Apple and olive oil cake

Hazelnuts and lemon icing add crunch and tang to Catherine Fulvios moist and generous cake
By Catherine Fulvio
Apple and olive oil cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes plus cooling time
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 20 minutes soaking time
  • Effort: easy


  • 100 ml marsala, or water if you prefer
  • 120 g golden sultanas
  • 200 g golden granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150 ml olive oil, preferably extra virgin, plus extra for greasing
  • 350 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 lemon, or 1 orange, grated rind and juice only
  • 500 g cooking apples, peeled and finely diced
  • 200 g icing sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • chopped shelled hazelnuts, to decorate
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150 ml double cream
  • dried apples, slices to decorate

Tips and Suggestions

Olive oil makes cakes slightly moist and adds a lovely fruity flavour.


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and flour a 23-25cm springform cake pan.

2. Slightly warm the Marsala or water in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat, add the sultanas and leave to soak for 20 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.

4. In another small saucepan, gently warm the olive oil, then slowly whisk the warm oil into the eggs and sugar.

5. Sieve the flour, cinnamon, ginger, bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp salt and baking powder together.

6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the oil and sugar mixture, folding in with a metal spoon and mixing thoroughly. Stir in the lemon rind and diced apples.

7. Remove the sultanas from the Marsala, drain and dry, then add the sultanas to the cake batter and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be stiff at this stage.

8. Bake for at least 1 hour, until a skewer placed in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

9. Mix the icing sugar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or more) to a drizzling consistency and drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.

10. Lightly beat the cinnamon, extra icing sugar and double cream together, then transfer it into a small pot to serve alongside the cake. Add a dried apple slice for garnish, if desired.

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