Apple Cake with Toffee Crust

The Fall is my favorite season and nothing says it better than the fresh crop of apples that abound. While visiting a friend in Massachusetts I had her version of this apple cake that originally appeared in  Food and Wine by Chef Lara Atkins.  I further tweaked it using EVOO, coconut sugar and nutmeg. You can make the toffee sauce but neither one of us did and the cake is perfect all by itself.


3  cups all-purpose flour

1   teaspoon salt

1   teaspoon baking soda

1    teaspoon nutmeg (fresh ground if possible)

1  1/4   cups Trampolini Black Label  extra virgin olive oil

2   cups granulated sugar

3  large eggs

3  cups ½ inch diced apples (Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala are best)

1  stick unsalted butter

1/4   cup heavy cream

1   cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar

1    teaspoon pure vanilla extract

TOFFEE SAUCE (optional)

1  1/2   cups granulated sugar

1/2  cup water

3/4  cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

2   tablespoons unsalted butter

1    tablespoon brandy

Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform  pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, nutmeg and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil with the granulated sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Fold in the diced apples with a rubber spatula. The batter will be thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cream and brown sugar/coconut sugar and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring. Remove the toffee glaze from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Place the warm cake (still in its pan) on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the hot glaze over the cake and let it seep into the cake, poking lightly with a toothpick. Let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours. Invert the cake onto a plate, and invert again onto another plate, right side up.

(optional) In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Using a moistened pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Cook without stirring until a medium-amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly but carefully stir in the cream and butter. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the brandy. Pour the toffee sauce into a pitcher.

Slice the cake and serve with the toffee sauce if you made it and vanilla ice cream.