The S.O. and I have similar passions and we always take a liking to each others’ hobbies, so it’s rare for our interests to not overlap.  But apple-picking is one of these rare non-overlapping things.

He absolutely hates going apple-picking.  So much so that he’d rather wash dishes, mow the lawn, and take the dog to the groomer, before he’ll go apple-picking.  But I’ll concede that back in Michigan, apple-picking was a huge production that ended up occupying the better part of a day:  crowds forced you to park more than a half-mile from the orchard; you had to squeeze onto a hay ride with a gaggle of sneezing children just to get to the trees; and the apples seemed to be just an afterthought to the petting zoo, corn maze, and gorging oneself on cinnamon donuts.


But apple-picking is much more mellow here in Idaho.  The orchards are walkable, they’re not crowded, and there’s not a donut in sight.  I’ve really taken a liking to Cabalo’s Orchard — low-key and quiet, it’s a great orchard for solo u-pickers like myself.  I shredded a few of the Red Delicious I brought home last weekend and turned them into this divine little cake.

The apples and olive oil give this cake a super-moist crumb, while rose water keeps the flavor light and floral, perfect for Indian summer.  A conservative pour of icing is just enough to enhance the rose flavor and add a little tickle of sugar, without weighing this cake down.  I also love the size — it’s just enough for two to polish off before the crumb begins to dry out.  The recipe fills a 6-cup capacity cake pan (an 8″ diameter round pan, for example).  For the photos, I used a 4-cup capacity fluted cake mold, and had an extra ~3/4 cup of batter.  This recipe can be doubled.


Apple, Rose, and Olive Oil Cake for Two

Use a 4-6 cup capacity cake pan


  • 1 + 3/4 C shredded apples
  • 1 + 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1″ ginger, grated
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 2 tsp rose water


  • 3/4 C confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1 + 1/2 T milk
  • 1 tsp rose water


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a cake pan.  Peel, core, and shred the apples (large hole setting on a box grater); set aside.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto a large plate or sheet of parchment paper.  Set aside.
  3. Place granulated sugar, brown sugar, ginger, and eggs, in stand mixer bowl.  Mix on low speed for 2 minutes.  Keep mixer on low and slowly add olive oil and rose water, then the shredded apples, and mix for another 2 minutes or until well-incorporated.
  4. With the mixer still running on low, add sifted flour mixture a little at a time, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking tin, and bake for 45 minutes (1 hour if you’re using a fluted pan like in the photos) or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare icing by combining confectioners’ sugar, butter, milk, and rose water.  Add water to thin icing if needed.
  7. Let cake cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes before drizzling with icing and serving.


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