Lemon Olive Oil Coffee Cake

Good morning from my bed where I will remain until the end times. Well… until my bladder is like “Yo, Riley. Come on.” Can I just start out this conversation with a quick question? Consommé. Has anyone here ever made consommé? If you’re wondering what consommé is, allow me to explain. You basically take some warm chicken stock and add ground meat, vegetables, and egg whites. You then proceed to form a raft that brings all of the nasty impurities and grit floating to the surface. You cook that, strain it, and are left with a crazy hot bowl of chicken stock that basically tastes exactly the same. You then spend approximately 30 minutes degreasing the thing before you give up and realize that nothing is really happening. You also start to wonder where all of that grease came from in the first place. Then you present to two chef instructors who are both utterly disappointed. And I don’t blame them. They just ate hot salty broth for the fifth time that day. I don’t know whose idea it was to make consommé, but I hate him. Who orders consommé at a restaurant anyway? Who is the person that looks at the menu and thinks “I bet this place makes a killer hot egg white broth”??? Answer: no one. Unless you do, in which case I’m suggesting that you make a conscious decision to leave the slurping of chicken stock to when you’re recovering from the flu.

There’s no reason to eat consommé when there’s something like steak on the menu. The whole idea kind of reminds me of my grandpa. He’s a quirky dude. He is the kind of guy that forgoes the homemade cake and eats an apple for dessert. I’m like HELLO, YOU REALIZE THERE IS A CAKE RIGHT HERE, YES? But then I’m like JUST KIDDING, MORE FOR ME. I adore this Lemon Olive Oil Coffee Cake. It is simple, but brings something a little different to the table. The addition of really good, fruity extra-virgin olive oil gives this cake nice flavor and texture. And what coffee cake is complete without a brown sugar cinnamon streusel and a healthy dusting of powdered sugar?

Lemon-scented olive oil cake topped with a crumbly brown sugar and cinnamon streusel

Prep time
15 mins

Cook time
50 mins

Total time
1 hour 5 mins

Serves 8


For the Streusel

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, melted

For the Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ? cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting


For the Streusel
1. Stir together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until the streusel comes together.

For the Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Beat the eggs, sugar, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture turns a pale yellow color and forms ribbons when the paddle is lifted. Add the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk and mix until well combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, blending until just incorporated.

3. Press the streusel over the bottom of the prepared pan and pour the batter over the top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate and dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

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