's avatar


    We are getting ready to move, and I was having a major pregnancy craving for chocolate cake,but we didn't have any eggs. A Google search brought me to your recipe. My 3 year old son and I made this recipe as cupcakes after watching your video together, they are in the oven now. He is so excited, he is sitting on my kitchen stool in front of the oven. Thank you so much for bringing this recipe into our kitchen.
  5. Paula B.'s avatar

    Paula B.

    Just made a flourless chocolate cake and it was fantastic, now I am searching for all kinds of chocolate cake. I had heard that olive oil was a great addition to cake baking. Love the frosting recipe also. Think I will make this tomorrow! First visit to Ciao Italia's site but a fan already!
  6. Sunny's avatar


    I'm another pregnant lady with chocolate cake cravings and no eggs in the house. Excited to try the recipe!

    I just wanted to note that if you watch the video, there are some discrepancies from the written recipe, and I think the video version sounds like a better recipe:

    - Flour consists of 1c cake flour and 2c all purpose
    - Cocoa should be mixed with 2c HOT water, not cold
    - Frosting is made with 8oz of mascarpone and 3.5c of confectioner's sugar, not 16oz of light cream cheese (I'd sub out 8oz of regular cream cheese with the same amount of sugar)
  7. MG's avatar


    Wow! I stumbled across this when looking for a cake to make for a gathering where we needed a dairy-free dessert. I could not believe how EASY the cake was. We wound up using almost all regular white flour (vs unbleached) as I didn't have as much unbleached as I thought. We made cupcakes, and I baked them for 21 minutes in a 350 degree convection oven (325, the oven auto-adjusts the temp when doing convection).

    You didn't mention cake pan sizes or cooking times for alternate sizes - that would be really useful information.

    Since the dessert needed to be dairy free, of course I couldn't use your frosting, but I used an egg white / corn syrup frosting that was basically marshmallow fluff (Karo's website has the recipe as do others).

    The end result was a HUGE hit.
  8. Debra's avatar


    Been making this recipe for years, always coming back to this site, but the recipe recently changed correct? You changed to cake flour and hot water?

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