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