Olive Oil Cake w/ Apples & Dates
I finally realized why it is that I don't love to bake.
It's the butter thing.
I hate waiting for the butter to come to room temperature, and I also don't like to have to clean a mixer and all the different bowls, so I always choose cakes that I can make in one bowl with my wooden spoon and a little muscle.
If you have noticed a trend here, using olive oil in cakes instead of butter, you would be correct.
It is a healthier alternative to butter, and much easier to measure out the oil in a measuring cup than to cream butter with a paddle attachment on a mixer!
This olive oil cake is one of the best ones I have made so far. The original recipe comes from Group Recipes and is called "One Bowl Italian Apple Cake".
What's also nice about this recipe is that it uses only one mixing bowl, one wooden spoon and maybe a rubber spatula to spread the batter into the pan.
I have made it 3 times now, perfecting the recipe each time. Adding cloves the second time and vanilla the third, one time I only used one apple (because that is what I had, and it was still great). The last time I made it, I used raisins, because the date supply was depleted (from all the date nut breads I bake!).
My dad and husband said it was the best cake I have ever made.
That's a rave, so don't be afraid to try it.
The texture is very similar to a Jewish apple cake (which uses vegetable oil) and close to a cinnamon coffee cake.
It's best made the day before you are going to serve it (if you can wait that long!).
One Bowl Italian Apple Cake w/ Dates: (adapted from Group Recipes)
3/4 cup olive oil (for baking I use a mild olive oil like Colavita brand)
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3 apples, peeled and diced
1 cup of pitted dates, chopped (or raisins if you don't have dates)
1/2 cup of brown sugar mixed with a teaspoon of cinnamon, some chopped nuts and 2 tablespoons of butter, cut up into little pieces.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add in the apples and nuts last.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon topping and dot with the butter pieces.
In a greased 9 x 13 pan, bake for 50 minutes at 325F.
Let completely cool before serving.
Watch it disappear!