This Apple & Olive Oil Cake with Maple Icing is a staple from the Ottolenghi kitchen and features in two of their recipe books. I love it because the olive oil gives it a depth of flavour and moisture and also means it lasts a long time. I am making this midweek for weekend guests, so I don’t have to be in the kitchen whilst they are here. Actually I think it tastes better after a couple of days stored in the fridge.
Apple & Olive Oil cake with Maple icing
Ingredients: serves 10
350g plain flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml olive oil
200g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod scraped seeds
2 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten plus 2 extra egg white
3 Bramley apples (800g), peeled, cored and cut into 1cm dice (use Granny Smith’s as an alternative)
grated zest of 1 lemon
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g light muscovado sugar
85ml maple syrup
220g cream cheese, at room temperature
How to prepare:
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm round cake tin with baking parchment. The paper should rise 2-3cm above the sides of the tin. Set aside.
Place the sultanas and 200ml water in a medium saucepan. Simmer over a low heat until all the water has been absorbed, then set aside.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl and set aside. Peel and core the apples, then cut into 2-3cm dice and set aside in a separate bowl.
Place the sugar, olive oil, whole eggs, vanilla seeds and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on a medium speed for about 6-7 mins, until the mix is light in colour, doubled in size and has thickened a little. Don’t be tempted to increase the speed of the machine when mixing; this will create air bubbles, which you don’t want. Remove the bowl from the machine and use a large spatula to fold in the apples, sultanas and remaining 75ml of water. Add the sifted dry ingredients and gently fold to combine.
Place the egg whites in a separate clean bowl and whist to form soft peaks: there’s only a small amount of egg white here so you might need to do this by hand. Gently but thoroughly fold the egg whites into the cake mix, then scrape the batter into the tin. Level the top with a spatula and bake for 55 minutes (slightly longer if you are using Granny Smiths, as the don’t lose their shape as quickly as Bramley’s), or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin.
Make the icing while the cake is cooling. Place the butter, sugar and maple syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat until light and airy, then add the cream cheese, a quarter at a time. Continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until smooth and thick.
When the cake is completely cooked, use a large serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally. Spread half the icing over the bottom layer of the cake, then place the other layer back on top. Spoon the remaining icing on top – leave the sides un-iced so that the icing in the middle can be seen – and serve.
If you want to eat at a later date then before icing wrap in clingfilm and store in the fridge for a couple of days. Then unwrap, bring the cake up to room temperature and then ice with the maple icing.
To purchase the recipe book SWEET by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh – currently under half-price, £13, on Amazon.
Check out our other sweet treats here