Apple Olive Oil Cake

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I am always on the lookout for new apple recipes that I can serve to our farmhouse guests since our farmhouse is called Il Casale di Mele (Mele meaning “apples”). Since I prefer to use olive oil in my baking rather than butter to keep things a little healthier whenever I can, when I came across an apple cake made with olive oil in Anna Del Conte’s Gastronomy of Italy I had to try it. The cake was extremely stiff when mixed, and in fact seemed a little dry when I took it out of the oven. After a day in my cake keeper the cake was more moist as all those apples and the olive oil did their magic, but it just wasn’t the cake I had in mind. By the way, Anna’s book, Gastronomy of Italy is a cross between an Italian cuisine encyclopedia and an indepth Italian cookbook and I use mine often. I highly recommend it if you do not own it already.

I decided I needed to play with the ingredients a bit the next time I made the cake, which is something food bloggers find ourselves doing regularly. As a rule, I can’t help tweaking even the most perfect recipe, aways changing things around a bit to make the recipe more appealing to me personally, and this new “tweaked” version of apple olive oil cake turned out exactly how I wanted. It was really moist, lighter than the first cake, and lightly flavored with cinnamon and ginger. For this new version, I added an extra egg, used brown sugar instead of white, added a little more olive oil, added some baking powder, and I used all-purpose flour in place of cake flour. I also added a little fresh grated ginger which gave the cake a touch of brightness after it was baked. It is a really rustic, very moist cake, chock full of apples, and moistened with olive oil. I love this cake plain sliced alongside my morning cappuccino, but I can also serve it to company after dinner with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele

Apple Olive OIl Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 1/3 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs, At Room Temperature
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Golden Raisins
  • 4 Medium Apples, Peeled, Cored & Diced (About 3 Cups)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease an 8 inch springform pan.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the sugar and oil with a hand mixer until blended.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each, then add the ginger and vanilla and mix.
  5. Add the dry mixture, and beat on low just until barely blended.
  6. Fold in the raisins and apples until mixed.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.
  8. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the cake from the tin and cool to room temperature before slicing.

Inspired by Apple Olive Oil Cake by Anna Del Conte