Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Citrus and Thyme

June 9, 2021

Looking for a dessert to wow your guests this summer? Look no further—this Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Citrus and Thyme delivers on beauty, taste, and ease! If you’re a fan of oranges, this is one recipe you don’t want to miss!

So, what makes this recipe so unique and healthful? Well, for starters, is features olive oil, which makes it moist, soft, and absolutely delicious. But did you know that olive oil is also incredibly rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)?

MUFAs are a healthy fat that’s been linked to blood sugar regulation, heart health, healthy weight management, and more.

According to a study of over 125,000 participants, substituting MUFAs for saturated fatty acids (SFAs) lowered risk of coronary heart disease by 15 percent. [1]

And other studies have shown that, in comparison to high-carbohydrate diets, MUFA-rich diets help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. [2]

Another one of the great features of this olive oil cake recipe is that it features thyme. From fighting anxiety to acting as an all-natural pain reliever, this Mediterranean herb has been used for centuries for its health-supporting properties.

So, how beneficial is it? Well, according to animal studies, thyme reduces stress and anxiety in laboratory animals. [3]

And thanks to the fact that it contains both lithium and tryptophan, it’s also great for fighting mental fatigue and depression.

Lithium is a mineral that contains anti-depressant properties, while tryptophan is an amino acid that’s used to help the body make the “feel good” hormone serotonin. [45] And because serotonin helps to calm the body, it’s effective in fighting anxiety.

Interestingly, studies have shown that manipulating tryptophan levels can modify the body’s serotonin levels. [6]

Finally, we have to discuss the fact that my Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Citrus and Thyme also features blood and navel oranges.

Oranges are a fantastic source of vitamin C, which is required for the synthesis of collagen. (Collagen is the structural protein that not only keeps your skin plump and wrinkle-free but is also vital for maintaining the structure of many parts of your body, including your bones, muscles, tendons, skin, and more.)

According to a 2016 study, orange extract was shown to help prevent collagenase and elastase activity. [7] (Collagenase is an enzyme that breaks down collagen while elastase breaks down elastin.)

Plus, we all know how beneficial vitamin C is for immune health. And that’s just another reason why this olive oil cake recipe may just be the healthiest cake you’ve ever eaten!

Now that you know a bit about what makes this Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Citrus and Thyme such a healthy recipe, let’s take a look at the actual recipe so you can get cooking!


Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Citrus and Thyme

Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Makes: 8 slices


Vegan olive oil cake - Dr. Pingel



1 blood orange; skin and pith removed, seeded, and sliced

1 navel orange; skin and pith removed, seeded, and sliced

2½ cups almond flour

¼ cup arrowroot flour

3 tablespoons coconut flour

1¼ cup coconut sugar

1½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce

¼ cup plain non-dairy yogurt

¼ cup orange juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest



1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch round pan with parchment paper. Arrange the orange slices over the parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Vegan olive oil cake - Dr. Pingel

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and thyme.

Vegan olive oil cake - Dr. Pingel

3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, almond milk, apple sauce, yogurt, orange juice, and lemon zest.

Vegan olive oil cake - Dr. Pingel

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until completely smooth. Do not over mix.

Vegan olive oil cake - Dr. Pingel

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan to cover sliced oranges.

Vegan olive oil cake - Dr. Pingel

6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top begins to brown before center is done, cover the pan with foil for the remaining baking time.

Vegan olive oil cake - Dr. Pingel

7. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Carefully run a butter knife around the edges of the cake then invert the pan onto a platter or large plate. Slice and enjoy.

Vegan olive oil cake - Dr. Pingel

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