This super moist Apple Cake is studded with fresh diced apples throughout, bursting with spiced cinnamon and nutmeg flavor. With Mediterranean inspiration, this rustic cake features extra-virgin olive oil and Greek yogurt for a healthier option. Apple cider is reduced for concentrated apple flavor, used both in the batter and mixed with honey and spices for a finishing glaze.
Inspired by Milopita, or Greek Apple Cake, this cake features the Mediterranean standards for baking – extra-virgin olive oil and Greek yogurt, which both add healthy fat and protein to the mix. The rustic Italian apple cake Torta di Mele also uses extra-virgin olive oil in the batter. The earthy, rich flavor of the oil is so lovely with the sweet apples. This cake is healthy enough for breakfast with hot coffee, but delicious enough for a rustic dessert!
Not only that, but the oil add tons of moisture to the cake. Because olive oil stays liquid at room temperature, using it instead of butter in cakes and quick breads leads to a result that stays moist in texture for days at room temperature.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I have an armada of baked goods that use olive oil in them (see below). It’s my favorite way to bake and I can’t wait to share this latest addition with you. So let’s make a spiced apple cake! And be sure to check out the video in the recipe card below.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Apples – Serious bakers may tell you to use a firm, tart apple for this, such as Grannysmith or Honeycrisp. I say use what you have – for this cake, the texture doesn’t matter as much. You can also make this cake with firm pears.
- Apple cider
- Brown sugar – white sugar can be used as well.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg – feel free to experiment with other warming spices in place of or addition to these – such as pumpkin pie spice mix, cloves, cardamom, etc.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – in a pinch, another oil like canola can be used here, though the taste will be different.
- Greek yogurt – I recommend full fat, but lower fat will work in a pinch. Plain regular yogurt can be used in a lesser quantity if needed.
- Baking essentials: baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour.
How to make Spiced Apple Cake with Olive oil and Yogurt
- Make the apple cider glaze. Reduce apple cider mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar on the stovetop.
- Prep your apples by peeling and cutting into a fine dice, and your cake pan by brushing with oil and lining the bottom with parchment. Preheat your oven as well.
- Mix the diced apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
- Measure out a third cup of the cider reduction, and stir in some honey with the rest and set aside.
- Make your batter – mix olive oil, Greek yogurt, brown sugar, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the third-cup cider reduction together. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Fold in the diced apples with spices.
- Add batter to prepare pan and give it a little shake or tap gently to release any air bubbles. Bake.
- Allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, then remove carefully to a serving platter. Brush with the reserved cider and honey glaze. Slice and serve, with whipped cream and a drizzle of the glaze if you have any left.
This cake will remain fresh and moist for up to 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for longer.
If you have a lot leftover, use it to drizzle the cake slices with serving, or use for another purpose like to add to tea or coffee as a sweetener.
If you don’t have a 9-inch round pan, an 8-inch square pan has about the same volume, so you can use that instead.
Other olive oil dessert recipes
Other fresh apple recipes
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Spiced Apple Cake with Cider Honey Glaze
This Spiced Apple Cake features Greek influences, with olive oil and Greek yogurt, and a reduce apple cider honey glaze that adds a concentrated apple flavor to the cake. It’s a super moist, rustic cake studded with loads of fresh diced apples.
Servings: 12 servings
In a small saucepan, bring the apple cider (1 cup), 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon to a boil. Continue simmering until liquid is reduced by half. Measure out ⅓ cup of it and set aside. In the remaining liquid (you should have at least 2 tablespoons left), stir in the honey (2 tablespoons) and set aside (this will be your glaze for the cake).
While the cider is reducing, peel, core, and finely dice your apples and place them in a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon, the ground nutmeg (1 teaspoon), and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar. Mix together and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″ circular cake pan with parchment paper (I use a pencil to trace an outline of the bottom of the pan on the paper, then cut slightly inside the line) and grease generously with olive oil, under and over the parchment paper and up the sides of the pan.
In a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil (½ cup), Greek yogurt (½ cup), remaining ¾ cup brown sugar, eggs (3), baking powder (1 teaspoon), baking soda (1 teaspoon), salt (½ teaspoon), and ⅓ cup of reduced apple cider set aside from before. Whisk together until very well combined.
Add the flour to the bowl and mix until just combined (do not over-mix). Fold in the apple mixture. Add batter to prepared cake pan, shaking or banging it gently to make sure it’s settled in the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack. Run a knife along the edge to loosen it, then place a cutting board on top and flip it over to dislodge it. Invert it onto a serving platter. Brush reserved glaze on top of the cake. Cut into 12 slices. Serve, topped with whipped cream and/or drizzled with any leftover glaze you have.
- This recipe was inspired by “Greek Apple Cake with Honey and Cinnamon” from Milk Street Magazine, the September – October, 2022 issue.
- Ingredient substitutions: white sugar can be used in place of brown sugar; firm pears may be used instead of apples; other warming spices, like pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, cloves, etc., may be added in addition to the cinnamon and nutmeg, 1/3 cup regular plain yogurt may be used in place of Greek yogurt.
- Don’t have a 9-inch cake pan? Use an 8-inch square pan instead.
- Store this cake at room temperature or up to 3 days, or in the fridge for longer.
- Use any extra glaze to drizzle on top of each slice of cake when serving, or to add to tea or coffee for a spiced, sweet addition.
Serving: 1slice | Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: