You are most likely of Mediterranean descent if a savory recipe seems lacking to you without generous contributions of one or several of the following ingredients: olive oil, garlic, basil, or oregano. If you go a step further, and decide that olive oil sounds good, not only for savory dishes, but for sweet ones as well, then you are truly a Mediterranean at heart and I will welcome you as long lost family.
All this to say–when a neighbor described an olive oil cake she’d made, I knew I had to try the recipe, and what better excuse for cake-making than my birthday?
Jessica Mogardo’s Apple-Spiced Olive Oil Cake
(makes 1 9-in cake)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. each baking powder and baking soda
1 tsp each ground cinnamon and salt
1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup each orange liqueur (I used orange triple sec) and freshly squeezed orange juice.
2 large eggs
1 unpeeled baking apple (1 large or 2 small), such as McIntosh, Jonathan or Rome, cored and grated
Powdered sugar for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour and next 5 (dry) ingredients; set aside.
2) Whisk together olive oil and next 4 ingredients.Stir in grated apple and reserved flour mixture (step 1) until blended. Pour mixture into a well-greased 9-in round cake pan.
3)Bake for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the middle comes out clean [it took quite a bit longer for my cake to cook through. I’d recommend checking at 40, and then continuing to bake the cake, checking it at 10 or so minute increments.]
4) Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove it from the pan, and cool it completely on a wire rack. Top with powdered sugar just before serving [otherwise, this very moist cake will begin to dissolve the sugar].