Olive Oil Carrot Cake

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Last week I attended the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC). Such a fun time out in Sacramento, the farm to fork capital. One of the preconference excursions was a trip to Cobram Estate and a visit with the California Olive Oil Council.  Cobram was named the World’s Healthiest Extra Virgin Olive Oil at the 2017 Health & Food EVOO Awards Competition in Spain. Their specialty is cold pressed juice that is not processed and does not contain chemicals or additives. They have exclusive harvesting and crushing techniques. One key item for them is using olives at the peak of freshness and pressing them within four to six hours of being picked from the branch. This makes the most flavorful, healthy, antioxidant-rich and freshest olive oil. I will say I sampled two day old olive oil and I am a believer! Holy cow that was so good!

The California Olive Oil Council (COOC) is a trade association with the mission of encouraging the consumption of certified California extra virgin olive oil through education, outreach and communications. The COOC has grown to represent over 90% of the olive oil production in California. CBS did a report on the olive oil fraud coming from Italy, and how most of it isn’t as pure as what we think. Quite an interesting watch if you haven’t seen it. I’m now convinced why the council is needed. 

The tour gave us the full olive harvest experience and explained the journey from tree to table. After tasting a few samples, what we learned is that the flavor of extra virgin olive oil can be buttery and soft, or spicy and sharp. It can be reminiscent of pepper, lemon or grass. Thanks to California’s range of growing conditions and olive varieties, there truly is a California extra virgin olive oil to suit every palate. I’m looking forward to making a return trip just to try other oils.

And as a side note, high quality extra virgin olive oil provides the best health benefits and flavor when it’s fresh. Extra virgin olive oil should be purchased within 12 to 18 months of its harvest date, and should be used up within six months of opening. Be sure to store it in a cool, dark place for best results.

So after all the olive oil education and love of the flavor, we decided to go ahead and try an olive oil carrot cake. We started with a base recipe from Cobram and made a few modifications to suit our taste buds. This cake would be great any time of the year, but we decorated it for a lovely fall dessert.

I hope you like the cake as much as we do. It’s a simple, delicious carrot cake recipe. Please give it a try and let us know how it goes.

Olive Oil Carrot Cake


Carrot Cake

  • 3 eggs - room temperature
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk - room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and grated


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pound Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 6 oz olive oil



  • Preheat oven to 325°F
  • Oil and flour two 8" round pans
  • In a stand mixer, combine eggs and buttermilk on medium speed. Slowly stream in oil.
  • Stream in the sugar and mix until thick and foamy on high speed. This will become a pale lemon yellow in color.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Slowly add into the stand mixer and continue mixing.
  • Once combined, add carrots and mix until just incorporated.
  • Spread into the 8" pans, and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool


  • In a stand mixer, cream the powdered sugar with cream cheese until combined.
  • Slowly stream in the olive oil until incorporated
  • Once cakes have cooled, remove from pan and decorate with the frosting.

Recipe Source: SerenaLissy.com

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      18 comments… add one

      • Jessica @ Desserts With Benefits October 10, 2017, 2:59 pm

        Oh my god, never would’ve thought to use olive oil in carrot cake! Genius idea! Also, this cake is absolutely stunning. Great job on the decoration 🙂
        I wish I could’ve made it to the conference… I had a ticket but just couldn’t swing the flight and hotel. Sounds like a blast! I’ve tasted Cobram Estates EVOO before and was pleasantly surprised <3

        • serena October 11, 2017, 7:19 am

          Thanks! I have such an awesome kitchen helper. The decorating really was a team effort. It was a really fun conference. I’m in California today and just had dinner last night with a wonderful lady I met at the conference. Love making new friends at these events.

      • Mabintu October 11, 2017, 2:29 am

        What a interesting ingredient to add to a carrot cake – bet it tastes delicious! I will have to give it a try

        • serena October 11, 2017, 7:15 am

          It was delicious! Definitely use good quality and you will be so surprised. Delicious!

      • Mel October 11, 2017, 3:41 am

        I’ve never tried making carrot cake with olive oil: I am quite naughty and I always use butter 🙂 Your cake looks absolutely scrumptious and I’m going to give olive oil a go next time I make carrot cake. Thanks for inspiring me to make changes!

        • serena October 11, 2017, 7:15 am

          Thanks so much! I was surprised how many things they were making with olive oil. We even had cocktails with some oil. Give it a try!

      • Cliona Keane October 11, 2017, 3:57 am

        That really looks gorgeous! It’d go down a treat in my house!

        • serena October 11, 2017, 7:14 am

          I’ll say it didn’t last long for us!

      • Kate October 11, 2017, 4:07 am

        Lovely recipe and it’s great to learn more about California olive oil.

        • serena October 11, 2017, 7:13 am

          That industry has so much going on I had no idea all the good things happening with it.

      • Felesha Bell October 11, 2017, 4:28 am

        What a beauty!!! I’ve never tried baking with olive oil. Looks like a delicious way to start!!

        • serena October 11, 2017, 7:13 am

          I haven’t used olive oil much in baking either, but I will say this is such a moist cake I’m going to give it a try in a few other things.

      • Christina Shoemaker October 11, 2017, 6:24 am

        This is stunning! I love how beautifully you’ve decorated it. It makes it totally WOW for Fall!

        • serena October 11, 2017, 7:12 am

          Thanks so much!

      • Stephanie Chavez October 11, 2017, 12:01 pm

        Hi Serena,

        What a fun trip that was, wasn’t it?! I’m still dreaming about those little cupcakes we had on the excursion. I love how you presented it. Your cake looks beautiful!

        • serena October 12, 2017, 6:17 pm

          Such a fun trip! Those cupcakes were the inspriation of this cake. Thanks so much 🙂

      • Christian August 10, 2018, 11:23 pm

        uuuhm where are the walnuts?

        • serena August 20, 2018, 6:22 am

          You could easily add walnuts to the finish decorations if you would like. I’m just not a fan of walnuts


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