Desserts

Hearty Apple Olive Oil Cake

November 20, 2020

This hearty apple cake/crumble is made with olive oil, fresh apples and topped with a crunchy crumble.

Healthy Apple olive oil cake

I love anything with apples. They are so versatile, and I think apple pie is probably on the top of the best dessert list for most of us, but it is a bit time consuming and all that crust does add up the calories. Having said that, I do enjoy a traditional apple pie here and there, but for a lighter dessert I usually will go to apple cake. For this recipe I have combined the best of both worlds: an apple cake made with very little batter (it is mostly apples) and then I added a  crumble on top to get that crunch we all crave. It was delicious and gone by the end of the day. It’s a great alternative to apple pie and so easy to make! I use olive oil of course and it pairs very well with fruit plus you get all those good fats and antioxidants.

Making an Olive Oil Apple Cake

I start with the crumble topping; you want  to make sure it is grainy and that all breadcrumbs are wet. See below:

For the  apples, I partially peel them, kind of in stripes, that way I keep some fiber and nutrients from the peel.

And I slice them thin. To get good slices, cut the apple in half and remove the core, then place the cut side of the apple flat on your cutting board, that will provide an even surface. I also add a few drops of lemon on the apple, so it won’t brown.

Sliced apples olive oil apple cake

Once you add the apples to the batter, they won’t be drowning in it. There is just enough batter to hold the apples together. It should look something like this:

Remember to bake the cake enough. It should be brown in parts and pull away from the pan. Let  the cake cool completely so that you can cut it without it falling apart. I enjoyed it with some Greek yogurt.

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Hearty Apple Olive Oil Cake

Healthy Apple olive oil cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
A hearty apple cake/crumble made with olive oil and fresh apples
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: Apple, Cake, Crumble
Servings: 6 slices
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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Ingredients

For the Crumble Topping

For the Cake

  • 1 tsp flour for coating the pan
  • ½ cup (55 gm) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • ½ cup (100 gm) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ (120 ml) cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
extract
  • 3 apples partially peeled and thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
  • Grease a 9-inch (22 cm) pan with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle bit of flour.
  • Make the crumble: In a small bowl place the breadcrumbs and sugar and add olive oil gradually (do not add all of it at once) while pressing the mixture with a fork, until you have a crumbly texture and all the breadcrumbs are wet. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and cinnamon) and set aside.
  • In a larger bowl, mix the olive oil with the sugar until smooth and then add the eggs one by one, vanilla and milk. Mix well. I used a whisk and mixed by hand.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture gradually mixing until combined.
  • Add the sliced apples and toss until they are coated with the batter and set aside.
  • Empty the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle over the cake the crumble, bake for another 10-15 minutes until crumble is golden.
  • Cool for at least 30 minutes. Slice and serve as is or with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
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Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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8 Comments

  • Reply Diane November 20, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Thats a lot of refined sugar. Which i thought the Mediterranean healthy way of eating doesn’t use. Can honey be substituted? How about oats for the topping?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 20, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Diane, It is a misconception that sugar was not part of the Mediterranean diet. As I have noted in past posts and a recent newsletter sugar was a luxury but was used during holidays.
      Sugar was used to make desserts for special occasions (not every day). The concept of dessert did not exist in the traditional Mediterranean diet. A sweet was a special occasion food you ate separately, not something you ate after dinner. That is how I have always recommended consuming sweets. So if you are consuming sweets once a while, the type of sugar is not going to affect your health in the long run. As for honey, it is still a sugar, it does contain antioxidants but you would have to consume quite a large amount to get a significant amount. Having said that, honey has a slightly lower glycemic index, depending in variety.

  • Reply christi lavoy November 20, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Hi~
    looks great, can i use panko crumbs?

  • Reply Audrey November 21, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Are the nutritional values listed somewhere? My husband is fanatical about checking nutrition labels.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 21, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Audrey, We generally avoid focusing on calories and rather place more attention on the quality of food in line with the traditional Mediterranean diet. The calories are 280 for 1/6 of the cake, 1.9 gm saturated fat and 3.5 gm fiber.

  • Reply Tim November 23, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    I made this with my mom. It’s excellent, and the first cake I’ve had in a couple years (as I had quite a lot of weight to lose). My mom thinks there may be too much baking powder, as she says she can taste it, but she also likes very sweet things. Thanks again!5 stars

  • Reply Carrie November 27, 2020 at 1:51 am

    I made this for thanksgiving and it was great! It was easy and not too sweet. I wouldn’t change a thing.5 stars

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