Apple and olive oil cake with maple icing

This cake is simply stunning. It is a great recipe to have in your baking repertoire as you can make up the cake a few days in advance, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for the flavour to mature. Once you want to ice the cake simply take out, slice in half and smother in the maple icing. Delicious!


  • 80g sultanas
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 280g plain flour
  • ½ a teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ a teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 160g caster sugar
  • ½ a vanilla pod
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 bramley apples, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • grated zest of a lemon
  • 2 egg whites

Maple icing ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 85ml maple syrup
  • 220g cream cheese, at room temperature


  1. Grease a 20cm springform or loose bottom cake tin and line the bottom and sides of it with baking parchment. Heat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  2. Place the sultanas and water in a small saucepan and simmer on low heat until the water has been absorbed. Leave to cool.
  3. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.
  4. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Mix the vanilla seeds, olive oil and sugar together with a electric whisk/food processor.
  5. Gradually add the eggs to create a smooth thick mix.
  6. Last of all add the diced apples, sultanas, and the lemon zest then lightly fold in the dry ingredients.
  7. In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold these very gently into the main batter in 2 additions, trying to lose as little air as possible.
  8. Spoon batter into the lined tin, level it with a palette knife. Bake for an hour and a half or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Let it cool completely in the tin.

Icing method

  1. Beat together the butter, muscovado (or brown) sugar and maple syrup together until light and airy. Using an electric whisk or kitchen aid will help save some elbow grease here.
  2. Add the room temperature cream cheese and continue beating until thoroughly blended and smooth.


  1. Carefully cut the cake in half, horizontally, using a serrated knife.
  2. Spread a 1cm layer of icing over the bottom half of the cake.
  3. Carefully place the top half on top and spoon the rest of the icing on top of this.
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