The Famous Maialino Olive Oil Cake, But Healthier (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

4.82 from 22 votes
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Olive Oil Cakes have taken the internet by storm but, in my mind, nothing compares to the Olive Oil Cake from the Maialino restaurant in NYC. It’s a top contender for my favorite cake of all time, and it’s not just me that feels this way! It’s famous for a reason: it’s impossibly moist, extremely versatile alone with tea or paired with whipped cream and a fruit compote, and it is so easy to make.

However, with 1 ⅓ cups of olive oil and a generous amount of sugar in the original recipe, some (myself included!) may be hesitant to indulge too often. I didn’t want to have to pass up on this delectable cake, and neither should you – I wanted a healthier option without losing it’s integrity and so with that, here is my take on Maialino’s Olive Oil Cake. I’ve been making this recipe for more than 12 years and it never disappoints.

Watch Me Make My Take On The Famous Maialino Olive Oil Cake

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How To Make My Take On The Famous Maialino Olive Oil Cake

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Step 1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a 8-inch cake pan (that is at least 2 inches deep) with nonstick baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Set aside. 

Step 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

Step 3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, then add milk, sugar, oil, zest and juice and whisk to combine.  

Step 4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk just until there are no more traces of flour.

Step 5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65-80 minutes, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out just clean.

Step 6. Let it sit in the pan for 30 minutes before running a knife around the perimeter of the cake and turning out onto a cooling rack to cook completely.  

Step 7. Top with powdered sugar when cool and serve.  

Step 8. Enjoy!

I make this recipe with whatever citrus I have available – it’s wonderful with lemons, limes or oranges!

What Else Can I Use?

  • The brand of gluten free flour matters here:  I suggest Cup 4 Cup or Bob’s Red Mill GF 1:1 Baking Flour blend.  King Arthur or another brand may result in a cake that is too “wet” or dense.  If that’s all you have, I suggest reducing the oil to ⅔ cup.
  • Regular all purpose flour can be used in place of gluten free.
  • I do not suggest using oat flour here, it will be too dense and probably too dry.
  • I do not suggest almond flour here, it will be too wet and heavy.
  • I haven’t tested it, but I’m sure coconut sugar would work as a substitute for the granulated sugar – expect a brown cake crumb as a result and a deeper caramel flavor. 
  • Whole or skim cow’s milk can be used in place of the almond milk.
  • I’ve made this cake with lemons, meyer lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit.  All of them work great.

This Take On The Famous Maialino Olive Oil Cake is special because:

It’s fast, incredibly simple and the results are delicious every single time!

It’s gluten free and dairy free

More Famous Favorites

Famous La Scala Chopped Salad

Torrisi’s Famous Hot Sauce

Erewhon’s Famous Kale + White Bean Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

If you make my take on the famous Maialino Olive Oil Cake, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and rate the recipe. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!

Rating: 5 out of 5.
4.82 from 22 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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4.82 from 22 votes

The Famous Maialino Olive Oil Cake, But Healthier (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

I've been making this gluten free, dairy free take on Maialino's Olive Oil Cake for more than 12 years and it never disappoints.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups Gluten Free all-purpose flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated citrus zest
  • cup fresh citrus juice
  • Powdered sugar, for topping (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.
    Line a 8-inch cake pan (that is at least 2 inches deep) with nonstick baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, then add milk, sugar oil, zest and juice and whisk to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk just until there are no more traces of flour.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65-80 minutes, until the top is golden and a cake tester comes out just clean.
  • Let it sit in the pan for 30 minutes before running a knife around the perimeter of the cake and turning out onto a cooling rack to cook completely.
  • Top with powdered sugar when cool and serve.

Notes

 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 97IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Kat Ashmore
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 329
Keyword: cake, dairy-free, gluten free, Olive Oil
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4.82 from 22 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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47 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I found this recipe and asked my husband to make it yesterday so that my sister (with Celiac disease) and I (dairy-free) could enjoy a Mother’s Day treat. It was a huge hit with everyone, including the dairy and gluten eaters. Thank you!

    1. This makes me so happy, Elizabeth!
      Everyone deserves to enjoy something special on Mother’s day!
      Kat.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this to bring to a friend’s house. It was a hit. Making it again for Mother’s Day. Great recipe.

  3. I am one of those people who reads all the reviews but never leaves them… but felt compelled to come here and praise the recipe! I made this cake yesterday exactly as written (with Bob’s Red Mill GF flour) and it was fantastic! Gluten free dairy free cakes are not always east AND tasty, and this one was! I took it to a get together and everyone raved about it.

    I wanted to come and leave a note about the importance of the FULL cooling of the cake for anyone who makes it. Im a pretty experienced baker, so please note this cake takes longer to cool than average. I was in a bit of a time crunch, so I was only able to allow this to cool maybe 30 mins (after the 30 minutes of cooling in the pan) before I needed to put it on a plate and leave the house. At this point the cake was still a bit warm. Therefore, the bottom half inch of the cake was a little dense gummy and almost separated from the top of the cake if that makes sense? Definitely from the steam not being able to escape out the bottom, no fault of the recipe. Either way, it was delicious and came out amazing. I can’t wait to try it again! Just leave yourself plenty of time for a full cool on the rack for optimal texture!

    1. I’m so thrilled you loved this recipe, Caroline!
      And thank you so much for sharing your notes: the cooling time is SO crucial!
      Thank you for being here!!
      Kat.

  4. 1 star
    I wanted this recipe to work and love everything I’ve made on the blog, but my cake came out super gummy and inedible, even after baking for 85 minutes. I watched the video as I mixed, used Bobs red mill 1:1 flour, and I always use an oven thermometer. I’m confident I did everything right, but the wet:dry ingredient ratio just seems off. So sad it didn’t turn out!

    1. Hi Emily,
      I’m so sorry you had trouble with this recipe! I’d love to get to the bottom of this: how long did you leave it to cool? It can be very gummy in its still-warm state, so I’m curious if that may have been the source of your struggles!
      Let me know if there is anything I can do to help,
      Kat.

  5. Hi, Kat! I so love all your recipes and your approach to cooking. I’m curious if you have a recipe for the gluten free flour blend? I cannot have the rice and potato starches in most 1:1 gluten free flour subs and would love to know if you have alternate recommendations. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Amanda,
      I don’t have a recipe for a gluten-free flour blend as I’m fortunately not allergic to gluten, however, from a quick search, I’m wondering if you’ve tried Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour as an alternative? I personally haven’t baked with it before so I can’t say for certain what the results would be, but it looks to be free from rice and potato starches. It does contain arrowroot starch though, but I’m not sure how you are with that.
      I’d love to hear how you get on,
      Kat x

    1. Bernadette, I don’t see why not! I would just keep a close eye on them to make sure you don’t under/overbake them. If you have a cupcake recipe that you love that bakes well in your oven, take your cues from that regarding oven temperature and a base time, but poke them with a skewer to check their done-ness regularly.
      Let me know how you get on!
      Kat.

  6. My cake came out really gummy and ultimatelyi had to toss it. It was cooked – lovely light crust on top and bottom – so that’s not it. I used Bob’s Red Mill gf flour and followed the recipe.
    Any thoughts? The flavor of the crust was so nice that I’d make it again if I can figure out what went wrong.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear this, Amy! It’s hard to tell exactly, but given that I used Bob’s Red Mill Flour as well, I would perhaps look at the cooking time as a first port of call. Every oven is different and given that your cake was cooked top and bottom, I think that your oven might just need some more time to fully bake the cake through. Next time you give it a try, I would suggest ignoring the suggested baking time a little and instead use a knife or skewer to test the readiness of the cake (if it comes out clean, it’s ready!).
      If I can be of any more help, just let me know!
      Kat.

  7. 5 stars
    Hi there! A couple of questions.
    I ) Do you have any suggestions for cook time/temp for regular-sized cupcakes?
    2) What size pan is the original recipe for?
    3) Is the batter supposed to be fairly “soupy”?

    1. Hi April,
      1. It depends on your oven, but I suggest using 350 degrees F and 12 minutes as a basic starting point. They will almost certainly need longer but that’s the point at which I would test with a skewer to see how they’re looking!
      2. This recipe was developed for an 8inch cake pan that’s at least 2 inches deep.
      3. Yes, the batter is quite soupy! You’ll see the consistency of my batter in the video if that helps at all.
      Let me know if you have any other questions,
      Kat.

    1. Hi Elana,
      It’s certainly worth trying! I haven’t personally experimented with it, but a note that flax eggs do soak up more moisture so you may find the cake to be slightly dryer, but given how moist this cake is, it may be perfectly fine!
      Let me know if you give it a try!
      Kat.