Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Icing

By • September 9, 2013 11 Comments

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Author Notes: The olive oil gives this cake extra depth and intensity. The complex flavors mature over time, so consider wrapping the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerating it, ready to ice and serve, for up to 3 days. Somewhat less festive (and less calorie laden), this is still very satisfying without the maple icing. Just dust lightly with confectioners' sugar.Yotam Ottolenghi

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (heaping)
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/8-inch dice
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup muscovado sugar (scant)
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup (scant)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  1. Grease an 8-inch springform cake pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Place the raisins and water in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat until all of the water has been absorbed. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325*F. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.
  3. Put the oil and superfine sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a whisk if you don't have a mixer). Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and, using a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out into the bowl. Beat the oil, sugar, and vanilla together, then gradually add the eggs. The mix should be smooth and thick at this stage. Mix in the diced apples, raisins, and lemon zest, then lightly fold in the shifted dry ingredients.
  4. Whisk the eggs whites in a clean bowl, either by hand or with a mixer, until they have a soft meringue consistency. Fold them into the batter in 2 additions, trying to maintain as much air as possible.
  5. Pour the batter into the lined pan, level it with an icing spatula, and place in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan.
  6. Once the cake is completely cold, you can assemble it. Remove it from the pan and use a large serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally. You should end up with 2 similar disks. If the cake is very domed, you need to shave a bit off the top half to level it.
  7. To make the icing, beat together the butter, muscovado sugar, and maple syrup until light and airy. You can do this by hand, or, preferably, in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cream cheese and beat until the icing is totally smooth.
  8. Using the icing spatula, spread a layer of icing 3/8 inch thick over the bottom half of the cake. Carefully place the top half on it. Spoon the rest of the icing on top and use the icing spatula to create a wavelike or any other pattern. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if you like.

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Desserts

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Comments (11) Questions (1)


8 days ago Kat

I'm surprised at the reviews of this cake, I made this over the weekend using in-season Granny Smith apples and checked the cake around 45 min- 60 min and could tell it was done. Use your eyes and instincts people :-) Really really good, everyone loved this cake. I didn't add the icing until later, and it was lovely plain.


4 months ago nancy staub

This was possibly the worst cake I have ever baked. I was so disappointed. As per Zindc's and Kittyc's comments below, my cake was done in 60 minutes (thank goodness I checked) came out with a very hard crust, was totally tasteless and Ihad to throw it away. I had such high hopes for this. A complete waste of some terrific apples from the farm, not to mention 1/2 C of my very best olive oil. Never again.


10 months ago zindc

Instead of "Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean" this should say OR until a skewer comes out clean. Mine was done after 60 minutes, not 90. I made it with quince instead of apple but the fruit substitution shouldn't have made any difference in the baking time. It was delicious with quince, by the way. I subbed in some cardamom for half the cinnamon, just cause I always put cardamom in non-chocolate cakes. And used dried Smyrna figs for half the raisins (and soaked them in some rum--a great suggestion below). Excellent fall dessert.


over 1 year ago rachel

I have made this cake on a few occasions and it has always been spectacularly recieved


almost 2 years ago kittyc

Hmm. This turned out terribly for me. I cooked it for only 40 minutes, but it was still dry, and just utterly lacking in flavor (except for the apple chunks). Very disappointed.


almost 2 years ago Jeff the Chef

I baked this cake in two 8-inch round pans, and it came out beautifully. I had to make a few adjustments, such as baking time.


almost 2 years ago Peachylovecakes

Hey Bevi,
I just used my backyard granny's they were a lot smaller but I am so excited Autumn and this apple cake are here I don't mind all the extra cutting. Also soaked my raisins in rum instead of water...


almost 2 years ago Bevi

Great idea soaking raisins in rum....


almost 2 years ago KimmyV

Just made the cake. Used 9 in pans cause I hate cutting cakes horizontally. Turned out great. My three year old 'helped' which means he cranked the mixer on high and the apple pieces went flying everywhere. The frosting was really yummy. Thanks for this great recipe.


almost 2 years ago Lisa

Would this recipe work using a light rye or barley flour. Any thoughts on this?


almost 2 years ago Bevi

Lovely - I will use apples from my tree that approximate Granny Smiths.