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Most people reserve olive oil for salad dressings or sautéing. But olive oil is perfect for baking cakes, cookies, brownies, and other sweet foods. The fruity, spicy notes in extra virgin olive oil will enhance the flavors in desserts, especially those with chocolate or fruit flavors.

You can modify most baking recipes by swapping butter for olive oil. Solid butter has less volume than melted butter so you will need to convert the measurements using our butter to olive oil conversion chart. If the recipe calls for vegetable oil, simply use the same amount of olive oil in your recipe.  

If you'd like to try baking with extra virgin olive oil, here is a recipe for an olive oil cherry cake. This recipe is slightly healthier than other cakes because it uses only 3/4 cup of sugar. The sweetness mainly comes from the cherries that decorate the top of the cake.  Cherries and olive oil are both packed with polyphenols which adds another healthy note to this sweet treat.

Speaking of cherries, this vegan cake is so easy to make because we use frozen cherries. They are inexpensive and available year-round! You can whip this up without a trip to the store with items from your pantry and freezer. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 12 oz bag of frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the frozen cherries until they are thawed. Drain the liquid. 
  3. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan or a deep pie plate (4 cup capacity)
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the olive oil and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beat well after each egg
  5. Beat in almond or vanilla extract.
  6. With the mixer on low, beat in flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  7. Transfer batter to the prepared cake pan. Scatter the cherries on top and sprinkle on the almonds.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes or until the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm. 

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