Recipe // Olive Oil Cake with Honey Frosting and Figs

It felt like every stall at the Italian Market was selling figs, so I felt inspired to put it on a layer cake. This olive oil cake is one of my favorites, and olive oil cake + figs seemed like the perfect combination.

As a side note, I think I am 20-something year old who gets super excited about getting individual plates for the sole purpose of photography for Christmas, but I’m very ok with it.

makes 1 three-layer cake

Olive Oil Cake


  • 3 c extra-virgin olive oil; plus more for pan
  • 2 1/2 c sugar
  • 4 c cake flour
  • 2/3 c fine-grind cornmeal
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle bottom and sides of 3 9-inch circle pans pan with oil and use your fingers to coat. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and smooth to eliminate air bubbles; coat parchment with more oil.
  2. Whisk cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to combine and eliminate any lumps. Using an electric mixer on high speed (use whisk attachment if working with a stand mixer), beat eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is very light, thick, pale, and falls off the whisk or beaters in a slowly dissolving ribbon, about 3 minutes if using a stand mixer and about 5 minutes if using a hand mixer.
  3. With mixer still on high speed, gradually stream in oil and beat until incorporated and mixture is even thicker. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions. Fold batter several times with a large rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of bowl.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pans and smooth the top. Place cake in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 350°. Bake until top is golden brown, center is firm to the touch, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40–50 minutes.
  5. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Poke holes all over top of cake with a toothpick or skewer and drizzle with 4 tbsp oil; let it absorb. Run a thin knife around edges of cake and remove ring from pan. Slide cake onto rack and let cool completely.
  6. For the best flavor and texture, wrap cake in plastic and let sit at room temperature at least a day before serving.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1-2 c powdered sugar


  1. Using an electric or hand mixer, whip the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  2. Add salt, honey, and sugar until well combined.



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