Chocolate Olive Oil Cake is the little black dress of your dessert table. Classic, classy and it goes with everything! Make this recipe as simple or as sophisticated as you would like. 

a slice of chocolate olive oil cake topped with greek yogurt whip and berries on a plate.
Photo Credits: Mark Beahm

This chocolate olive oil cake is the perfect treat for true chocolate lovers. Like Italian Carrot Cake, it's sweet without being cloying, with an unbelievably tender crumb thanks to the extra-virgin olive oil in the batter. 

The Greek yogurt whipped topping adds tangy balance to the rich chocolate flavor. And the best part of all? This cake is an absolute snap to bake. Keep it simple and eat it with just a dusting of powdered sugar or dress it up with a spoonful of mixed berry or strawberry compote or a scoop of frozen yogurt

Fancy-tasting enough to crown the end of a romantic dinner but easy enough to assemble on a weeknight, you’ll find yourself reaching for this recipe again and again.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients You’ll Need:
  2. How To Make This Recipe:
  3. Benefits of Baking with Olive Oil
  4. Ways to Dress Up Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
  5. What To Serve with This Recipe
  6. More Delicious Cake Recipes
  7. Chocolate Olive Oil Cake Recipe
ingredients for chocolate olive oil cake with greek yogurt whip including olive oil, flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, eggs, sugar, heavy cream, and greek yogurt.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

This cake comes together with relatively minimal ingredients, making a showstopper dessert an absolute snap to bake. Use the best quality cocoa powder and good extra virgin olive oil here, as those flavors really shine! 

  • Hot water: The use of hot water in cake batter was popularized during the Great Depression, when ingredients like milk were difficult to find. Hot water added to cake batter has the additional advantage of creating an incredibly smooth texture and very moist crumb. In addition to that, cakes made with water last longer than cakes made with milk! The hot water is used to fully hydrate the cocoa powder, resulting in deeper chocolate notes in the finished cake. 
  • All-purpose flour: This provides structure and heft to the cake. Avoiding gluten? Substitute your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, but know that the cake will have a slightly denser texture. 
  • Baking soda: When combined with water and the acid from the cocoa powder, baking soda releases tiny carbon dioxide bubbles in the cake batter, giving the finished cake a soft, airy texture.
  • Kosher salt: A pinch of salt enhances the flavor of chocolate.
  • Eggs: Eggs add structure and richness to the cake.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil: Good quality extra-virgin olive oil adds smooth, fruity flavors that play nicely against the slight bitterness of the cocoa powder. Olive oil adds a velvety texture and rich moistness to this cake without weighing it down. When using olive oil for baking you want to opt for something mild and fruity over something more peppery. I prefer our Arbequina California Olive Oil for this job.  
  • Vanilla and almond extracts: To complement the herbaceous flavors of the olive oil, I’ve used both vanilla and almond extracts here. Almond extract lends a subtle flavor note that melds in perfectly with the olive oil and chocolate. Don’t have almond extract on hand? Simply use vanilla extract.
  • Organic Cane Sugar: Compared to refined white sugar, organic cane sugar is less processed and retains more nutrients in the form of molasses. The crystals are slightly larger and lightly golden in color. White sugar is a fine substitution, but I recommend using organic cane sugar for its slightly caramelized flavor.
  • Natural Cocoa Powder: The most common type of cocoa powder, natural cocoa powder is acidic and deeply chocolatey. It has a bright, fruity flavor that balances the fat in the olive oil and eggs in this recipe. It also provides a deep, rich color for our cake. Dutch process and black cocoa powders are not good fits for this recipe. 
  • Heavy Cream and Greek Yogurt: I combine these to use as a simple garnish for the cake, but if you want to keep it easy you can just dust the cake with powdered sugar. 
  • Powdered sugar: I use just a little bit of powdered sugar in the whipped topping just to add a subtle sweetness, but you can also dust it on top of the cake or do both! 
overhead shot of a chocolate olive oil cake on a plate next to a knife, cup of coffee with a cinnamon stick, and a plate of berries.

How To Make This Recipe:

This cake is a breeze to make, coming together quickly and using minimal equipment. To make this cake, sift together the dry ingredients and then add them to whipped eggs, olive oil and sugar. The Greek yogurt whipped topping is optional, but if you indulge in dairy, I highly recommend it! The tartness of the yogurt contrasts nicely with the rich chocolate cake. 

  • Preheat oven and prepare cake pan: Preheat oven to 325°F. Brush a 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  • Prepare dry ingredients and cocoa powder mixture: In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda and kosher salt. Bring water back to a simmer. Remove from heat and immediately add cocoa powder and cinnamon, stirring until mixture is a smooth paste.cocoa powder and egg mixtures in a sauce pan with a whisk next to a plate with a cinnamon stick.
  • Whip the eggs, olive oil and sugar: Using a hand mixer and a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine eggs, extra-virgin olive oil, vanilla extract, almond extract and sugar. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 4 minutes.eggs, oil, extracts and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  • Add cocoa powder and dry ingredients: Add the cocoa powder paste to the egg mixture and beat until incorporated, pausing to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.chocolate olive oil cake batter in the bowl of a stand mixer next to a whisk attachment.
  • Bake the cake: Scrape batter into prepared cake pan and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes away with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Allow the cake to cool completely. Once cooled, carefully run a butter knife around the edges of the cake. Gently flip the cake out of the pan and onto a large plate. Carefully remove the parchment round from the top of the cake.
  • Make Greek yogurt whip and assemble cake: Combine heavy cream, plain Greek yogurt and powdered sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Serve: Slice the cake, then serve with a dollop the Greek yogurt whip. Alternatively, dust with cocoa powder and serve with fresh berries. 

Benefits of Baking with Olive Oil

Using olive oil in baked goods results in a crumb that is more tender and moist than baked goods made with butter. Why, you might ask? Oil is lighter than butter and it stays liquid at room temperature whereas butter solidifies resulting in a firmer cake. 

Since chocolate can be a drying ingredient in baked goods, the added moisture from the oil improves the texture substantially. Cakes made with oil instead of butter tend to stay fresher after baking—but you might not have any leftovers of this cake to test that theory.

Not all olive oil is created equal! In this recipe I recommend using a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil with fruity notes, such as our Arbequina California Olive Oil. Stay away from olive oils that have grassy or sharp-tasting notes for this cake, as that will conflict with the chocolate flavors.

The same goes for baking in general: You should source a smoother olive oil so it doesn't compete with the flavor. This is particularly true with chocolate, as with our chocolate olive oil mousse

three slices of chocolate olive oil cake topped with greek yogurt whip and berries on three plates.

Ways to Dress Up Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

This cake is indulgent enough to serve as the dessert course of a holiday meal, but simple enough to make for a weeknight pick-me-up. I make the Greek yogurt whip to go on top but you can dress it up or down however you see fit!

While the Greek yogurt whip provides a lovely and simple contrast to the deep chocolate flavors of the cake, you could gild the lily by: 

  • Piling berries on top of the whip
  • If you’re a die-hard chocolate lover, use a vegetable peeler to shave some chocolate pieces over the whip. 
  • For a birthday-themed cake, scatter sprinkles over the top or freshen it up with some loosely torn mint leaves. 
  • Add cinnamon, orange zest or cardamom to the yogurt whip to make it make it extra special.  

Think of this cake as the little black dress of your dessert repertoire—it goes with everything!

What To Serve with This Recipe

Serve this cake after dinner with a warming cup of coffee or tea, or liven up the end of the night with a cocktail accompaniment. 

Our mulled wine recipe makes this cake feel especially cozy or try an ouzo lemon cocktail—the anise flavors of ouzo pair nicely with the rich chocolate of the cake. 

Not indulging in alcohol? A scoop of frozen yogurt topped with berry compote will take this cake from a simple slice to a sophisticated dessert course.

More Delicious Cake Recipes

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

Visit Our Shop.

Try our Arbequina

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A mild intensity EVOO that boasts flavor notes of tropical fruits and ripe bananas. The perfect choice for baking!

arbequina olive oil from the mediterranean dish.
4.97 from 56 votes

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

A picture of Sara May.Sara May
a slice of chocolate olive oil cake topped with greek yogurt whip and berries on a plate.
This chocolate olive oil cake is a crowd-pleaser that's simple yet sophisticated. The use extra-virgin olive oil gives it a wonderfully tender crumb, and the Greek yogurt whipped topping balances the rich chocolate flavor. It's so easy to put together, making it perfect for both special occasions and weeknight treats.
Prep – 15 minutes
Cook – 40 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total – 1 hour 55 minutes
Serves – 10


For the Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

  • 1 ¼ cup (167g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (106ml) water
  • ½ cup (42g) natural cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup (193ml) extra-virgin olive oil, we used Arbequina-California Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup (200g) organic cane sugar
  • Fresh berries, to serve (optional)

For the Greek Yogurt Whip

  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar


Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven and prepare the cake pan: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Brush a 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Sift flour, baking soda and salt: In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Combine, hot water, chocolate and cinnamon: In a small pot, add ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a simmer. Remove pot from heat. Whisk in cocoa powder and cinnamon until smooth.
  • Beat eggs, oil, extracts and sugar: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat together eggs, olive oil, extracts and sugar on medium-high speed until pale yellow and ribbon-y, about 4 minutes.
  • Combine cocoa powder and egg mixtures: Add cocoa powder mixture to egg mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  • Bake: Pour cake batter into the prepared pan and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The cake is done when a tester inserted in the center comes away with only a few damp crumbs clinging to it.
  • Cool and Unmold the cake: Allow the cake to cool for at least 1 hour on a wire rack. Run a butter knife around the edge of the cooled cake and gently invert onto a plate. Carefully peel parchment paper off the top.

For the Greek yogurt whip:

  • Whip the heavy cream: Using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, Greek yogurt and powdered sugar on medium to medium high until soft peaks form.
  • Serve: Slice the cake and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt whip and some fresh berries. Serve immediately!




Calories: 383.6kcalCarbohydrates: 37.8gProtein: 5.3gFat: 24.7gSaturated Fat: 7.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 14.1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 69.6mgSodium: 315.7mgPotassium: 129.5mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 23.4gVitamin A: 334.6IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 36.4mgIron: 1.7mg
Tried this recipe?

Share it with the world

Culinary Specialties: Trained pastry chef specializing in Italian and Catalonian cuisines, and a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC

Sara May is a veteran of the Philadelphia restaurant scene, where she worked in both savory and pastry kitchens that focused on Catalan and Italian cuisines. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC, Sara’s cooking is focused on whole foods, accessible ingredients and a robust sense of fun.

She is passionate about food sustainability and is dedicated to tearing down inequities in kitchen culture. A recent transplant to the Finger Lakes region of New York state, Sara spends her free time eating pizza, trying to avoid sunburn and exploring the epic wine and beer scene in her new home. You can learn more about here at
Learn More

Get our best recipes and all Things Mediterranean delivered to your inbox.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Adrienne says:

    5 stars
    Omg!!! Love it, really great super simple easy cake to make, flavorful yet light. Thank you for sharing a great recipe😊

  2. Rosemary Wallsworth says:

    Hi, I am just about to make this cake, but am confused. Step 3 of make the cake mentions adding chocolate to a pan, but you don't mention chocolate in your list of ingredients? I can see cocoa, but not chocolate.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Rosemary. The "cocoa" and "chocolate" are one in the same here. Sorry for the confusion.

  3. Bee says:

    3 stars
    I made this twice this week. Flavor is delicious but my cake is on the drier side. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Summer Miller says:

      Hi, Bee! I'm Summer and I work here at The Mediterranean Dish. I'm glad you like the cake. Let's see if we can't figure out what is going on. My guess is your oven might run a little hot so you're probably just cooking it a little longer than is probably needed. Check the cake by poking it with a skewer in the center about 10 minutes before it's supposed to be done. If the skewer is wet, bake the cake for 5 additional minutes and then check again. If when you test with the skewer the cake comes out with just a few crumbs then it's ready. The other possibility is that you're packing your flour and adding more dry weight. Make sure you spoon your flour into a measuring cup or weigh it.

  4. Brittney Robertson says:

    5 stars
    Made this for Christmas Dinner using icing I made myself but also decorated with the sugared cranberries from this website. Really great!

  5. Aga says:

    5 stars
    Lovely cake. I normally make mine with hot coffee, but decided to try this one. Used oat milk and malibu mixture instead of water, it is the holiday season, right? Added some dark chocolate chips and cut sugar to 3/4. Served with ice cream and berries - perfection. Paired splendidly with a glass of chilled Carcavelos wine from Villa Oeiras - heaven.

  6. Marlene says:

    I really appreciate this recipe. It gives me the ability to cave into my chocolate craving when it hits, without feeling so guilty. It's the perfect chocolate cake. I've made it 3 times now =) The whipped topping goes nicely with it, too.

  7. Mimi says:

    I saw your comment on the almond flour. I bake with almond flour and I think this cake would come out fine using almond flour. I don’t bake with white or wheat flour to make it healthier. I also would substitute the cane sugar for coconut sugar. I did want to know if I could substitute flax eggs or egg whites and I would also substitute and use non dairy Greek yogurt. I try to clean up recipes to make them healthier but still taste amazing.
    Thank you.

  8. Xia says:

    5 stars
    Delicious cake! Can I replace with sugar with honey? Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Summer Miller says:

      Hi, Xia --
      I'm Summer and I work here at The Mediterranean Dish. The technical answer is yes, but it's complicated and would require experimentation on your part. Sugar to Honey is not a 1 to 1 substitution. Honey is sweeter than sugar so you would want to use less than what the recipe calls for. I would start with half the amount and work up from there. You will also need to increase the baking soda in the recipe as honey is dense and holds moisture so you will need extra lift. I would start by increasing it to 3/4 or even 1 teaspoon. Speaking of moisture because this cake is already liquid-heavy due to the use of olive oil, you might want to reduce the amount of liquid in the cake. I would cut the water in half. Also, honey burns at a lower temp than sugar will so you may need to reduce the oven temperature and let the cake bake longer at a lower temp. All of this is to say we have not tested the recipe this way. However, if you are the experimenting type, this is where I would start. If that feels like more work than you're up for, I totally get it. We have lots of honey cakes on The Mediterranean Dish. Here is a link to our Fig Honey Cake and here is a link to our Healthy Honey Carrot Cake. Finally, these aren't desserts, but we do have these Healthy Blueberry Muffins or this Walnut Banana Bread made with honey and zero white sugar. Good luck and happy baking!

  9. Hollie says:

    Can this be made into a bundt cake? Would you double the recipe?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Hollie. I'm sure this would work in a bundt cake pan, but it's not something we've tested before, so I'm not sure if you would need to double the recipe or not. You may need to do a bit of experimenting her. If you give it a try, please stop back and let us know how it went!

    2. Olga says:

      5 stars
      I made this cake in a bundt pan (because my cake pan was in use) and it worked perfectly. However, I had to adjust the baking time to 31 minutes.

      1. TMD Team says:

        Thanks for sharing, Olga. Great to know!

  10. Tania says:

    5 stars
    Truly one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had. That is all. 💜💜

    1. TMD Team says:

      Wow! Thanks, Tania!

  11. Liz says:

    5 stars
    Great cake! Can I use fat free Fage for the whip? I live in VERY small town Texas and getting full-fat, good quality Greek yogurt is impossible.....have to make the trip into Houston for that....but I'm getting really good at improvising : )

    Thanks for the simple, delicious recipes!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Liz. That should work, although the whip may be a bit runnier than if you were to use full-fat yogurt, so just keep that in mind. Enjoy!!

  12. Sinead says:

    5 stars
    I've made this cake 4 or 5 times since June, and it always comes out so yummy! I think it goes well with whipped cream frosting.

  13. Ashley says:

    5 stars
    Made a couple modifications (used white whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and subbed coffee for water). Turned out great! Delicious cake - simple, moist, light, yet with great flavor (the almond extract and cinnamon are definite game changers here!). It is not an overwhelmingly chocolatey cake, and definitely not decadent - would recommend pairing with some fruit or a glaze for some extra "umph" if needed.