This is a huge Ottolenghi favourite – many of our customers confess that they order it just for the maple icing! It can also be made in advance and kept wrapped in the fridge for up to a week, ready to be brought back to room temperature and iced on the day of serving.
Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Icing
- 80g sultanas
- 60ml water
- 280g plain flour
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 120ml olive oil
- 160g caster sugar
- ½ vanilla pod
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm dice
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 egg whites
- icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
- 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100g light muscovado sugar
- 85ml maple syrup
- 220g cream cheese, at room temperature
Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Place the sultanas and water in a medium saucepan and simmer over a low heat until all of the water has been absorbed. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/Gas Mark 5. Sift the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Set aside.
Put the oil and sugar in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a whisk if you don’t have a mixer). Slit the vanilla pod lengthways in half and, using a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out into the bowl. Beat the oil, sugar and vanilla together, then gradually add the eggs. The mix should be smooth and thick at this stage. Mix in the diced apples, sultanas and lemon zest, then lightly fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl, either by hand or with a mixer, until they have a soft meringue consistency. Fold them into the batter in 2 additions, trying to lose as little air as possible.
Pour the batter into the lined tin, level it with a palette knife and place in the oven. Bake for 1½ hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
Once the cake is completely cold, you can assemble it. Remove from the tin and use a large serrated knife to cut it horizontally in half. You should end up with 2 similar discs. If the cake is very domed, you might need to shave a bit off the top half to level it.
To make the icing, beat together the butter, muscovado sugar and maple syrup until light and airy. You can do this by hand, or, preferably, in a mixer, using the paddle attachment. Add the cream cheese and beat until the icing is totally smooth.
Using a palette knife, spread a 1cm-thick layer of icing over the bottom half of the cake. Carefully place the top half on it. Spoon the rest of the icing on top and use the palette knife to create a pattern.
Dust it with icing sugar, if you like.