“Healthy” cake with apple, olive oil and maple icing..

“Healthy” cake with apple, olive oil and maple icing..


Stephanie and Louise were born 7 weeks early, so I had not 1, but 2 premature babies. They were healthy little things so unbelievably came home with me on day 6. They were born before their sucking reflex so feeding was a bit tricky. My mum came for the first 4 weeks, then I had a nursery nurse for the next 4, but then I was on my own. I had no family nearby and no help at home. Also, 26 years ago, Mark was building his career and was often gone for long stretches of time. I am not having a whinge. I am merely setting the scene for my story.

Olive oil and apple healthy cake

Our dear friends Janis and Derek lived in London at that time and hadn’t yet had their children. When Mark had to go away, they would move in even though they had busy jobs to go to each day. I seriously don’t know how I would have managed without them.

Janis and Derek with their 2 children recently spent a few days with us in London and while making this cake together, Janis recounted a story, much of which I don’t remember.

She says in the middle of the day, when Stephanie and Louise would have been about 3 months old, I called her at work and in a very dead pan voice said “you better come.” In those days £20 was a lot of money to us all, but she took a black cab and arrived at my front door. Apparently I let her in, said nothing and just walked like a zombie up the stairs and fell into bed. She bundled up my babies and took them out, in the rain, and walked and walked for 2 hours, until feeding could no longer be denied and she had to come back. I had had a very deep 2 hour sleep and was able to function again.

“DAT IS FREN’!!!”  (said in true West Indian accent)


The original inspiration for this cake came from Ottolenghi but I have changed bits and pieces. Its not the most Temple friendly recipe, but I have now made it 3 times in the last month. The GI is high as is the calorie content and although the cake is made with olive oil, the icing is jammed packed with naughty fat. The first time was with Janis, the second to bring over to Stephanie’s for tea and the third was for my reading group ladies who enjoy a bit of decadence with their dessert. I only used the icing the third time as although it is lovely, it is really not critical to the enjoyment of this cake as it is so moist and full of fruit.

 This “healthy” cake recipe – Serves 8 to 10 people!

80g (3 oz) sultanas

4 tbsp water

280g (10 oz) plain flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

120ml (4.5 oz) olive oil

160g (5.5 oz) white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs

3 large tart unpeeled apples cut into 1 cm dices

grated zest of 1 lime/lemon

Maple icing

200ml (7 oz) double cream (whipping cream)

340g (12 oz) cream cheese

100g (3.5 oz) sugar

85ml (3 oz) maple syrup


  1. Prepare a 20 cm springform pan using your best technique. I use reusable teflon pre-cut liners which you can just make out in  a photo below.
  2. Place sultanas and water in saucepan and gently simmer until all the water is gone.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 170ºC (340ºF)
  4. Sift together dry ingredients
  5. Separate 2 of the eggs, and whisk the whites until soft peak stage. Save the yolks.
  6. Whisk together the oil, sugar and vanilla then add the other 2 eggs plus the yolks from before.
  7. Mix in the diced apples and the sultanas with the lemon/lime zest.
  8. Gently fold in the dry ingredients
  9. Very gently fold in the whisked egg whites
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour or until the inserted skewer comes out clean. Err on the side of caution and try not to overcook this beauty.
  11. The icing comes together very simply by whisking all its ingredients until smooth and thick.
  12. Lavish on the top, or for the more daring, cut the cake horizontally across the middle and spread the joy between the middle and top.

apple and olive oil cake


A bit of Healthy Cake!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Colleen Camacho
    July 22, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    This looks scrummy!!! My kinda thing!!!

  • Reply
    Danielle Bergasse
    July 22, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    It IS a very yummy cake! I was one of those reading group ladies and even though my mouth wanted to continue eating my piece, my tummy was already so full of the scrummy “Corgetti” we had for dinner, I had to stop, or pop!

  • Reply
    kellie anderson
    July 24, 2015 at 5:54 am

    What a lovely story. I had a preemie (just the one!) – 6 weeks early, and both of us unwell. All is good now but without good friends and a great mother-in-law (my Mum lived in the US) I would have crumbled. It sounds like this event is barely memorable to you now, as are my own early-day’s travails. Selective memory kept us sane! And what a gorgeous cake. We all need a little decadence, even in a normally very healthy diet. Again, keeps us sane!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2015 at 6:29 am

      Glad to hear you are all well now. Thanks for your lovely comment Kellie.

  • Reply
    Amy Basso | Amy's Apron
    July 24, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Love your pictures! The icing looks to-die-for!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Thanks Amy. The icing is delicious

  • Reply
    Linda Waters
    August 9, 2015 at 4:51 am

    I really don’t know how you did it, Germaine. But it seems like you and Mark did a great job with all your girls. I made this delicious little number on Saturday with my 3yr old grandson. He loves to bake with Nana and this one had plenty for him to do. He was born at 25 weeks so just to have him beside me in the kitchen is a miracle to me. We love the cake, although our mixture was fairly dry, so I only cooked it for 45mins and that was perfect. Thanks for another great recipe. xx

    • Reply
      August 9, 2015 at 7:26 am

      I don’t know either Linda, but I guess we just do what we must and marvel at it after. I’m glad you and your precious grandson enjoyed making this. One day we’ll all meet I hope.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Finally time for myself, a rainy day in St. Lucia and so I bake….your lovely apple cake. Just about to put in the oven but thought your conversion 170c- 240f did not seem right so I checked and 170 c converts to 340 f so kicked it up a few notches and popped it in. Can’t wait to whip up the icing and maybe even have a lovely rainy day cup of tea and cake right here on the verandah on my own!
    Thanks Germaine!

    • Reply
      October 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Yay!!! Hope your cake turns out well. Thanks for pointing out the typo too. I will fix ASAP….enjoy!!

  • Reply
    Crispy Curly Kale Recipe
    July 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    […] and Derek (of “dat is fren” comment in “Healthy cake with apple and maple icing) visited us recently and Derek made this recipe. We had been out that morning to see what fruit and […]

  • Leave a Reply