Ciambellone (Italian Olive oil cake)

You can always depend on this cake - it always turns out just right, with a zesty lemon flavour to boot. Olive oil means that it has a marvellous moist texture, even a day or two after cooking.

We recently harvested over 700kg of olives from Carlo's family property and they have been cold pressed into a peppery olive oil. So it's the perfect time to make the luscious Tuscan ciambellone to eat with our coffee.

In Australia it's often said that you don't cook with extra virgin olive oil - that you should use a lighter olive oil for cooking. But this cake is an exception to the rule, hence I always make it when our family-made Italian olive oil comes back from being pressed.




Ciambellone Recipe (Italian Olive oil cake)


Serves 8




  • 2 x 50g eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups caster sugar
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup skim milk
  • zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder (or 1 16 g sachet of lievito)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda (don’t add this if you have the lievito)
  • dash of salt
  • icing sugar for dusting




  • Preheat oven to 170° C and butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar.
  • Add olive oil, milk and lemon zest and juice and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (or 1 pack of lievito).
  • Add to olive oil batter and stir just until smooth.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cooked.
  • Let cake cool completely, then turn out onto a plate and dust with icing sugar.
Ciambellone Italian Olive oil cake