Apple Olive Oil Cake
For holidays, good days, and days that can be made better with a little cake, this upside-down apple cake starts with a few key steps and emerges from the oven as shiny, moist, and just-sweet-enough glory. This cake is beautiful and tastes as good as it looks.
Apple Olive Oil Cake
Helen Park adapted from Lior Lev Sercarz, “Spiced Honey Cake”
For holidays, good days, and days that can be made better with a little cake, this upside-down apple cake starts with a few key steps and emerges from the oven as shiny, moist, and just-sweet-enough glory. The cake is beautiful and tastes as good as it looks.
2 extra large eggs
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup pomegranate juice
½ cup olive oil
¾ cup silan
Juice of 1 orange + zest
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1Tbsp Reims blend
½ cup sugar + ¼ cup water
½ tsp Reims blend
2 Fuji apples
9”x 2” cake pan
9” circle of parchment
Nonstick cooking spray
For the apples
For the apples
Prepare the cake pan by spraying with nonstick spray. Then place the circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan and spray again.
Peel the apples and cut them into 8 equal wedges each. Laying each wedge on its side, trim the seeds out with a straight cut to make a flat edge.
Toss the apples in Reims and arrange them evenly in the bottom of the pan, all facing the same way, with 2 apples in the center. There may be an extra apple wedge. The wedges should be about ¼” in from touching the cake pan and not touching each other.
In a small heavy bottom pan, cook the sugar and ¼ cup water until it reaches an amber caramel.
Remove from heat and pour evenly directly into the prepared cake pan with apples.
For the cake
Cream the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat for 3-4 minutes or until noticeably lighter in color and texture.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl and preheat oven to 350°F.
Add the pomegranate juice, olive oil, silan, orange juice and zest to the eggs and sugar and stir well to combine.
Gently incorporate the dry ingredients, mixing until it just comes together, a few lumps are ok.
Pour the batter over the apples and caramel and bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove to a rack to cool until the cake pan has cooled down enough to handle.
Unmolding the cake
Lay a 10” flat plate or cake platter centered on top of the cake.
Holding the cake pan and plate securely, flip the cake and plate over and set the cake down.
Remove the cake pan to unmold the upside-down cake.
Carefully peel back the parchment paper, peeling horizontally, to reveal the shiny apples and delicious spiced cake.
A good way to space the apples evenly in the pan is to place a wedge at each 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Then, evenly space 2 more wedges between each of those (all wedges facing the same direction). Finally, add 2 wedges to the center. The extra wedge is a reward for a job well done.
Peeling the parchment paper off slowly and horizontally helps to keep the sticky glaze in tact. Pulling straight up on the paper can pull up the delicate, moist cake.
The cake will be easier to unmold while still a little warm - before the caramel completely cools and sets back in the pan. If the cake feels too set in the pan, prepare a baking dish with ½” of boiling hot water to dip the bottom of the pan for a minute or two to soften the cake again and continue unmolding.
Variations and Ideas
In place of Reims, Yemen or Baharat would also be great blends to use in this recipe. In a pinch even your favorite pumpkin spice or a mix of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg would do.
The cake works well with a variety of fruits like pears and figs in place of apples.
For the full Rosh Hashanah celebration, complete the meal with:
Braised Brisket with Ayala and Pom
Sweet Potatoes with Olive and Lemon
Olive and Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
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