Fabio's Apple Cake

Make a simple cake in less than an hour. This cake's so good, Fabio gave it to the Pope (literally).


  • How to pick the best apple for your recipe: Use ripe apples for maximum sweetness. Firm apples with bold flavors are best for baking because the flesh doesn't break down, get mealy, or melt.

  • Secret ingredient: olive oil. Olive oil draws out the sweeter notes in apples and brings superior character to the ingredients. Besides being a "healthier" fat, olive oil contains natural emulsifiers that lead to a more moist cake with great texture.

Fabio's Apple Cake

Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Yield: 8-10 servings


3-4 very ripe Red Delicious apples, peeled and cored

1 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs, plus one yolk

¾ cup granulated sugar

zest of one orange

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp golden brown sugar

powdered sugar, for dusting

fresh mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan.

In a food processor, pulse apples until pureed but still chunky (the apples will oxidize, turning brown, but it's perfectly fine.). You should have about 3 cups of apple puree. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add eggs, sugar, and beat on medium until incorporated.

Add orange zest and vanilla and beat on low speed, increasing to medium, then high, until the eggs are foamy and light-yellow in color.

Reduce speed to low and gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream.

Add pureed apples and mix until combined.

Gradually add the flour mixture.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and mix again on low speed until all ingredients are evenly incorporated into the batter. Do not over-mix.

Transfer batter to the prepared springform pan.

Sprinkle the top with brown sugar for a crunchy crust.

Bake for 1 hour, then cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

To serve, remove the sides of the pan and place on a platter.

Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with a mint sprig.