citrus loaf cakes

chocolate olive oil loaf cake

this chocolate olive oil loaf cake is decadent without being heavy. its full of rich chocolate flavor and bright citrus notes. top with loaf with a beautiful pink blood orange glaze.

today I bring you this absolutely delicious chocolate olive oil loaf cake topped with a gorgeous pink blood orange glaze. “heart day” (as my kids call it) is JUST around the corner and blood orange season in full swing. making this is the perfect little cake to celebrate this love filled holiday.

these flavors are made for each other! you could even call it a “match made in foodie heaven.” the bright flavor of the citrus brings out all the rich notes of the chocolate. the olive oil lends a light, sweet, citrus-y moisture that fully supports the chocolate. see, perfect for valentines day! or, any day for that matter (she says while eating a slice on a perfectly uneventful Tuesday afternoon). read on to find out why I love this loaf cake so dang much!

this luscious loaf is best described as

  • rich
  • moist
  • chocolate filled
  • decadent without being heavy
  • tender crumb
  • bright citrus notes
  • sweet
  • tart
  • a perfect balance between rich, light and bright
chocolate olive oil loaf cake

all the ingredients you’ll need

you don’t need anything too special, mostly pantry ingredients. but, make sure you have the following:
  • cake flour
  • all purpose flour
  • baking soda
    • make sure this is fresh
    • replace every 6 months
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • espresso powder
    • for flavor
    • boost chocolate flavor
    • optional, but recommended
  • salt
  • blood oranges
    • to make the fresh juice and zest
    • this makes the pretty pink glaze
    • sub with regular oranges, but know the glaze will be yellow, not pink
  • sugar
  • good quality olive oil
    • I use this brand for my baking needs
    • make sure its light and a little fruity
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • orange extract
  • chocolate chips
    • optional, its delicious with or without!
  • powdered sugar

from these ingredients you will make the chocolate olive oil loaf cake and blood orange glaze

do I need any special tools?

you do not need anything too special to make this chocolate olive oil cake. however, here is what I recommend for the easiest preparation:

what if I want to get a deep pink glaze?

you can get a deeper pink color glaze, similar to the glaze I used in my blood orange cookie bars by reducing down the blood orange juice. the recipe calls for 1 c freshly squeezed blood orange juice (with the pulp removed, it comes down to 3/4 c). this is roughly the amount of juice from 3 medium to large blood oranges. the chocolate olive oil loaf cake uses 2/3 of a cup (157ml), leaving 2-3 tablespoons (35-45ml) left over for the glaze. LOVE when that happens!

if you want to get a deeper pink color for the glaze, you will need to juice 1-2 more blood oranges. from there you will:

  • pour 1/2 c (118ml) freshly squeezed blood orange juice into a small sauce pot
  • heat the juice over medium heat until it reduces down to 3 tablespoons
    • this takes roughly 8-10 minutes
  • cool the reduction for 15-20 minutes
  • use as you would the fresh blood orange juice in the recipe
chocolate olive oil loaf cake

tips + tricks for the perfect loaf cake

  • use room temperature ingredients
  • mix the milk/juice mixture + dry ingredients into the wet by hand
    • this reduces the risk of over mixing
    • which leads to a tougher crumb
  • use cake flour if you can
    • see my DIY for this in the recipe notes
  • fully preheat the oven
    • most ovens need about 20-25 minutes
  • line the loaf pan with parchment paper
  • do not start checking the cake until 40-45 minutes
    • doing so earlier can cause the cake to rise and deflate
    • ive tested this recipe many times and it takes between 50-60 minutes every time
  • use a foil tent if the top is baking faster than the center
    • I never had to do this for this recipe, but its a general helpful thing to know
    • don’t do this until 40-45 minutes of baking have elapsed
  • the cake is finished when:
    • the edges pull slightly away
    • a tooth pick inserted into the center has a few moist crumbs (or is clean)
  • cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes only
    • set a timer to remember!
  • fully cool the cake before applying the glaze
    • otherwise it will glaze itself right off the cake!
  • double glaze the loaf cake
    • pour 1/2 of the glaze on top
    • wait about 5-10 minutes
    • pour the remaining glaze on top
    • let the glaze sit for 1 hour to fully set
chocolate olive oil loaf cake
chocolate olive oil loaf cake
chocolate olive oil loaf cake
chocolate olive oil loaf cake
chocolate olive oil loaf cake

check out these other loaf cakes!

chocolate olive oil loaf cake

chocolate olive oil loaf cake

this chocolate olive oil loaf cake is decadent without being heavy. its full of rich chocolate flavor and bright citrus notes. top with loaf with a beautiful pink blood orange glaze.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Cooling Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 9X5 loaf pan
  • citrus zester and juicer (or reamer)
  • parchment paper


chocolate olive oil loaf cake

  • 1 c (120g) cake flour see notes or sub 1:1 AP flour
  • 1/2 c (60g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp (2g) espresso powder, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c (157ml) blood orange juice
  • 1/4 c (59ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1 c (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp (12-18g) blood orange zest, about 2-3 oranges
  • 1/2 c (118ml) olive oil
  • 2 (114g) large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (5ml) orange extract
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips, optional

blood orange glaze

  • 1 c (120g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tbsp (30-45ml) blood orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving 1-2" overhang on the long sides. Set aside.
  • Sift flours, baking soda, unsweetened cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
  • Combine 2/3 c blood orange juice with the milk in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside until needed.
  • Combine the sugar and blood orange zest in a mixing bowl. Mix together until the oils release and the sugar resembles wet sand. This takes about 30 seconds with a mixer or 1-2 minutes using a whisk by hand. 
    Whisk in the olive oil on medium speed until smooth and well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed about 20 seconds before adding the next egg. Add vanilla and orange extracts, beating on low until well combined. Scrape sides down as needed.  Beat all ingredients on medium low for an addtional minute.
  • By hand, sift in the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the blood orange/milk mixture, starting/ending with the dry ingredients: dry, milk, dry, milk, dry. Stir each addtional until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips if using.
  • Pour 1/2 chocolate cake batter into the prepared loaf pan. Using a small offset spatula or back of a spoon, evenly spread the batter into the corners. Pour remaining 1/2 batter into the pan. Evenly spread the batter into the pan.
  • Bake at 350 F (177 C) for 50-60 minutes. Check the cake around 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center. If the batter is wet, bake in 5 minute increments, checking each time by inserting a toothpick into the center (close to the center, but not the same part each time). When the toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs and the edges are slighly pulled from the sides, the cake is done.
    If the top is baking faster than the center is baking, you can top with a tent foil around 40-45 minutes.
  • Cool in the pan, on top of a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Using a butter knife, gently loosen the unlined edges from the pan. Gently lift the bread out of the loaf pan using the pieces of parchment overhang. Cool an addtional 30 minutes before topping with the glaze.
  • Whisk the powdered sugar with the remaining blood orange glaze until smooth and well combined. Pour 1/2 of the glaze on the cake. Wait about 5 minutes and pour the remaining half on top.
    Allow 45-60 minutes for the glaze to full set or enjoy while wet.


diy cake flour: measure out 1 c all purpose flour (120g). scoop out 2 tbsp (15g) flour. replace this with 2 tbsp cornstarch. sift this new flour together 4 times. you now have an approximate replacement for 1 c cake flour.
Keyword blood orange cake, chocolate and citrus, chocolate oilve oil cake, olive oil cake
did you make this recipe?tag @olivesnthyme on Instagram

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