Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Icing

Over the years, I must have made cakes from hundreds of recipes. Yet it’s interesting that only a handful of them stay with me to get baked more than once. It’s mostly a balance between time required, the difficulty of the recipe, nutritional composition, and how well it goes down in a crowd.

Somtimes you make something, just catch a glimpse of it out of the oven, and you’re sold. Other times, it goes down well but you just can’t seem to like it. Most recently for me, this was this Ottolenghi cake.

Funny eh?


Perhaps I expected too much of it, or was too careless in the method of preparation. After all, I did fling everything together without taking that much care, and it didn’t hit the spot the way I wanted it to. The sponge could have been moister, there were holes where apple pieces had shrunk within the cake. The taste didn’t hit the spot. Well….maybe it was lots of little elements combined.

True to Ottolenghi, it was a recipe that required all the mixing bowls a kitchen could yield, and a tremendous amount of washing up to follow.


The maple icing was incredibly rich, and rather interesting to make. It was also lovely to work with, although I do prefer the taste of a classic cream cheese icing. The wave pattern I traced on as an afterthought. Simple, but decorative in that slightly quaint old-fashioned-tea-shop way.

I recall that Ottolenghi’s pear and amaretto cake was also not a favourite, and I did struggle with the hazelnut cupcakes (although they really did taste lovely). Perhaps I’m just not having a great time with the Ottolenghi cake recipes! Sometimes it’s the hype surrounding the recipe – I was hoping for something more showstopping. On the other hand, I was rather tired and grumpy when baking, and I feel like my mood affects the result too, so who knows? Might have to give the recipe another go in the future!


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