After several gloomy and chilly days, today’s weather surprised us with a beautiful amount of sunshine. It lifted my spirits and got me in the mood to bake a treat that combined both winter and spring flavors. The result, a moist and lemony apple cake deliciously spiced with cinnamon and cardamom, a most glorious combination of Moorish flavors. The moisture is provided by rich extra-virgin olive oil and yogurt. The crunch by the crisped almond flakes and demerara sugar. The tartness, from luscious, plump, and fresh apples. And the dreamy aroma from lemon zest, vanilla, and spices. Frosty winter days have never been so good.
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced, skin on
1.5 cups (170 gr.) self-raising flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup (200 gr.) sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml.) of olive oil
2 whole eggs and two egg yolks
1/2 cup (125 gr.) greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of half a lemon
almond flakes for sprinkling
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) and line the bottom of a 23 cm. (9 in.) greased cake pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Then, whisk in your whole eggs and egg yolks, one by one, until well incorporated into the mixture. Add yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Fold the flour and spices into the wet mixture in three batches until just combined.
4. Cover the bottom of the cake pan with about a third of the apple slices. Pour half of the cake batter over the top and cover with another third of the apple. Pour in the rest of the cake batter and top with the remaining apple slices, flaked almonds, and about 1 tablespoon of demarara or white sugar.
5. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until golden or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before transferring from pan.