Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

by Ellen Kanner

"Tuscan Olio Piro meets tropical citrus in this cake with Florida oranges.. What brings them together? Chocolate! Bonus, it’s vegan. 

Olio Piro makes it silky and moist and the taste is deeply chocolate." 

- Ellen


1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
1/4 cup almond flour

1 tablespoon corn starch 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
grated zest of 1 to 2 oranges (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup plain unsweetened vegan yogurt, such as Kite Hill or Forager 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon amaretto
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur*
1/3 cup Olio Piro or Olio Piro orange oil


Set oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil an 8-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with an 8-inch round of parchment.

In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole what flour, almond flour, cocoa, corn starch, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk everything gently to aerate and combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cane sugar and orange zest. This will help release the orange oils in the zest. The mixture should be like damp sand. Then add the orange juice, vegan yogurt, cider vinegar, almond extract and orange liqueur or extra orange juice. Mix together well.

Pour the orange mixture into the dry ingredients and give a quick but thorough stir. Then slowly pour in the Olio Piro or orange-infused oil. Fold everything together so batter is glossy and uniform, with no streaks of flour. Keep a light hand, don’t overbeat.

Pour the batter into the cake pan. Give it a light rap on the counter to expel any bubbles. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cake is fragrant and firm, with a tester inserted in the center coming up clean.

Allow to cool completely. Run a knife around the edges, invert onto a cake plate and unmold. Serves 8.

How to save: Cake may be kept well-wrapped and refrigerated for up to five days, or you can wrap and freeze it for up to a month. Let cake come back to room temperature before serving.

*Add another 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice should you wish to skip the almond and orange liqueurs.

Olio Piro Chocolate Orange Glaze

How to serve: This glaze requires minimal fuss to make but adds a touch of sunshine and style to desserts like Olio Piro chocolate orange and almond cake. Or skip the baking and use glaze as a dip/ fondue for strawberries, sliced fresh fruit, and your favorite cookies.


1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped 2 teaspoons Olio Piro
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Pour orange juice into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-high heat for a minute or two, or until heated through. Turn off the heat, leave the pot on the burner, and add the chopped chocolate.

Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is creamy. Remove saucepan from heat. Pour in the olive oil and vanilla and stir to combine.

Set glaze aside for 30 minutes to allow to thicken and cool to room temperature before using it to drizzle and decorate.

How to keep: Glaze may be made up to three days ahead, and kept refrigerated in an airtight container. Allow to come to room temperature before spooning over cake.


Ellen Kanner is the soulful vegan award-winning author of Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith and What to Eat for Dinner (VegNews’ Book of the Year, PETA’s debut Book of the Month Club pick), the e-book, Beans: A Handful of Magic.

She has been writing about the intersection of food, wellness and sustainability for over 20 years for outlets including HuffPo, Civil Eats, Saveur, EatingWell, VegNews, the Miami Herald, and Whole Foods Magazine.

Find Ellen's recipes at




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