Almond Olive Oil Cake With Brown Butter Glaze

Think of this Almond Olive Oil Cake like you would that little black dress in your closet. Dress it up or dress it down and it can go anywhere. Who needs  to serve a many layered cake thick with icing after a big meal, your guests will probably say “just give me a sliver”. This almond cake, on the over hand, is perfect to serve your guests even after a big Italian meal. I know because not one of my guests has turned down a big slice. They even say “yes, please” to a scoop of vanilla bean gelato on the side.

This moist and delicious cake with its touch of citrus is terrific without the toasted almonds and the brown butter glaze topping but don’t skip it. The topping adds a wonderful texture and flavor to the cake just as your favorite necklace is the finishing touch on your little black dress. The cake is not complicated to make and is a real crowd pleaser. To me, it makes the perfect ending to any meal you serve to family or friends…not too fancy but memorable.

Almond Olive Oil Cake With A Brown Butter Glaze

Almond Olive Oil Cake With Brown Butter Glaze

Almond Olive Oil Cake

Preheat the over to 350 degrees

  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil (extra virgin but not one that is too peppery)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon or from 1/4 of an orange
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or other orange liquor (optional)

Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined. Crack the eggs into another mixing bowl and whisk lightly to break the yolks. Add the sugar to the bowl and whisk it in thoroughly for about 30 seconds. Add the olive oil and whisk until the mixture is a little lighter in color and has thickened slightly, about 30 – 45 seconds. Whisk in the extracts, zest, orange juice and Grand Marnier, if using. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth and emulsified, about 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 30 – 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to make sure it browns evenly. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a rack. In the meantime, make the glaze.

Almond Brown Butter Glaze

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice or to taste
  • 1/2 c. sliced, blanched almonds, toasted and cooled

Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. When the bubbles subside, lower heat and watch the butter carefully, swirling occasionally. When the butter begins to turn a light tan color and smells slightly nutty, remove from the heat and let sit. The butter will continue to darken as it sits. While the butter cools, sift the confectioner’s sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk until completely smooth then slowly whisk in the butter. Taste the glaze and add a few drops of lemon juice at a time to adjust the sweetness to your taste. Stir in the toasted almonds. While still on the cooling rack, spread the glaze over the top and let it drip down the sides. Let it sit until dry and completely set before slicing.


This cake was inspired by the wonderful pastry chef, Gina DePalma. She left our world much too young but not before sharing many of her wonderful Italian dessert recipes. You will see lots of adaptions of her wonderful recipes on the internet. I decided to share my version of her olive oil cake as I start my sixth year of blogging as a “thank you” to all of you who have been such faithful and loyal friends here at Back Road Journal. Once you try this tasty Italian dessert, you too may think of it as the “little black dress” among your dessert recipes. Take it to a picnic, a backyard BBQ, a pot luck supper, serve it to your friends at a Sunday brunch or even at a romantic dinner party. If you would like to dress it up a little, add a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of gelato or with some macerated fruit along side. It is a simple Italian dessert and yet it is oh so very delicious.

“Thank you” and come back to visit soon.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

236 thoughts on “Almond Olive Oil Cake With Brown Butter Glaze

  1. What a lovely cake and I like the ‘little black dress’ analogy 🙂 Congratulations on your 6 years of blogging, Karen. It’s always such a delight to see a new post from you in my inbox and I wish you many more years of happy blogging.

    1. I appreciate your kind words Kay, you have usually been the first person to comment on my posts over the years. I’m glad you like the cake and the analogy…thank you!

  2. Sounds positively Delicious! I have discovered a new brand of Olive oil that I am wild about. I just bet it would be perfect for this recipe.

    1. Hi Jemma, This cake really was delicious…I hope your new oil goes well in the cake, it should as long as it is not too peppery.

  3. That would go nicely with the lunchtime coffee I’m drinking. The recipe reminds me slightly of Tarta de Santiago from Galicia, which has it’s origins in Jewish Passover cake 🙂

    1. Hi Mad Dog, You are right, this cake was be perfect with an afternoon coffee. The cake, if dusted with confectioner’s sugar, does remind me of the Tarta de Santiago, perhaps just a bit lighter because of a little flour in this one. You are always a wealth of information when it comes to food. 😀

    1. Thank you Sylvia, Wish I could send a piece to you in South Africa but by that time you would probably be in England or back here in Florida. 🙂

  4. This recipe looks delicious! I enjoy cakes made with almond flour. I made a wonderful Italian chocolate and almond cake a while ago (here’s a link to the recipe).

    Congratulations on six years of blogging, Karen. Here’s to many more. 🙂

      1. Thank you Grace, for letting me know that you made and enjoyed the cake. You are the second reader to say that you had it with strawberries…a nice choice.

  5. Happy 6th year of blogging! And this cake is definitely fitting for a celebration — looks wonderful, bet it tastes better. Like the fact it’s full of flavor without being over-the-top rich. Although I might opt for two slivers. 🙂

    1. Hi Solo, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your lovely compliment. I hope you enjoyed the cake if you had a chance to make it.

  6. Happy Anniversary, the time does fly because we are having so much fun! I have longed to make an olive oil cake and your recipe might just be the push I needed but I’ll wait until the weekend so that we are not overly tempted to indulge during the week! I love the simplicity of the recipe and thanks for the tip about not using a too peppery olive oil, I imagine it could be a little overwhelming.

    1. Thank you for your wish Eva, I can’t believe that the time has passed by so quickly. This is a simple cake to make and one that I think you would enjoy, especially since you entertain so often.

  7. What a stunner of a cake! I love anything with almonds and I certainly would never turn down anything looking as gorgeous as that. I have never heard of almond flour, though, but I do use ground almonds on sponges and to make the shortcrust pastry for the traditional English mince pies at Christmas. In Galicia, north west Spain, we have the Torta de Santiago (St James’s Cake), which is an almond sponge with icing sugar sprinkled on top over a cross stencil, so that when you lift the stencil, the cross shape shows on the cake. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Fatima. You are the second person to say that this cake is similar to the Torta de Santiago, it is indeed. As to the almond flour, it is just almonds that have been ground into a consistency like flour…I’m sure it is the same as what you have been using.

  8. Congratulations on your six years of blogging. I pinned this recipe. I love everything about it. I can’t wait to try the browned butter.

    1. Thank you for the nice wish and pin Madonna, it is much appreciated. The brown butter glaze really makes this cake a standout…I’m sure you will love it.

  9. I love olive oil cakes. They are so moist, and the olive oil adds a unique flavor. Your version has raised it to a new level. It looks absolutely delicious. I would definitely ask for more than a sliver.

    1. Hi Darryl, I agree with you about how moist and delicious this cake is made with the olive oil. Yes, I don’t think a sliver would do…a nice big slice is more like it. 🙂

  10. Thank you Karen, I’ll have a big slice too please! Sounds and looks delicious, and ideal dressed up as a dessert too. Thanks for sharing another fabulous recipe idea, and congratulations on entering your sixth year of blogging! 🙂

    1. I appreciate your kind words and wish Cathy, thank you. I wish we could share a slice with a cup of coffee while we looked out at your beautiful German garden.

  11. I’ve always wanted to make an olive oil cake, but just haven’t found one that caught my eye. Yours however, has!!! Being an almond lover in baked goods, I can only imagine how delicious this cake it. Plus, it’s just downright beautiful! I can see why no guest would turn it down.

    1. Hi MJ, I do believe that you would enjoy this olive oil cake, we all thought it was outstanding. Those toasted almonds combined with the brown butter glaze created a delicious topping. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  12. I love how you describe this cake as being the little black dress. My favorite time of the day to enjoy such a cake is usually in the morning. I bet the Grand Marnier adds even more wonderful flavor. This deliciousness is the perfect way to celebrate your 6th year, congrats to you!!!!

    1. Hi Cheri, I’m glad you liked my description. This cake is a delicious basic cake but all dressed up with its brown butter topping, it becomes something extra special. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish. 🙂

    1. Hi Gloria, I’m glad that you like the almond olive oil cake…thank you. I do know that you use a lot of almonds in your cooking so believe you would really enjoy this cake.

    1. I appreciate your nice wish Tandy. I’m glad you like my “thank you” gift to my faithful readers such as yourself. The glaze really does make the cake extra special.

  13. Congratulations on your 6 yrs of blogging. What a wonderful recipe you have chosen to share with all your followers. Cakes have not been on my menu for a long time, but this one is certainly tempting, sounds as if it will be very moist, a must to try.

    1. Thank you for your kind wish and compliment Barbara. I think this is a dessert that might put cake back on your menu. Miss your blogging, I hope you are settling into a new home now and will share it with us soon.

  14. I love the way the glaze drips down the side and the cake looks lovely and moist. I don’t make too many cakes as I can’t resist them but I think my French neighbours would love this too.

    1. Hi Amanda, I think your French neighbors would love to share this cake with you…I think you will get lots of compliments like I did. 🙂

  15. I’ve always wanted to try an olive oil cake and you’ve sold me! You dressed it up beautifully. Hope you had a nice long weekend and congratulations on 6 years!

  16. Thank you so much for this recipe. I had a delicious almond cake once and have never been able to duplicate the recipe. I will certainly make this. Sounds wonderful and looks very pretty too. Thanks also for your visit.

    1. It was my pleasure Bonnie. I hope this cake is as good as the almond cake you once had. I have a feeling you are going to love it. If you do make it, I’d love to know how it compared to the one you remember. 🙂

    1. I can’t believe it has been six years Ray, and yes…it has been fun. I’m glad you like the celebration cake, thank you.

  17. done, won and yum!!!
    I picked up some fresh strawberries today and will serve with whipped cream and some sliced strawberries—a sort of happy Tuesday cake 🙂
    and oh by the way—Karen—here’s to many more happy years of blogging—
    hugs from Georgia—

    1. Thank you Julie, for getting back to me and letting me know that you made and enjoyed the cake. Whipped cream and strawberries, yes…I like that combination. I appreciate your nice wish and warm hugs from Georgia, they are much appreciated.

  18. Oh Karen, this cake sounds and looks delicious…I love everything that has almonds in it. Saving the recipe to try it later.
    Have a wonderful week ahead and congratulations on your blog anniversary 🙂

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Juliana. The cake was absolutely delicious and was a big hit with my guests. I hope you have a chance to give it a try and I appreciate your nice wish for my blogging anniversary.

    1. Thank you for your nice wish Amira and I appreciate the pin. I totally agree with you about simplicity. Too often, desserts can be overly complicated and way too sweet. 🙂

  19. I can definitely see this one being really good for summer parties! I love olive oil cakes, and the almonds all over this one are perfect. Congrats on the anniversary, too!

    1. Yes David, I agree that this is a good summertime cake. Its a simple cake, great for outdoor entertaining and would go nice served along with fresh fruit. I’m glad you like it, thank you.

    1. Hi Billie and Helen, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. Wish I could pass on a slice or two right now.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Pam. I’m with you when it comes to citrus…it really brings out the flavors when used in cooking and baking.

  20. I love the simplicity of this delicious almond brown butter cake, Karen. Brown butter makes everything better! I could eat that glaze with a spoon! Delightful post, and congratulations on six years!

    1. I appreciate your kind words Allie about the post, the cake and your wish for my blogging anniversary. So true about the brown butter, it certainly did make for a delicious glaze.

    1. Hi Jeff, We all thought this cake was a real winner. I’m happy to know that you like it and appreciate your nice compliment, thank you.

    1. I know what you mean Diane, each time I look at the photo I wish I could have another piece of it. 😀 Thank care, I hope you had a lovely weekend.

    1. Hi Pam, This is my husband’s and my kind of cake as well. Nothing extra fancy but loaded with flavor. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Jean, it sounds like we are alike. I always leave most of the frosting on the plate when I’m served a cake that has too much frosting. This glaze makes the cake and your right, it is delicious with a cup of tea…either at breakfast or as an afternoon snack. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. I agree with you Liz, this is a nice ending to a dinner party as it is such a simple yet delicious cake. I appreciate your nice compliment and wish, thank you.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Lisa, I think the brown butter almond glaze makes the cake irresistible. At least not one of my guests turned down a slice even after a big Italian meal. 😀

    1. Hi Linda, I’m not a big fan of multilayered cakes filled with lots of frosting but this cake got raves. I think because it is delicious in its simplicity.

    1. Hi Grace, I’m sorry that I didn’t get back to you before you made the cake. Chocolate and almonds are a good combination and you made the chocolate and almond cake before…I’m curious, did you end up adding chocolate chips?

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish, Gerlinde. I believe that you would enjoy this cake, it is moist and delicious. Hope you give it a try.

  21. Oh my, this cake will be made here and served. I would served this on a brunch buffet too, it would be gorgeous. I’m sure it must taste as delicious as it looks. Thanks for sharing, it’s printing now! Wishing you a wonderful weekend…….

    1. Thank you Emily for your lovely compliment, the almond cake is as delicious as it looks. Yes, this would be a nice dessert to set out at a brunch as it is easy to slice and serve.

    1. Hi Nancy, Even though this is a simple cake, it is one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  22. Your version of this cake sounds and looks delicious, Karen! I have to admit that I never made olive oil cake, mainly out of defiance… because I remember first reading about olive oil cake many years ago, and it seemed like a fad to me, just like these days chia and kale are being hyped. I don’t like these food hypes, but from the look of your cake, I might have missed out for once!

    1. Hi Kiki, I know you are a wonderful cook but I do think you might have cheated yourself by not trying an olive oil cake…at least if they are all as terrific as this cake was. I do hope that you will give this one a try and if so, let me know what you think. Should you have made one years ago? 😀

      1. It does look as if I’ve cheated myself out of this cake! I’ve alread bookmarked your version and will definitely let you know when I’ve made it.

    1. Thank you for your nice wish Laura…yes, six years of blogging fun has gone by very quickly. I’m glad you like the celebration cake to thank my readers, it was delicious.

    1. It’s my pleasure to remind you Susan about how good an olive oil cake is. We all thought that this one was a real winner. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  23. Ok you’ve totally sold me on this one. I will not ask for a sliver, I will ask for a sizeable slice with 2 scoops of vanilla bean gelato. It looks too nice to be true!

    1. Hi Liz, You gave me a chuckle…I’m glad you are sold on the cake. A nice slice with 2 scoops sounds like the way to go. 😀

  24. This cake looks heavenly Karen! I never bake with olive oil and really need to change that. And that glaze looks scrumptious!

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Marcie, I believe you would enjoy this cake. And you are right, the glaze is a really delicious topping.

  25. This cake looks and sounds divine! The icing is perfection as I am a huge fan of brown butter. I went to Italy 1 1/2 year ago, and even though I didn’t have olive oil cakes while I was there, this one brings me right back to Tuscany and the beautiful olive groves.

    1. Hi Thao, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your lovely compliment…it is much appreciated. I’m happy to know that you like the recipe and that the post brought back nice memories of your time spent in Tuscany. Hope to see you again soon.

    1. Thank you Abbe, I’m glad you like the cake. If you give it a try, you may have a new favorite. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to make it. 🙂

    1. Hi Judy, If you like almonds then I think this is the perfect cake for you…we all loved it. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. You gave me a chuckle Denise and thank you for your compliment. It truly is a super delicious and moist cake, I’m glad you like the looks of it.

    1. Thank you for your nice wish Amy, the six years just flew by. I appreciate your nice compliment about the cake, in my opinion the glaze really makes it special.

  26. I’ve never baked with a recipe that substitutes oil for butter, but it seems to make things a bit easier (and I bet it tastes good, too)! Congratulations on your 6 years of blogging- I just finished my 4th year of blogging- the time sure does go by quickly!

    1. Hi Fran, Doesn’t time pass quickly in our blog word…it has been a real pleasure as I’m sure it has for you as well. Do try this cake, I think you will love how moist and delicious it is.

  27. Happy Anniversary, Karen. This blogging thing kind of sticks with you, eh? lol. Did you ever imagine you’d still be doing it? Love that you are because your writing and topics clearly resonate with your readers and we need that!
    Now, I was intently reading the description of this cake and then when the picture popped up, I was completely taken aback by it’s gorgeousness. It certainly lives up to your description – beautifully done!
    Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    1. Your kind words and wish gave me a real smile Robyn, thank you! I had no idea when I started blogging that I would make so many nice friends around the world, it is wonderful. I appreciate your nice compliment, I’m happy to know that you like the almond olive oil cake. 😀

  28. Gorgeous cake . I do love an almond cake especially with olive oil. Congratulations on your 6 years of blogging. it takes a lot of dedication and time to blog and comment and anyway you know. Happy anniversary

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish Tania. I’m glad you like the cake, we thought it was great. Yes, blogging does take a lot of dedication but the wonderful people you get to know makes it all worthwhile. 🙂

  29. Congratulations on 6 years of blogging Karen. It is an accomplishment for sure. I have been at it for 8 years and see no sign of quitting. I love this cake; it is beautiful and I’m sure delicious. Will be making it.

    1. Hi Penny, I think we both really enjoy our blogging. 🙂 I hope you will enjoy the cake as much as we all did and appreciate your nice compliment.

  30. Congrats on 6 years of blogging. Your cake is too pretty to eat. I so appreciate you sharing this lovely cake with us. I have never eaten an olive oil cake, so I shall try this. Beautifully written and photographed. Enjoy the weekend.

    1. Hi Linda, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post, recipe and photo…thank you. I hope you will enjoy the cake if you get the opportunity to make it.

    1. Hi Inger, I’m glad you liked the analogy as this is a cake is great plain but is even better with its almond brown butter glaze. Thank you for your compliment.

  31. Oh, Karen – olive oil AND brown butter in one recipe? HEAVEN! And almonds… I love this cake!

    1. Thank you for your wish Bobbie, I can’t believe that six years passed so quickly. I’m glad to know that you like the cake…it really is a good one.

    1. Thank you Plumdirt, I too am happy we met in this lovely blog world of ours. Sorry to make you hungry but a good cake like this will do that. 😀

    1. Hi Amy, When I did my first post I really didn’t think my blog would be where it is today. 🙂 Yes I have to agree with all of you, the almond brown butter glaze really does make this cake special.

  32. That cake is an absolute stunner! Wow! And congrats on your Blogaversary – well done you! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like the looks of the almond cake, it certainly was delicious. Thank you for your nice compliment and wish…it has been a fun six years.

    1. Thank you Katerina for your nice wish. I appreciate your compliment about the cake especially since I’ve seen all the beautiful ones you have made. 😀

    1. Thank you for your wish and compliment Fida…I can’t believe how many wonderful friends I’ve made over the last six years. You are right the cake is very moist, tender and has a wonderful flavor. It seems like we both like almond cakes. 🙂

    1. Thanks Judi, I think we have both been blogging for about the same amount of time. This cake certainly was a hit with all that I’ve served it to…I’m glad you like it.

  33. This cake is gorgeous Karen! Almonds are my favorite nut so I will have to make this cake soon. I can imagine it will go well with grilled and BBQ’d summer foods too 🙂
    Happy 6th year of blogging!! I love all your posts and recipes so keep it up girl 🙂

  34. I Karrie, thank you for your kind words about my blog. We have a lot in common since we both moved from Florida up to New Hampshire…the only thing is that I headed south again and you are still braving the winters. 😀 I’m glad you like the cake and yes, it would be perfect at a summer BBQ.

  35. It definitely sounds like the perfect ending to a meal, Karen! Love it and it’s a must try on my list! It’s all about that little black dress! 🙂

  36. Your photo of this cake is beautiful, Karen! I can see why this would be the perfect cake to have in one’s collection! I must try this soon, as I love almond flavoring. Thank you for sharing your “little black dress” cake recipe with us.

  37. i’m sure the cake is awesome, but i want to smother myself in that glaze! brown butter is one of my favorite flavors, and using it in a glaze is all kinds of brilliant!

  38. I make a lemon and olive oil cake (LOVE olive oil in cakes), but I’ve never tried almond. I am absolutely going to try this recipe the very next time we have friends over for dinner. It sounds superb!!

  39. Love the sound and look of this gorgeous almond cake! Perfect for treating friends after a nice meal 🙂

    Miriam xx

  40. Looks delicious. I love an almond cake and I like it when it’s not all almonds and there’s some flour involved. And olive oil and citrus go so well together. Lovely bake!

  41. This is my kind of cake! I love and make olive oil cakes and I prefer them to fancy layered, frosted cakes. You are so right, it is the perfect ending to a good meal and no one would say no to a slice of this beauty!

  42. I am SO glad I saw this recipe Karen! I have everything needed to make this, and I just may do that tomorrow.

    Congrats on six years blogging. I bet it flew by!


  43. Karen, it’s so nice you honor the Chef with her recipe. And your cake is lovely!! But it’s a funny thing, we have heard about the olive oil cake for some time now and didn’t realize that this olive oil cake recipe is really an old traditional way of making cakes especially in Italy for centuries. Our grandmothers and mother made their cakes only with olive oil, instead of butter or vegetable oil. Hope you are having a lovely summer!

  44. Karen, I agree, the perfect ending to serve after a filling meal. This is a really good recipe, one I will keep and bake for a small gathering. Looks and sounds delicious. Hope your week is going great.

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