Olive Oil Apple Cake

Autumn recipes evoke all kinds of food memories but the one I love the most is Olive Oil Apple Cake.  This is a nostalgic treat…I am reminded of my mother’s baked goods around the Jewish High Holidays.  Apples were ever-present and autumnal spices such as cinnamon, ginger and cardamom created delicious scents.  Walking into our kitchen after school could make you heady with delight!

This recipe recreates all of those moments for me.  Grated apples are incorporated into this loaf cake and all of the wonderful spices flavor not only the batter but the sugar topping as well.  Hard to get much better than this!

It’s an easy cake to prepare and it’s a wonderful beginning to a delicious season!

We begin this recipe by preparing the loaf pan.  Lightly coat the sides and bottom with olive oil and then sprinkle sugar around the sides and bottom.  This will add a little crunch to the exterior of the cake.

Next, grate the apples.  Using a clean kitchen towel, wring out the apple bits to absorb extra liquid.  Be aggressive!  You want the apple bits to be dry as possible.

In a medium bowl, combine the cinnamon, pepper, cardamom and ginger.  This is your spice mix.  Transfer 1/4-teaspoon to a small bowl and set aside.

Add flour and baking powder to the remaining spice mix and whisk to combine.  This will give the cake a wonderfully spicy flavor!

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and some sugar.

Continue whisking the batter while slowly pouring in the olive oil with the other hand.

Gently fold in the flour mixture until it’s just combined, being careful not to overmix.

Fluff up the grated apples and scatter them over the batter.  Fold them into the batter to incorporate. 

Now, transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Add a little sugar to the reserved spice mix and sprinkle it evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake the cake until it is a deep golden brown and a tester comes out clean.  This can take an hour or more.

Let the cake cool in the pan and then invert it onto a platter. Flip it back and slice and serve it! 

Just a note…if you use a smooth knife to cut the cake, you will get fluffier looking pieces like mine.  If you use a serrated knife, the slices will be more dense and compact.  Either way is wonderful!

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Lastly, if you make Olive Oil Apple Cake, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Olive Oil Apple Cake

Makes: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour & 20 minutes


  • 1 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tsp (100 g plus 10 g) granulated sugar, plus more for pan
  • 2 sweet apples, such as Golden Delicious or Gala
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (185 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour about 1 tablespoon oil into a 9×5″ loaf pan and coat bottom and sides with fingertips. Sprinkle granulated sugar onto sides and bottom of pan to lightly coat.

Grate apples, peel and all, on the large holes of a box grater. Gather apples in a clean kitchen towel and wring out excess liquid. Be aggressive! You want them as dry as possible when they go into the batter.

Whisk cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, and ginger in a medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 teaspoon spice mixture to a small bowl; set aside. Add flour and baking powder to remaining spice mixture and whisk to combine.

Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Continue whisking vigorously until lightened in color and thickened. Whisking with one hand and pouring with the other, slowly stream 1 cup oil into egg mixture until combined. Gently fold flour mixture into whipped eggs with a flexible rubber spatula just until combined, taking care not to overmix.

Fluff up grated apples and scatter over batter. Gently fold to incorporate.

Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Add 2 teaspoons granulated sugar to reserved spice mixture and mix to combine. Sprinkle spiced sugar evenly over top of batter.

Bake cake until deep golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 60–70 minutes. Let cake cool in pan. Run a butter knife or offset spatula along edge of cake to loosen and invert onto a platter.

Do Ahead: Cake can be made 3 days ahead (the flavor gets slightly more intense each day). Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


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