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
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.
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment paper (optional if you prefer greasing your pan)
- 8″ cake pan or springform pan
How to Make Apple Cake:
- Start by preheating your oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake for 20 minutes and take it out. Increase the heat to 400ºF.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take the cake out of the oven and transfer it to a plate. Enjoy!
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!
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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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
- 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.
- 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.
- Put flour, sugar, baking powder, olive oil and 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Pour batter over the apples and place the cake pan in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Take the pan out of the oven and increase the heat to 400ºF.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve warm or cold.
This apple cake will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week, stored in an air tight storage container.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 285
- Sugar: 22.5 g
- Sodium: 51.5 mg
- Fat: 15.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 33.4 g
- Fiber: 3.4 g
- Protein: 5.4 g
- Cholesterol: 124 mg
Keywords: recipe, snack, tart, pie
What a beautiful and delicious cake.
How do we prevent the honey/egg mixture from leaking out of the springform pan as it bakes? I lined the pan with parchment paper. Hopefully it will still taste good.
Matt I always put a piece of foil covering bottom and at least an inch on the outside of the pan bottom when using a springform pan just incase it leaks.
This cake is heaven. I had similar apple tart in France and this is actually better. I love that it does not have pastry. The cake is almost like custard, not too heavy. The olive oil and honey with apples tastes like a late summer day. I’ve made this twice now and turned out perfect each time. I didn’t want it as sweet so cut back to half a cup honey.
Thank you so much Denise, so happy you liked it! 🙂
5 tablespoon of flour seems too little. Is there an error?
Hi Yawen! It’s the right measurement this cake doesn’t have a big crust 🙂
This cake was amazing. The best apple cake my family has ever had!
I should have added, I made it in a 9 inch cake pan lined with parchment. After it cooled a little (but before it could stick), I inverted it directly onto a plate. You have to be a little careful spreading the first batter over the apples as it is a bit thin for a 9 inch pan, but my family and friends thought it was the bomb and so did I! My eldest who won’t touch anything with recognizable chunks of apple in it devoured his slice.
Thank you Esther! 🙂
Can I substitute egg whites or applesauce for the whole eggs? Made it as is and hubby & I LOVED it! But want to make it for an older friend’s birthday cake and he’s restricted from whole eggs.
Hi Bonnie! A great substitute would a flaxseed egg – 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and use the same way you would an egg 🙂
It was too late before I realized this should be made in a springform pan. The recipe just calls for a cake pan. It should be updated online.
The cake can be made in a regular cake pan as well since it can be served on both sides (both sides look pretty 🙂 ) But I will add the springform pan as a recommendation, it’s a good idea, thank you for mentioning that!
I only have a 9 inch pan. I am assuming this will be too shallow with these proportions, correct?
Hi Sheryl! I’ve never baked it in a 9-inch pan but it might be okay. I would just pay attention to the baking time – maybe pull it out a few minutes early to prevent the bottom from over baking. Let me know how it turns out!
Do you bake it in the middle of the oven or in the lower third?
Do you flip it over or not?
There is no mention of it in the printed recipe.
Hi Helen! I bake it in the center rack and there is no need to flip the cake until it’s time to serve it (when you take it out of the pan you will have to turn it upside for it to come out) 🙂
I’m unsure if anyone else tried parchment paper on bottom & sides, listed as an option in recipe. I did and it was a huge fail. Baked for over 30 minutes at 400 but still a pale soggy mess except for the lovely browned top. Flavour was nice so I’ll try once more, nect time using a springform pan and not inverting.
Hi. Any chance you can make this without sugar?
Hi Rebecca, I’ve never made the recipe without sugar but I’m sure you can substitute it with about 3 tablespoons honey and have it taste just as yummy 🙂
I just made this cake and flipped it. It stuck to bottom of spring pan a little. I had to scrap some pieces off and repair it.
Next time I will not flip it.
Tastes great. I like the fact that it is dairy free.
I noticed that neither the recipe nor any of the comments indicate how long the cake should cool before flipping it onto a platter. BTW, my cake’s top (bottom after flipping) was much prettier than the bottom (which looked, after flipping, like “cake”). I flipped it back to show off the more attractive side. Also, I used large apples, so the pan was pretty full. Also, after pouring on the honey/egg mixture, it took 30 minutes total at 400° before a toothpick indicated the cake was done. I’m not sure whether the amount of apples had anything to do with that. Nevertheless, the cake was delicious!
What type of red apples do you like to use?
Hi Rosalind, my favorite kind of red apples are Honeycrisp apples 🙂
I want to try this and add pecans and almonds slivers. Would this work well with this cale.
Sure Maria, I think almond slivers would be delicious!
I have the first part of the recipe in the oven. Can I add a 1/2 t. of salt, to the egg/honey mix, or is this a bad idea?
Thanks so much! I am baking this in the south of France, home of delicious olive oil. Can’t wait to taste it!
Hi Elizabeth, I didn’t think it needed salt since the cake isn’t overly sweet. I’m not sure how the flavors would turn out. If you did, can you let me know? Thanks! 🙂
This looks so delicious, I’m going to try it this week.
But I don’t see any where in this recipe about flipping the cake.
Are you sure you’re supposed to flip it?
You can eat it either way but the other side is much prettier! I recommend flipping it to impress family and guests 🙂
Love this idea! Would it be crazy to add cinnamon to the apple slices before layering them?
Not at all Mollie, sounds like a great idea! 🙂
Can I bake it and freeze?
I’m not sure about that since I’ve never done it. Since most pies can be frozen, I think it would be okay but I can’s say yes 100%
Thanks for getting back with me so quickly. If I decide to freeze it, I will let you know how it turns out.
Also- if I do not freeze, how long after baking it do I have to serve it? Does it need to be refrigerated? Thanks again.
I like to refrigerate mine but you can leave it out at room temperature until it’s time to put it away before going to bed 🙂
Is it possible to make this with melted butter instead of olive oil? I have olive oil, but I was just wondering. Also, I only have three apples. Can I use the same measurements for the rest of the ingredients? I plan on making this today.
Thanks in advance,
Hi Cyndie, what makes this cake so delicious is the combination of olive oil and apple so if you want to use butter, I would suggest doing half and half. This way you’ll get a mix of both 🙂 You can also use three apples, the only difference will be that the cake won’t be as full as if you used 4. Let me know how it turns out!
Excellent recipe.. So simple. Served it with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for NYE. Thank you very much!
You’re welcome Elaine! Happy New Year!
Looks great,but I have a question. In the photos it appears you baked it in a springform pan,so why do the directions say”flip it over onto serving plate”? Thanks so much.
Hi Lisa! It says to flip it over because you still have to have the bottom side facing up to get the beautiful glazed apple pattern you see in the picture 🙂
Making a test cake right now, plan to make it again for a ladie’s retreat in Lake Tahoe next weekend provided I don’t completely blow it LOL! What a perfect fall treat, thanks for sharing! Ps, easy-peasy to make.
I’m the same when it comes to baking which is why I only post easy ones on my blog lol! I hope you and the ladies enjoy it!
Gorgeous! I am going to make it tomorrow. Do you think it would work well if I use gluten free flour mix with a little xantham gum or ground oats?
I am not too familiar with gluten free flour but I have a friend who has celiac disease and she uses gluten free flour all the time for baking cakes mixed with xantham gum.
I made it gluten free! It was DIVINE! Thanks so much! 🙂
i made this last week to bring to a friend’s for Christmas breakfast. It was a huge hit. It looks so elegant. We served it cold. I loved that it wasn’t overly sweet. Liked it so much that I’m making it again tonight for NYE dessert. Thanks for the great recipe!
That’s wonderful Fawn! I also love this cake a lot because it’s both tart and sweet and feels healthier than a regular cake. So happy you liked it!
It rarely happens that I come across a recipe and have all the ingredients at hand. Your apple cake looks unique and savory. I think I’ll try making it. Beautiful blog btw.
It is Aida! It’s a recipe from Le Pain Quotidien (I’m a big fan of their food!)