This recipe for olive oil apple cake is an allergy-friendly twist on the traditional Italian cake that is usually made with orange juice and milk. Apple sauce is the key ingredient here as it acts as a binder and supplies moisture and flavor. A few of your favorite fresh berries on top provide a little color and complete this elegant treat.

I devised this recipe while I was visiting my parents this past week at their lake house in northern Wisconsin. Here are a few of the photographic highlights from our time here…

The weather was amazing most of the time, though we did have a couple rainy days that made baking an appealing activity. I had a good array of ingredients to work with, including Otto’s Natural Cassava Flour. I’ve been working with this flour now for over three years (this recipe for gingersnaps was my first, way back in January 2015) and it is exciting to see that it is now available so widely, even on the shelves at the local Golden Harvest Market in Rhinelander, which I always make a point to visit shortly after I arrive and stock up. If you live or visit the beautiful north woods of Wisconsin, make a point to pay them a visit. I have no financial connection to the place – just a happy customer and fan who appreciates that high quality organic food is available even up here!

But I didn’t want to buy a whole container of gelatin, just for this one recipe, so I decided to go the extra mile and challenge myself to make a cake that didn’t use that as an egg replacer, which would also mean it could be suitable for vegans as well as for people following the Paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) or who have an egg allergy or sensitivity. Maple syrup provides the sweetness, though not too much – this is a great dessert for people who actually prefer their sweets to be more muted and have some complexity of flavor. Leave it bare, or top with some fruit, depending on your preference.

Ingredient notes

If you live near Two Sisters Lake, Wisconsin you can get all of these ingredients at a local store, which probably means you can get them anywhere in the United States!

Looking for a place to get all of your AIP-approved ingredients and have them shipped right to you? I recommend ShopAIP! The Bakers Dream bundle includes my favorite cassava flour and coconut butter, as well as some other staples to get you started.

Bakers Dream Bundle


AIP Olive Oil Apple Cake with Maple Buttercream Recipe

Olive Oil Apple Cake with Maple Buttercream (Paleo, vegan, AIP)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Olive oil cake is a traditional Italian pastry but this one has a few twists that makes it suitable for vegans and people who are following the Paleo autoimmune protocol.
Olive Oil Apple Cake
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, freshly grated
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Coconut oil for greasing pan
Maple Buttercream
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup coconut butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
Make cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan with coconut oil and lightly dust with cassava flour. Shake pan to distribute flour evenly and then discard any that hasn't stuck to the pan.
  2. Whisk together cassava flour, tapioca starch, coconut flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
  3. Add orange zest, olive oil, apple sauce, maple syrup, water, and vanilla (if using). Mix well, until no lumps remain.
  4. Add in apple cider vinegar and then immediately spread batter in prepared cake pan and place in oven to bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Allow cake to cool completely, then run a knife around the edge to release cake from pan and carefully flip cake over onto plate.
Make buttercream
  1. If your coconut butter is solid, gently warm it in a sauce pan full of water until it is soft enough that you can stir it up (a solid layer of oil usually separates and collects at the top of a new jar).
  2. In a blender, combine coconut oil, coconut butter, salt, and maple syrup until smooth.
  3. Spread or drizzle on top of cake and top with fresh fruit if desired before serving.



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