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In the Kitchen With: Aran Goyoaga’s Apple, Almond and Olive Oil Cake

by Kristina Gill

This autumn has been a season of exciting cookbook releases: Nigel Slater, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami TamimiYvette van Boven, Katie Quinn Davies, Kevin Gillespie and this week’s recipe contributor, Aran Goyoaga, are but a few of the authors with books that I’ve been waiting for since last year! Aran is one of the In the Kitchen With column’s favorite visitors, and I personally love any recipe of hers that harkens back to her fine pastry chef beginnings. Since becoming a pastry chef, Aran has developed her James Beard Award-nominated blog, Cannelle et Vanille, which today features the best of gluten-free cooking. Her first cookbook, Small Plates and Sweet Treats, was just released this week. I’ve had a chance to see it, and I can definitely say that if you love Aran’s blog, you’ll love her new book. Her recipe this week for an Apple, Almond and Olive Oil Cake is reminiscent of the simple Italian cakes you can find in small restaurants off the beaten path here in Italy. No need to visit Italy, though, because you can make it at home with Aran’s recipe! See more of Aran’s recipes in our archives here, here and here. — Kristina

About Aran: Aran Goyoaga is the writer, stylist and photographer behind the award-winning blog Cannelle Et Vanille. Her blog was a finalist in the 2012 James Beard Awards. Aran grew up in the Basque Country of Northern Spain in a family of professional pastry chefs and cooks. After studying business and economics, she realized that she belonged in the kitchen, so she enrolled in culinary school and began working at the Ritz-Carlton, where she honed her love for pastry. Her first book, Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking (Little, Brown & Co.), was released this week. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Everyday FoodWhole Living, Coastal Living, In Style, CNN, Saveur, Miami Herald, Living Without, Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP, ELLE Sweden and more. She is the mother of a six-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl, and she works out of her South Florida home studio. She continues to be inspired by nature and what the seasons have to offer.

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See Aran’s recipe after the jump . . .

Almond and Olive Oil Cake


  • 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped pistachio nuts
  • 2 Pink Lady apples
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (115 g) natural cane sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 1 cup (105 g) almond flour
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) superfine brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup (45 g) millet flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs*
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil

*You can try “flax eggs” by mixing water and flaxseed meal.  1 tablespoon flaxseed meal plus three tablespoons of eater equal one egg.


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease an 8-inch by 3-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

2. Core the apples, cut them in half and slice them thinly (preferably with a mandolin). Heat the coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of the natural cane sugar and the vanilla pod (save the seeds for the batter) in a large sauté pan over medium heat
until the butter has melted. Add the sliced apples and cook for 2 minutes or until they are tender but still hold their shape. Let the apples cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, superfine brown rice flour, millet flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining 1/2 cup (100 g) of natural cane sugar, light brown sugar, coconut milk, olive oil and vanilla seeds. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk until the batter comes together. Pour the batter into the cake pan.

5. Top the cake with the cooked apples. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Carefully invert it onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Store in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to one month.

Why Aran Loves This Recipe

My mother’s parents owned a pastry shop, which was across the street from the flat where I grew up. We had wonderful brioche, laminated doughs and all kinds of sweet treats around every day, but this olive oil cake my mom used to make for us was always my favorite. She never even followed a recipe. It was a container of this, two containers of that . . .

I adapted her recipe slightly to incorporate coconut milk, cardamom and millet flour, making this a gluten- and dairy-free version. It has the same warm aroma as hers, and my children love it as their afternoon snack.

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  • You missed a nice detail! What is sprinkled on top in the pretty pictures? I’ll take a wild guess and say it’s crumbled pistachio? Looks very pretty and even though i’m not one to care about gluten or dairy free treats, I would be willing to try it! Sounds delicious!! :)

  • Kristina, what did you sub the butter with? coconut oil? Do you do much vegan baking? I’m always trying to avoid the eggs but it’s truly tricky to get the light fluffiness also without fermented foods like vinegar- any thoughts? I end up making my fave almond flour scones but hoping to develop more ideas:)

  • Delicious, and Gluten Free, too! I love this. There is a strong similarity in these photographs and recipes with Beatrice’s, of La Tartine Gourmand, to which I am already addicted, thanks to DS. Thanks for sharing this!

  • i will try to do it, go right now to buy apples, but can someone tell me what fabric is behind the dishes?, please. Pictures are really beautiful.

  • I love the flatware used in these beautiful pictures. After an exhaustive search of google, I am still unable to locate the origin of those sweet little spoons! Help?!

  • I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your content.
    Your article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week.
    I opted in for your RSS feed too.

  • Dear Berangere – you are correct on all accounts! We’ve made the correction to the ingredients list!

    Hi Julie– Aran sent me a note about using ‘flax eggs’ to answer your question, so I have made a note in the recipe.

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