Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Blood Orange

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Blood Orange

I’ve heard about olive oil cake and I’ve always considered it an alluring concept. However, every time I suggest making an olive oil cake, say for somebody’s birthday, I see my suggestion met with wrinkled nose and furrowed brow. “Olive oil? No…” is the typical refrain.

A lot of people seem to require buttercream and sprinkles when it comes to birthday cakes. Which is fine, they’re celebrating their birthdays and I’m happy to sprinkle whatever it takes to make their birthdays sparkle!

However, what about my own birthday? Certainly I can have an olive cake on my birthday– can’t I? A Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Blood Orange, but no sprinkles.

Yes I can, and yes I did. Of course I had to make it myself.

Fortunately I was recently sent a review copy of the cookbook Food Truck Road Trip by Kim Pham and Philip Shen with Terri Phillips. As the title suggests it’s a collection of more than 100 recipes from the best food trucks and street vendors around. This book is a natural choice for me. I love the food truck culture here in Los Angeles, and I appreciate the opportunity to get a look at some of the county’s best food truck recipes.

Starting with an olive oil cake. An olive oil birthday cake I should say.

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Blood Orange

This cake comes from Joe Glasser, plumber, turned food trucker, turned TLC’s Next Great Baker winner. His truck, La Bella Torte, is well-known in NYC and this cake is just one sophisticated example of the Italian pastries Joe specializes in. It’s also just one of the many recipes that caught my eye in this book. I’m particularly interested in trying the Prosciutto and Grape Pizza from The Urban Oven, one of my favorite trucks here in Los Angeles.

However, we’ve got birthday cake to discuss today. So let me go on the record. If you are one of the olive oil cake doubters in my life let me just tell you– this cake is every bit as good as the more traditional buttery confections I whip up on your birthdays. It’s super moist. I’d even say unbelievably moist, with a distinct herbal flavor. All that’s missing on this terrific birthday cake is rosemary flavored sprinkles. GREG

 Rosemary Olive Oil Cake with Blood Orange

Rosemary Olive Oil and Blood Orange Cake 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 16Source Food Truck Road TripPublished

If you plan to turn this cake out of the pan(s) you may want to line the bottom with greased parchment.

Rosemary Olive Oil and Blood Orange Cake


  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 blood oranges (zest and juice, divided)
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking poiwder
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 2 ½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease ½ sheet cake or two 9‑inch cake pans.

Mix the eggs, sugar, and oil together in a large bowl. Add the orange zest and juice and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the egg mixture, alternating with the milk, in 3 additions, mixing after each addition. 

Add the rosemary and mix. Pour into the prepared pan(s) and bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool on a rack in the pan(s). Slice and serve.