Italian apple cake is an easy, light and moist healthier cake made with lots of apples and olive oil. It’s perfect with a cup of tea and comes together in a flash. Torta di Mele is an absolute treasure.
Why make this Italian apple cake?
The combination of the olive oil and apples make for a wonderfully moist cake that’s a little healthier and more feel good than most cakes.
Torta di mele (Italian apple cake) comes together very simply, with no mixer or special equipment required.
This apple cake with olive oil has so many apples in it, that they really shine in the batter.
This is the perfect cake for a nice hot cup of tea or coffee, and a great way to impress with a lighter dessert.
What is torta di mele?
Torta di mele literally translates into apple cake in Italian. There’s a lot of different takes on this, some with a custard filling, some with butter, some with olive oil. This recipe is for a simple lighter cake, more of an everyday cake with no extravagant filling or topping.
What do I need to make an apple olive oil cake?
This just requires a handful of easy ingredients, most of which are probably already at home:
Apples: Of choice! I usually use whatever I have on hand, green, red, yellow all work, and any type you like.
Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest: These tossed with the apples give them a bright flavor, and prevent the apples from browning.
Cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg: Cinnamon and apples are the perfect pairing. Just a touch really enhances the apple flavor. I also like adding nutmeg to give a nice warm feel, but this is totally optional.
Flour: Just regular all purpose or plain flour.
Cane Sugar: The raw, unbleached granular brown sugar is what I used, but if you don’t have and don’t want to get just substitute with regular granulated sugar.
Baking Powder: A generous amount to get a nice rise from the cake, since the apples do tend to weight down batter a bit.
Eggs: Room temperature will help the eggs combine better.
Olive Oil: What makes this an Italian apple cake! Lots of rich flavor and moistness from the olive oil, and it’s a more feel good fat than others.
Milk: A little milk for added richness. You can use any milk you like, I used whole milk.
How do I make torta di mele?
Just follow a few simple steps, no mixer required!
- Preheat the oven so it’s ready for you once you’re done mixing your batter. Lightly grease a 9 inch springform or regular pan with pan spray, or butter and lightly flour.
- Toss the apples with lemon juice, lemon zest and some of the cinnamon. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, remaining cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, and olive oil). Pour the wet ingredients into dry and mix to combine, but don’t over mix. Over mixing might cause your batter to become tough by overdeveloping the gluten.
- Fold in the apples, and stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth out the top. Sprinkle sugar on top, then bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown, light and springy at the top, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Watch how to make Italian apple olive oil cake in the video in the recipe card!
What to serve apple olive oil cake with:
This is lovely as is. I like to add a sprinkle of powdered (icing) sugar just for visual appeal.
Make this extra decadent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Whatever you do, this is perfect with a cup of coffee or tea!
Whatever you usually like to bake with. Granny smith apples give a wonderful tartness, red apples give this nice sweetness. You can also do a mix!
I haven’t tried, but I imagine 1:1 gluten free baking flour would work great
I haven’t tried, but since there’s no butter in this, you can swap the milk for dairy free milk and use flax eggs instead of the regular eggs. Let me know if you try it!
I imagine this would be great as muffins! Divide evenly into lined muffin tin, and bake at the same temperature for 20-25 minutes.
Storing leftover apple cake:
Leftover apple cake will last 1-2 days at room temperature tightly covered, then can be stored tightly covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Apple cake also freezes well. Let it cool completely before freezing, then tightly wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
If you liked this recipe, you might like:
Italian Apple Cake – Torta di Mele
- 4 medium sized apples 600g, 1 lb or so
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, divided
- 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour 200g
- 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp raw cane sugar (or regular granulated sugar) 120g
- 2 tsp baking powder 10g
- pinch nutmeg powder, optional
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1/3 cup and 2 tbsp olive oil 80g
- 5 tbsp milk 70g
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C), and lightly grease and line a 9 inch pan.
- Toss the apple cubes with lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 tsp cinnamon, the flour, sugar, baking powder and nutmeg if using. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, olive oil and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix to combine. Don't over mix, once most of the flour is incorporated, fold in apples.
- Spread batter into prepared pan, sprinkle with extra sugar if you like, and bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Enjoy room temperature or cool, it's delightful either way!