Adapted from Le Pain Quotidien’s apple, olive oil, and lavender, this French dessert tastes and looks sophisticated. It’s my favorite apple cake! 

Olive Oil, Honey and Apple Cake

Olive Oil, Honey and Apple Cake

Oh how I wish I could bake this well without having to follow a recipe.

Sadly, I’m not very good at baking because I don’t do it enough and have a tendency to loosely follow recipes, which is a major no no for baked goods.

So whenever I feel like making my own cake, muffins, or cookies, I take out my list of tried and tested baked recipes to avoid failure. This olive oil, honey and apple cake happens to be one of them – and it’s a really good one!

When we think about apple desserts, our minds usually go straight to good old fashion American apple pie.

This apple cake is nothing like it.

Think more in terms of a French tartelette – sweet but not so sweet that you can barely taste the apples. This cake is floral, sweet and a little tart.


I make this apple cake often because it’s super simple and so yummy ❤️.

It’s also not that bad for you since it is made with high quality extra virgin olive oil instead of butter or hydrogenated oil.

The apples slices and cake batter are transformed into beautiful golden brown layers of petals and look more like a crème brûlée than a cake. It’s a stunning apple cake you can proudly serve to friends and family – it’s always a big hit when I serve it!


Ingredients for Apple Cake:

  • Apples: You can use tart or sweet apples for this cake. My personal favorite are Honeycrisp apples because they are both sweet and tart, high in water, and not too dense.
  • Flour: You can use regular flour or whole wheat flour to make the sponge cake that will wrap around the apple slices.
  • Sugar: I like to use brown sugar (not dark brown – it might also work but I’ve never tried cooking this cake with it) but you can use regular granulated sugar as well.
  • High quality extra virgin olive oil: Using good extra virgin olive oil is crucial to the success of this cake. That’s because you want to taste the olive oil and cheap olive oil has no taste. The brands I like to use are Frantoia Barbera, Napa Valley Natural, Thrive Market Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and California Olive Oil Ranch.
  • Baking powder: Only 1 teaspoon is needed to help the mixture rise.
  • Eggs: You can use 4 medium or large eggs – this recipe does require you to follow the steps but there’s room for small substitutions like this one. I use pasture-raised eggs by Vital Farms which you can find at Whole Foods. They taste so much better than any other eggs I’ve had and I love their creamy yolks.
  • Honey: Pick a honey that you love, not just some random one. Some honey can be very floral while other types are less floral and more sweet.
  • Salt: Just a pinch to balance the sweetness.

Tools Needed:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Parchment paper (optional if you prefer greasing your pan)
  • 8″ cake pan or springform pan

How to Make Apple Cake:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
  2. Grease your cake pan and line it with parchment paper – I recommend greasing and lining the sides as well if you are using a regular cake pan. If you are using a springform pan you don’t need to line the sides, using cooking spray works well.
  3.  Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, olive oil, and 2 eggs, in a bowl, until the batter is smooth. Pour it evenly over the apple slices and place the cake pan in the middle rack of the oven.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and take it out. Increase the heat to 400ºF.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the honey and remaining 2 eggs in a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Pour the mixture evenly over the cake and return the pan in the oven.
  6. Bake until the cake is golden brown (15-20 minutes). You can test by sticking a fork or skewer in the center of the cake and pulling it out. The cake is ready when the fork or skewer come out clean.
  7. Take the cake out of the oven and transfer it to a plate. Enjoy!
apples-batter cake-with-honey cake-cooked

Did you like this Olive Oil, Honey and Apple Cake Recipe? Are there changes you made you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!



Olive Oil, Honey & Apple Cake

Adapted from Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook, this Olive Oil, Honey and Apple cake will wow your guest for its beauty and simplicity.

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French


  • 4 medium red apples, such as Honeycrisp or Pink Lady, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup pure honey
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  2. Grease an 8-inch (20cm) cake pan or springform pan (I recommend using springform if you don’t want to flip the cake – the top side is prettier) and line it with nonstick parchment paper.
  3. Starting with the outer edge of the interior of the pan, place the apples slice flat. Each apple slice should cover about one-third of the apple slice immediately proceeding it. Do this in a circular motion to create a swirl pattern, until the bottom of the pan is fully covered. Add another layer of apple slices on top using the same method. Repeat this step until all the apple slices are used.
  4. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, olive oil and 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour batter over the apples and place the cake pan in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Take the pan out of the oven and increase the heat to 400ºF.
  7. In a bowl, whisk 2 eggs, honey, and a pinch of salt. Pour mixture over the cake and bake in the oven for another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and fork comes out clean when poked in the center.
  8. Take the cake out of the oven. If you are using a regular cake pan, flip it onto a plate while it’s still warm. If you are using a springform pan, there’s no need to flip it, you can just transfer the cake to a plate.
  9. Serve warm or cold.


This apple cake will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week, stored in an air tight storage container.

Keywords: recipe, snack, tart, pie

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