When I mention olive oil, you’re probably more likely to think about cooking than baking. I am here today, dear friends, to change that. Olive oil is truly great in baked goods, as a substitute for other fats, for dairy, or just to add some extra texture and nuance flavor. I see it used most frequently as an ingredient in cakes, where it adds a simple richness and a bit more moisture to the batter. I’ve also used it in brownies, where it added a nice depth to the flavor. You can’t quite pinpoint the source of this flavor in the finished baked good- it doesn’t taste like olives, oil, or olive oil. So it’s one of those wonder ingredients that imparts great benefits without adding complexity. A Secret Weapon, if you will.
I recently felt inspired to make an apple-based recipe and turned to the Interwebs for ideas. I’ve made a slew of apple recipes in the past, from Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Bars to Roasted Apple Spice Cake. I wanted to make a cake this time too, but had an important ingredient restriction: I couldn’t use any dairy. This cake was destined for a potluck, you see, and some of the guests couldn’t eat dairy. So to Google I turned, and behold: I came upon this fabulous recipe for Olive Oil Apple Honey Cake.
In this recipe, olive oil takes the place of any other sort of fat or dairy product. It makes for a somewhat custardy cake texture, moist and flavorful. The honey brings a tad of sweetness both within the batter, and in the topping layer. And then the apples bake nicely to be little bits of tasty fruit within the cake. There’s a “topping” of eggs and honey that adds a nice crackle and a bit more sweetness to your first bites.
The source blogger who posted this laid out her apples into a most-beautiful bottom layer that looks like a flower. I’ll admit mine was much less artistic- but it still tasted great!
Olive Oil Apple Honey Cake
Source: A Pickled Plum
Yield: One 8-inch cake
Suggested equipment: Nothing- you can hand-mix this
Total Time: ~1 hour
Cook Time: ~45 minutes
I broke the original recipe into a few more detailed steps and wrote my own commentary below but the ingredients/process come straight from A Pickled Plum.
- 4 red apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I used a mix of Honeycrisp and Gala)
- 5 tbsp all-purpose flour, sifted
- 5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup (150ml) honey
Step by Step Directions
Prep your apples
- Peel and core your apples, then cut them into thin slices. This sort of stuff always takes me longer than I think it should, which is why it’s important to factor in the apple prep time when you’re planning your prep logistics.
Bake your cake
- Pre-heat your oven to 350Fº
- Grease and line a 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper, then grease it with non-stick spray
- Place the apple slices into the pan. Mine were placed rather haphazardly but you’re welcome to make it prettier!
- Put flour, sugar, baking powder, olive oil and 2 eggs into a bowl, then whisk until smooth
- Pour batter over the apples in the pan and bake for 20 minutes
Add your topping
- After removing the pan from the oven, increase the temperature to 400Fº
- In a bowl, whisk 2 eggs and the honey
- Pour the honey mixture over the cake, then bake it for another 15-25 minutes until it is golden brown and a fork comes out clean when poked in the center. I had to bake mine for 25 minutes to get the top to brown evenly- I suggest you check on yours after about 15 minutes to see whether it needs more time or not
My dinner hosts served my cake cold topped with non-dairy ice cream, which was the perfect complement to a simple but delicious cake.