Olive Oil Apple Cake

Apple cake is one of life’s great pleasures and now that it is essentially “apple” season, I have found myself developing yet another cake calling for one of my all time fave fruits (sorry, summer berries and peaches). Whenever I develop an apple cake, and yes, I do so often, I use oil rather than butter as my fat, because – as many of  you may know, I adore an oil-based cake (and you can read about just how much I love one here). (I’ve also written about how much I love snacking cases, and since this olive oil cutie is essentially a snacking cake (though I am not calling it that on this here post), you can read about my thing for snacking cakes here). But I digress . . . in short, though ALL my apple cakes are oil-based, this is the first that is OLIVE OIL based.

And I cannot believe I waited this long, if you must know. Olive oil adds so much flavor and depth to this apple cake – it may just be my fave version yet. I used Colavita Olive Oil when developing the cake, as that is my fave kind, and because I bake with Colavita every week over on IGTV – you can see me make this cake here.

I used one of Colavita’s bold, fruity olive oils, but you can use whichever olive oil you like – even a mild one. I like to sprinkle my apples on top of the cake rather than fold them in to the batter because I like the way it looks and looks are everything (JOKE). I also like to toss the apples with cinnamon and sugar before dotting the top of the cake with them – for both the flavor and the look (yes, the look thing again), as the cinnamon darkens them a bit. Finally, I generously sprinkle the whole cake in Turbinado sugar (before baking it) for sparkle (looks) and crunch (taste/texture). So, if you like a good lookin’, DELICIOUS cake that is perf for right now (ie: September) I sincerely hope you’ll bake this beauty up stat.

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4.50 from 2 votes

Olive Oil Apple Cake

Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 medium apples any variety of baking apples
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup Colavita Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8x8x2-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or softened butter. Line with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
  • Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/2-inch chunks. Place them in a small bowl and sprinkle with the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and toss with your hands to coat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and remaining 1 cup sugar. Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk again. Add the cream and whisk a final time.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry into the wet in three additions, until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  • Top the cake batter with the apples in a single layer – you may not use all the apple pieces. Sprinkle the cake with the Turbinado sugar.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan after 20 minutes. The cake is done when a tester inserted into the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  • Bring to room temperature before dusting with confectioners’ sugar and serving. The cake will keep wrapped in plastic wrap for three days on the counter.

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4 replies on “Olive Oil Apple Cake”

5 stars
I used spelt flour, and it turned out fantastic! Moist, eaten hot right out of the oven. Thank you for a paradigm shift in my thinking of oils for desserts, Jesse. I will continue to use olive oil.

I am so thrilled to hear this. The cake with spelt flour is genius and I’m over the moon you’re into baking with olive oil!

4 stars
Perfectly sweet, moist and delicious! So happy to use olive oil in my baking for the first time! Nice to see how wonderfully it performs in this delicious dessert. Thank you!

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