Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comHow was your holiday weekend? We finished putting all of our outdoor areas together (we anticipated hosting outside on the patio), but it rained the entire weekend. We need the rain, so no complaints here- we were able to move our party and guests inside with no trouble at all. I was just happy to be with friends and hosting at home again. I wanted to kick off this short week with a fun recipe I tried over the long weekend. It’s perfect for summer, easy for parties, and is definitely one I’ll make again in the future. This olive oil cake is fragrant, citrusy, sweet, a little tart, spongey, and dense- all at the same time. It’s a flavor profile I wasn’t expecting, but immediately loved. It’s also one of those recipes that you can dress up and adjust however you’d like. You could easily add your favorite toppings, fruit, dollops of fresh whipped cream, or drizzly syrup to the top for a personalized look and taste. The options are really endless with this one. The Campari pairs very well with the olive oil, and it has me dreaming of an upcoming Italian getaway. Emmett & I just finished planning our 10-year anniversary trip and we’re headed back to Italy! We snagged flights on sale, and I’m already dreaming of eating my way through Tuscany and sipping late summer cocktails on the Amalfi Coast after a dive. This cake kind of encompasses all of those wonderful things and summer feelings! It’s perfect for the season ahead and comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Dinner in French by Melissa Clark. Click through for the recipe- or pin this one for later!

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comBefore we dive into the recipe, I’m overly excited about our Italian anniversary trip- it’s really what made me give this cake a try. It has been 12 years since I last visited Italy and I’m looking forward to sharing my favorite spots with Emmett, though I’m sure much has changed in over a decade, since I last lived there. Anyway, we’re hoping to renew our vows and get a couple “wedding” photos (if we can squeeze it into the itinerary). Did I ever tell you that story? Basically, we don’t have wedding photos because our photographer ghosted us 10 years ago. This time around, I just want it to be the two of us… no white dress, no party, just a couple photos of him & I to remember the occasion. I’m not even certain we’ll hire a photographer. Maybe I’ll just pack my tripod and set a timer- or have a stranger click the button? Haha! Who knows. Back to the cake…

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comThis cake is summery, delicious, and something different to try… not your standard chocolate or vanilla. I honestly wasn’t expecting to like it so much, because I’m a fan of the aforementioned basics, when it comes to cake.

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comAs you’re glancing at the recipe, keep in mind you could always substitute the standard all-purpose flour for a gluten-free alternative. This recipe would be pretty easy to modify to fit your dietary needs!

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comOlive oil in cake may sound odd, but it’s surprisingly wonderful! Do use a quality olive oil and make sure it is not too strong, flavored, or infused. I used this olive oil from our shop. It’s my favorite and isn’t toon overpowering for this recipe!

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake -

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake -

Campari Olive Oil Cake

Dessert, Cake, Olive Oil Cake, Campari Cake, Summer Dessert
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Italian
Servings 10


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup mild olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Campari
  • 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • whipped cream or crème fraîche for serving
  • confectioners sugar for dusting


  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, butter, eggs, Campari, citrus zests, and citrus juices.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake until the top is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed in the center- 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Let the cake cool completely in the pan. Then run a butter knife around the edges and release the sides of the springform pan. Serve with powdered sugar, dollops of whipped cream, or crème fraîche.


*recipe adapted from Melissa Clark's Dinner in French cookbook.
Keyword cake, campari, olive oil cake, olive oil, citrus, dessert,

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comRandom fact about me… my favorite fruit is grapefruit, so I expected to really enjoy this recipe. I love that sharp & tart citrus flavor- especially when paired with sweeter caramelized notes & confectioners sugar. It’s really a match made in heaven.

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comIf you’re not as keen on citrus flavors, I’d recommend omitting the zest or lessening the quantity. I think that’s my favorite part, though.

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comThe Campari tastes exactly like it does in a cocktail! It also gives the batter a fun peachy pink color. Eating this cake, I definitely envisioned myself sipping a Negroni in the south of France of Italian Riviera. Isn’t it fun how food has the ability to transport us or reminds us of a vivid memory we’ve since stored?

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comI think the key to this cake is fresh, quality ingredients. I zested and squeezed fresh grapefruit, lemons, and oranges- all of which really gave it an amazing juicy flavor.

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comThe batter isn’t super thick, so don’t panic if it looks a bit more thin in comparison to your typical cake mix. That’s what creates that lovely dense & spongey texture.

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comBy the time my cake came out of the oven yesterday, it had started to thunderstorm- which is my favorite during the summer months! Thunderstorms are actually pretty rare here in Utah; they remind me of home. There is nothing better than baking in the kitchen during a storm, while the rain trickles down the windows.

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comI pulled the cake out of the oven, dusted a pretty decent layer of powdered sugar, whipped some fresh cream, and enjoyed a slice while watching the rain come down. Not a bad Tuesday, if I do say so myself! I’ve been trying to eat *slightly* healthier given my recent hospital visits, so I shared some of this with our neighbors and took the rest to work for Jordan to enjoy. I’m kind of regretting only having one slice! It was so good.

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comI kept it simple with two toppings, but you could decorate this cake with whatever sounds appealing to you… ice cream, whipped cream, berries, meringue, syrup, etc.

Summer Recipe : Campari Olive Oil Cake - roomfortuesday.comThis cake just tastes like summer to me! Between the long holiday weekend and summer travel & adventures we have planned, this cake has me excited for the season ahead. I’m ready for all the flavors and fun that come along with sweet summertime! Anyone else? What are you looking forward to? Do you have any go-to summer recipes you’re looking forward to making? I’d love to hear about them! Here’s to a productive short week ahead. Happy June, friends!

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  1. Good morning! Campari and cake, you’re speaking my language! And I love all things citrus. I’m already imagining how I could stack and decorate this cake for a summer party. I have a fresh bottle of Campari since it’s Negroni season! Unfortunately, our long weekend kicked off with a thunderstorm, and the rain didn’t let up until yesterday. No complaints here, though. I cooked a big pot of curried squash soup, and we hunkered down with a movie. I also baked a blueberry coffee cake for a sweet Sunday morning treat. Time in the kitchen never disappoints. But a trip to Italy, now that’s exciting! I can’t believe you found an airfare sale?! I look forward to sharing in your excitement. (Seriously, I will not tire of hearing about this!) What could be more romantic than a vow renewal in Italy? Swoon. Cheers to a short week and Mediterranean dreams!💜🥂

    1. Good morning, Peggi! Campari and cake, indeed! A match made in heaven… I had no idea those two things went so well together. Ha! This cake is definitely going to end up in my dessert rotation again this summer- it was so good. You know I also love and appreciate Negroni season. We had the same weather here- rain all weekend into yesterday. We need every drop though. Today it’s looking pretty gorgeous outside. I might need your curried squash soup- that sounds delightful! I ordered some rosemary squash soup in my Daily Harvest box and honestly wasn’t super impressed. Don’t even get me started on your blueberry coffee cake- that sounds like it’s right up my alley. Yum! Emmett & I are honestly pretty cheap when it comes to flights. We will NEVER pay full price, lol. We follow Flights from Home SLC, and subscribe to her deals and it has saved us so much money over the years. I wondered if you have one of these types of accounts nearby that could get you to Maine for less? We actually didn’t even have to pay a penny for our Italy flights. We got the deal and had more than enough points to cover both of our flights. I can’t wait. I’m really looking forward to it! We’re doing an archeological dive in the Amalfi Coast that is filled with sunken marble statues- basically like an underwater art museum filled with renaissance sculptures. What a dream! Anyway, I’ll be sure to share all of our adventures later this summer / fall. I’m giddy just thinking about it :) Hope you have a great day ahead, friend! xo

  2. Omg Sarah, I’m officially craving cake for breakfast. That cake definitely looks so delicious 😋
    I love grapefruit so it looks like a treat for me. I’ve never had Campari before, where have I been? Haha! Oh Italy, how wonderful to renew your vows in such a romantic and beautiful location. I’m so happy to hear such a fabulous trip is planned and in the works. I’m hoping to make it there someday 🥂 Eating your way through Tuscany sounds amazing, not to mention a visit through the Amalfi Coast 😍 It all sounds so dreamy 💖 Cheers to cake, amazing vacation plans and the summer ahead 😎

    1. Me too, Colleen! Haha :) Grapefruit is the best. You and I always have so much in common. That said, I know you’ll love Campari! Pick up a bottle and stir up some poolside Negronis this summer. They’re so delicious and easy… one part gin, one part vermouth, and one part Campari- garnished with orange peel. I drink mine on the rocks. So delicious and citrusy for summertime! We’re really looking forward to Italy. I’ve been making a list of all the places to see and food to eat in our short one-week time period. We’re going to cram in as much as we can. We won’t have time for much of Tuscany (just Florence this time around), but I loved traveling & eating all over when I lived there. I’m not even going to lie- I gained 20 lbs while I was there. Hah! Anyway, we’re excited and so happy to have found discount flights to give us the push we needed. I booked some fun hotels that are really beautiful- I can’t wait to share. Do you have fun summer plans? I hope you’re having a good week :) xo

  3. Good morning! We had a stormy weekend as well- filled with moody morning fog and that misty perfection that screams spring in California. The air has been nicely crisp with the perfect breeze almost all day. It’s been a true spring here, which we haven’t experienced in years. Your recipe looks delicious, despite the fact that I’m not a fan of dense cakes. The citrus notes mixed with olive oil sound delightful though. Here’s a fun fact about me: my favorite fruit is oranges, and I’m allergic to citric acid! Ha! In recent years I’ve only had a reaction when I’ve peeled the fruit myself- sorry kids, wedges for life, lol. Maybe I’ll try to whip this up for our Father’s Day gathering and see how I like it. I’ll admit-I have no idea what Campari is, what it tastes like, and I’ve never tried a Negroni…maybe you and Peggi can partner up on a post to share a favorite Negroni recipe and some perfect pairings. I’d love to try this cocktail I hear so much about! Italy sounds like a dreamy, romantic getaway. The Amalfi Coast is a bucket list trip for me. I am excited for you and Emmett- what a romantic trip! I love your idea of renewing your vows and taking wedding photos. True story- Jeff and I are celebrating our 10 year, and we have an entire wedding album someone gifted us-that’s empty; we never had our wedding photos printed, mainly because we’re not thrilled with them. There are a select few I’ve printed and framed, but beyond those “good ones”, we didn’t see the point. 😂🤣 A re-do is definitely something we talk about too. I can’t wait to live vicariously through your adventures. Did you use one of those travel saver sites to score a deal on your flights? I know you’ll post all the details here on the blog…I think I’m as excited as you are, haha! Cheers to a short week and travel just around the corner!

    1. Good morning, Lauren! I love the rainy weather this time of year. I’m SO sorry to hear about your citric acid allergy- that is such a bummer. I’m all about citrus fruits and juice. How annoying that your favorite just happens to be oranges and you’re not able to peel them. I have a shellfish allergy and the same thing happens to me when I touch shrimp- Emmett absolutely loves it, so every once in awhile I’ll try to make some for him and it’s always a disaster. Ha! The struggle with food allergies. You should definitely buy some Campari and stir up a Negroni- they’re so easy and wonderful for summer… they’re everywhere in the south of Italy and France. A Negroni is made of one part gin, one part vermouth, and one part Campari- garnished with orange peel (but maybe for the sake of your allergy, skip that part!). Maybe a post with my favorite go-to easy cocktails would be fun for summer? I just love Italy and I’m excited to finally go with Emmett! We’re hoping to do an archeological dive in the Amalfi Coast- think underwater sunken marble statues. I’ll definitely be sharing all of our travel adventures in September. Isn’t it funny how much we’d change 10 years later (in regards to the wedding)? Haha! I’d do it all so differently now- including hiring a different photographer. Lol! I think you should get some new photos at 10 years, too… fill up that album! :) I think it will be fun. For the flights- I pay for the “Flights from Home SLC” subscription. Do you have one of those in CA? We pretty much only buy sale flights. Each time we’ve traveled internationally, we’ve paid less than $650 round trip for nonstop flights thanks to the shared deals. Sadly, our flights back home to Kentucky cost more than that- which we splurge on to see our family. Anyway- I highly recommend one of those subscriptions if you can find one from your local airport! It has paid for itself over and over again. Hope you have a great day :)

      1. Haha!! Yes food allergies are the worst. Archeological dive??!! Mind blown, and wish I could be a mouse in your pocket. That’s goals! I’ve never heard of the flights from home, but just searched Instagram to find an account near me, and the closest is Orange County. But there’s subscriptions through the airport??😲 I’m clearly not adulting properly! Lol. I bet Jeff could write off the cost as a work expense since he travels so much. I’m going to dig deeper-Mama needs to get back to my Hawaiian roots. Thanks for the awesome intel!

        1. Yay! Maybe you can catch some deals out of OC. So the way our Flights from Home works is a subscription through their online website (they send you deals before they share them on IG, so subscribers get first dibs… and usually they sell out). I think it’s $100 or something per year, but Emmett does the same with our account- he’s able to write it off for work travel. We’ve saved a ton of money! Fingers crossed you’ll be able to book that Hawaiian getaway soon :)

  4. Happy Wednesday & June 1! Campari. I have never tried it but you have my curiosity and wanting to know more. I too love grapefruit. Your cake sounds perfect for summer. I love desserts! Your cake came out so beautiful and your presentation is always beautiful! I know your neighbors enjoyed the treat! Do you use cake pan strips? I had never heard of them until recently. They go around your cake pan and keep the batter from crowning unevenly. They are in my Amazon shopping cart right now. Ha!
    Italy sounds divine and what a great way to celebrate 10 years. A deep dive to see ancient statues would be a bucket list item for sure. What a lucky guy he is to have you as a tour guide. Look forward to all the details!
    I say summer has begun as of Memorial Weekend because in Texas….it’s HOT! Hope your weekend was wonderful. So glad you got rain! Love a good downpour with sounds and smell during the summer when it has been hot and dry. My favorite childhood memory is to sit on the hot sidewalk while it rains (of course with no lightning or thunder which is rare) Ha!
    Wanted to share an easy grapefruit salad with you. Take organic butter lettuce and use how much you want to eat for that meal. Add grapefruit slices; feta cheese; avocado slices (if you like it) salt, pepper and dressing. I drizzle avocado oil on mine. Very light, easy and summer good! Enjoy!

    1. Hi Danna, Happy Wednesday! You’ll have to give a Negroni (Campari cocktail) a try. Those are my favorite during the summer months and they’re s easy :) Thanks for your kind words about the cake- that was a fun one to make (and eat)! I have used cake pan strips and they really do work. Sadly, I can’t use them with our current oven, which you already know I hate, because it’s so unlevel that even my beloved cake strips don’t help… therefore, I end up rotating the cake a bunch to make it work. Anyway.. that stupid oven. Ha. We’re both really looking forward to celebrating in Italy. It hasn’t gotten too terribly hot here in Utah yet, but I’m dreading once it hits 100+ degree temps. I love your hot sidewalk in the rain story- I used to do that, too! What wonderful memories. Thank you SO much for that amazing salad recipe. I just picked up all the goodies from the grocery and can’t wait to have it for lunch tomorrow! You’re the best. It sounds amazing! Have a good night, Danna! xo