Honey, Apple, Date and Walnut Olive Oil Cake

1 Apr

There are so many bees around at the moment busy collecting pollen. They reminded me of a visit I made to a local honey producer about a month ago that I haven’t blogged about yet. I have been waiting for the perfect honey recipe to come along which is deserving enough to feature the delicious honey that I bought, and this is definitely THE one. More about that later, first the visit then the recipe…

You had to drive through a river to get there but I doubt all that water is still there now with all the hot weather we have been having. It looks worse than it is….

Miel is “honey” in Spanish and Fuente del Sol means “Fountain (or Source) of Sun”.

There is a slightly unattractive warehouse and a very well hidden little shop with a small sign outside….

Inside the shop they sell lots of different types of honey. There’s orange blossom, rosemary, thyme, eucalyptus and wild flower honey and they sell it in the squeezy non-drip bottles as well as glass jars. They also sell pollen and royal jelly products as well as a range of  natural soaps and cosmetics made using aloe vera and olive oil. 

I bought some thyme honey which is really lovely. I have been having it on toast for breakfast with my local goat’s ricotta (requeson) it’s so good. If you’ve never tried ricotta and honey on toast you should, and so much better when they are both local. You could even make your own ricotta, it is really easy unless you’re my dad, but that’s another story…..He had a bit of a drama making my spinach & ricotta gnocchi!

I’ve been trying recently to use olive oil instead of butter whenever possible in my cooking. The delicious extra virgin olive oil in the picture above we helped to harvest back in November and I’ve used it to make some banana & coconut muffins that tasted great.  We store it in empty wine bottles because plastic bottles are not good – for your health or the health of the oil.  I’ve seen quite a few Italian recipes for olive oil cakes and wanted to give it a try. I was thinking local olive oil and local honey it’s got to be good. I wasn’t wrong….

Honey, Apple, Date & Walnut Olive Oil Cake

makes 16 squares, vegetarian

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 130 gr brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 165 ml good olive oil
  • 260 gr runny honey (coat the measure with a little olive oil so the honey slips out easily)
  • 375 gr wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 – 2 apples, peeled,cored and roughly diced. I used 1 1/2 large fuji apples you need something crisp.
  • 100 gr walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100 gr dates, stoned and roughly chopped, plus a few extra for garnish
  • a small tub of mascarpone/creme fraiche
  • extra honey

Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a 9×13 inch cake/roasting tin with baking paper, base & sides. Beat the eggs, brown sugar & vanilla (if using)in a large bowl with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until light & fluffy. Slowly add in the honey and oil bit by bit, beating until well blended.

Into another bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt then tip in the whole-wheat bits left in the sieve as well. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture, apples, walnuts and dates to the wet ingredients and fold together gently until just blended (Don’t overmix you will get a tough cake).

Pour the mixture in to the lined baking tin and spread out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until the top is firm and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin.

Cut into 16 squares and serve with coffee and a pot of mascarpone drizzled with more honey and some more dates or walnuts for the top.

Spoon some of the honey mascarpone on top of your piece of cake and top with a date half. It was all looking quite healthy up until then wasn’t it. Oh well it’s only a suggestion…..

This cake is so moist and delicious with the apples, honey and olive oil, you need to make it and then invite people round for an afternoon tea or coffee. Otherwise you might just have to eat it all. It keeps really well too, if it should last that long…..Enjoy!


20 Responses to “Honey, Apple, Date and Walnut Olive Oil Cake”

  1. kathdedon April 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    This cake looks fantastic! I know that olive oil is great in cakes after making David Leite’s Portuguese Orange Olive Oil Cake. Fabulous!

    I love all of the wholesome ingredients in your recipe. I might try subbing maple sugar for the brown sugar (because my husband can tolerate maple sugar but not brown sugar – weird, but true).

    • foodblogandthedog April 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

      One of the recipes I used called for a maple cream cheese frosting, so I’m sure the maple sugar would be lovely!!

  2. Beverly April 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    I don’t know the accurate conversions for 130 gr brown sugar…165 ml olive oil, 260 gr honey, 375 gr wholemeal flour, 100 gr walnuts and 100 gr dates….and 180C for the oven. Can anyone help me so that I can make this recipe?

    • foodblogandthedog April 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

      Sorry, here you go: 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup olive oil, 3/4 cup honey, 3 cups chopped apples, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup dates. 350 F oven. Hope you like it!!

      • Beverly April 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

        Thank you so much…can’t wait to try it! One more question…what is wholemeal flour? Is it whole wheat?

  3. Christine Pantry April 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    This cake sounds great. I’m going to have to try it. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide April 1, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    Great photos! I can’t wait to try this.

  5. Roxan April 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    How fun, so is this a honey farm? I would love to visit one of those! This cake looks absolutely amazing. I love love love honey – in fact it’s what I use to sweeten my tea and coffee.

  6. Mateja April 2, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Not just moist, it looks so fluffy and airy! Wonderful creation and a healthy one, too! Have a great weekend!

  7. The Invisible Cookbook April 2, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    Looks delicious!!

  8. jakethy April 2, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    Omigod – ricotta AND honey?! We are all over that! When I first saw the title, I remembered the date & pecan cake we just made. But yours looks realllly moist. My tiny plastic co-writers and I love the little story about the journey to get the honey – ‘never heard of all those different types before but they all sound awesome.

  9. tony ward April 2, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    I KNOW we’re gonna love this one….I’ll give it a whirl in the week.Trying the leek and gruyere tart this weekend.My ‘lucky guests’, I spoil them. x

  10. Andrew & Margarita April 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    It looks and sounds delicious!

  11. Liz April 3, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    Oh, yum, I adore apple cake and yours looks so moist and delicious!

  12. tiffany April 3, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    OMG! This looks AMAZING! I love olive oil cake, but your version sounds heavenly. I’m serious. Like it was plucked out of the clouds by angels. I wish I could have a slice!

  13. happywhennothungry April 3, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    This olive oil cake looks so moist and delicious! I love the flavors you’ve added as well. Beautiful photos as always!

  14. Kita April 3, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    I love your pictures of the drive to the little shop. My wild imagination and I would have made it such an adventure of it! This cake looks beautiful and delicious 😀

  15. rsmacaalay April 3, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    OMG that cake looks so good!

  16. thewonderingchef April 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    This sounds and looks so yummy:)

  17. honeybeeluvsjackfruit April 5, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    This looks sooooo delicious. Im getting really hungry now, and its nighttime here. 😀

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