When I was on Next Level Chef I was WAITING for an opportunity to bake because that was the one area I felt confident in and like I had an advantage against the other chefs. My time came on episode 11 when we had a team challenge and we had to come up with a 3 course meal. Naturally, I volunteered as tribute to spearhead the dessert course but unfortunately we were working down in the basement.

It wasn’t likely I would get the ingredients I needed to pull off my idea so I quickly memorized Zach Laidlaw’s Olive Oil Cake recipe because regardless of what I grabbed, I had a bulk of the ingredients already available to me in the staple pantry.

I won’t bore you with the details but long story short, 20 minutes is not enough time to bake a cake so I ended up having to rip apart the pieces that were done into a pile of crumble on the plate and surrounded it with macerated blueberries, strawberries and lemon curd. Safe to say I was not happy with how it turned out and cried putting it on the platform because I didnt feel like it was worth of winning top dish and if we didn’t win top dish then I would be going to elimination. ugh.

So today we have REDEMPTION! With Zach’s permission, I’m sharing his olive oil cake recipe with you and showing you that it indeed does work and is absolutely delicious. This is such a light, bright and fluffy cake, perfect for any springtime gathering. I hope you enjoy!

Olive Oil Cake Recipe 

Wet ingredients: 

  • 1 cup olive oil 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest 
  • 1 cup milk 

 Dry ingredients: 

  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 2 cups flour  


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  2. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. 
  3. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  4. Pour into a lined half sheet pan (a little larger than 9×13) and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
  5. Slice and serve with fresh fruit and whip cream. Enjoy!

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