Cinnamon Walnut Apple Cake Baked with Olive Oil (Greek Island of Crete)

In Crete, we use olive oil for everything, including baking sweets (Mediterranean Diet recipes classically use olive oil for baking). This cinnamon walnut apple cake has been baked for special occasions in my family for generations.  Even though we have fruit for dessert on most nights, we will make this as a treat when we are celebrating. Olive oil makes for velvety and moist baked goods and I would highly recommend it for most of your baking needs. One tip is to try to get a buttery or fruity flavored olive oil when you are baking. Eat this cake with afternoon tea or coffee or after a light meal. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Walnut Apple Olive Oil Cake

Photo by Bill Bradley, R.D.

Cinnamon Walnut Apple Cake with Olive Oil

Cinnamon Walnut Apple Cake Baked with Olive Oil (Greek Island of Crete)

Koula Barydakis
3.79 from 23 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 452 kcal


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons for apples)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 2 tsp  baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 apples, peeled, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Beat eggs and sugar with a hand mixer for 10 minutes. Add olive oil and beat for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Add milk, wheat flour, baking powder and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes.
  • Brush a 9" cake pan with olive oil. Add half the batter to the pan.
  • In a bowl, mix apples, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, walnuts, raisins and cinnamon . Pour apple mixture on top of batter in cake pan.
  • Add remaining batter to pan and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until inserted knife comes out clean.


Calories: 452kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 7gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 109mgPotassium: 247mgFiber: 3gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 147IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: Koula Barydakis
Koula Barydakis was born into a long tradition of eating and living Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. She is a chef who has worked in many of the top restaurants in Crete and in Greek Town in Toronto, Canada. Koula is the co-author of “Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes of the Healthiest People in the World” and is currently completing her second cookbook. Koula teaches cooking classes to tourists in Crete and has been hired to teach classes in other countries as well.


  1. Laurie Smith December 28, 2022 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    My entire family loved this cake. Made a couple of substitutions, cranberries instead of raisins, used a 9 x 12 inch pan, and sprinkled organic granola on top instead of sesame seeds. Delicious!

  2. Cheryl January 12, 2022 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Does it matter which type of apple to use?

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. January 15, 2022 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Hi Cheryl, Most any apple will do.

  3. Nancy Simano February 16, 2021 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    I made this and used organic coconut sugar to replace the brown sugar (1to 1 ratio) and it was delicious. Not to sweet but so tasty.

  4. Sandy February 17, 2019 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Just curious! Round/square pan?

    • George Zikos February 18, 2019 at 3:47 pm - Reply

      You can use either but make sure it’s about 9 inches in diameter.

  5. Mary Ann Middendorf August 6, 2018 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Delicious recipe will make again

  6. Bill Bradley, R.D. February 2, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Recipe has been fixed. Super moist and delicious now!
    Thanks for catching the flour overload!

  7. Bill Bradley, R.D. January 23, 2018 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Hi Karen,
    When I originally made this it seemed good, but I think the grams to cups translation may have been a mistake. I think it should be closer to 3 1/2 cups. I will make it again in the next few days and let you know. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Karen January 23, 2018 at 1:18 am - Reply

    I made this recipe today. It came out dry and like bread. I think it has 2 cups flour too much. Maybe 2 1/2 cups of flour instead of 4 1/2 cups of flour.

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. January 23, 2018 at 1:51 am - Reply

      Hi Karen, I need to try this recipe again, but I’m pretty sure that it is supposed to have this amount of flour. Did you use a cup of olive oil?
      I will let you know when I try it this weekend.
      Bill Bradley, R.D.

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