Pomelo Olive Oil Cake


Swap butter for olive oil and get a surprisingly tender, moist cake.

Pomelo olive oil cake slices on pink plates

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Active Time:
15 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins

Not everything is better with butter and this olive oil cake proves it. It’s the olive oil that makes this cake extra tender and moist. The oil’s subtle flavor pairs well with the citrus notes from the juice and zest of the pomelos.

If you haven’t worked with pomelos before, they have a similar flavor to grapefruits, but tend to be larger, about the size of a small melon. Pomelos, unlike grapefruits, have lime green skin and a thick white pith. They’re easy to peel and yield beautiful large segments ideal for topping this cake.

Although this cake comes together quickly and easily, make sure to beat the sugar and eggs long enough to create a ribbon when drizzled over itself in a figure-eight pattern. This will ensure the cake is light and airy. The other secret to this cake? Cornmeal. Just like olive oil, it’s great for baking, and adds a nice texture to this dessert.


  • 2 cups bleached cake flour

  • 1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal

  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. grated pomelo zest plus 1/2 cup fresh juice (from 1 pomelo)

  • 1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing pan

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting cake

  • Pomelo wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with oil. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Place pan on a baking sheet lined with foil; set aside.

  2. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.

  3. Beat eggs, granulated sugar, and pomelo zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until mixture is thickened, doubled in size, and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. With mixer running on high speed, gradually stream in olive oil, and beat until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low; add flour mixture to egg mixture alternating with the pomelo juice in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl. Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap pan gently on work surface to remove any bubbles.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Gently dust the top of cake with powdered sugar. Cut cake into 8 slices; top each slice with a pomelo wedge, and serve.

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