October Apple Cake With Oat, Olive Oil, and Dark Chocolate

It’s been more than eight months since I really made anything I loved, other than this and, well, THIS. I’ve had plenty of cravings (for ghost stories, glow-in-the-dark paintings, all sorts of scrumptious and/or gross food), but mostly I’ve been too tired to actually *do* anything about them.

But suddenly, in the past few days, I want to COOK. And eat. And eat, and cook! Is it the steady fall of yellow and brown leaves in the woods out back? The pile of acorns accumulating near the front door that my daughter gathers like a little squirrel, getting ready for the cold and dark? Or is it just this baby in my belly, almost ready for his debut, that makes me scramble to MAKE THINGS — quick, while there’s still time!

I adapted this cake recipe from an apple cake that my mom has made for almost every birthday I’ve had since I was a little girl. She got the recipe from my dad’s Italian grandma, who apparently made better food than anyone, ever. It’s also inspired by Smitten Kitchen / Al di La’s version, which looks painfully delicious. And there are lots of other takes — some with spice, most with lots of butter. My version inevitably uses olive oil and oat flour. I smashed up some fancy dark chocolate bars that had been lonely in the freezer for far too long, and when they melted into the soft apple, it blended into light fluffy cakieness — ohhhh. I literally ate this the moment I took it out of the oven, and I burnt my tongue, and I didn’t care. Then I ate some more a few hours later, and that was pretty good, too.


1 cup oat flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
3 eggs
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup olive oil
4 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (sweet apples)
1 dark chocolate bar, broken in pieces, or 1 cup dark chocolate chunks


1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a cake pan with olive oil spray and dust with oat flour, set aside. (Or if, like me, you moved six months ago and just realized you can’t find your cake pan, just use two little pie pans, it’ll all work out!)

2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder, and set aside.

3. Bust out your electric mixer (if you don’t have one, grab a whisk and roll up your sleeves), and whisk the eggs as fast as the machine (or your arm) will go, for something like 10 minutes.

4. While the eggs spin around, chop the apples into small pieces. Any sort of sweet apple will work, I think — I used stayman, which are relatively mild and not terribly firm, and I peeled them first.

5. Add the sugar and olive oil to the eggs. Mix a few more minutes. Then turn down the mixer, and add the oat flour mixture slooowly. (Or don’t, and watch a soft cloud of flour rise up in your kitchen. Poof!)

6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, dropping in the apple and dark chocolate pieces, and stick it in the oven for an hour until the cake looks golden brown and delicious, because it is.

Previously: Saucy Hot COOOL.

Natalie Eve Garrett is a very pregnant artist who doesn’t want to get up off the couch, but will for another slice of this cake.