Apple cake with maple cream cheese frosting

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apple cake with maple frosting

While flipping through the Ottolenghi cookbook, I instantly fell in love with this apple cake with maple cream cheese frosting recipe. Fruit cakes are high up on my ‘favorite food’ list and I simply couldn’t resist the sound of the maple syrup and cream cheese combo.

apple cake with maple frostingThe original recipe includes sultanates, but I’m mildly obsessed with baked things containing apples, so decided to leave these out and replace them with more apples. As it turned out, the one extra apple weighed the same as the sultanas (80g), so it felt like it was meant to be.

apple cake with maple cream cheese frosting

I also used sunflower oil instead of olive oil in the recipe. For no particular reason other than I have had much success with cakes using it and I only had very good quality extra virgin olive oil in my house. I felt with all the flavour additions in the cake it would have been lost and a bit of a waste. If I had to use olive oil, I would have chosen a light, neutral tasting one.

It was also a brilliant opportunity to test this recipe out for Sasko and to include it in the series of recipes I am publishing for them using their cake flour. It’s fabulous flour and I’m loving my baking results.

The other very exciting news is I won the Bill Granger recipe challenge with his lime and coconut delicious recipe I did,  and I’m off to London in 2 weeks’ time. I’m planning a visit to Ottolenghi in person and cannot wait to see this renowned and famous establishment

apple cake with maple frosting

Adapted from Ottolenghi – The Cookbook

apple cake with maple cream cheese frosting

An adaptation of Ottolenghi's apple cake with maple and cream cheese frosting recipe.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time:2 hours


  • 4 apples Bramley, Golden Delicious or Red Cripps, cored, peeled, and cut into 1 cm dice
  • 280 g Sasko Cake Flour
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 1/4 t baking soda
  • 120 ml sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 free-range eggs lightly beaten
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • icing sugar for dusting 20g of chopped walnuts (optional for decorating)

maple frosting

  • 100 g butter at room temperature
  • 100 g muscovado sugar
  • 85 ml maple syrup
  • 250 g cream cheese at room temperature


  • Pre heat the oven to 170 C and grease and line a 20 - 23 cm spring form pan (bottom and sides) with baking paper.
  • Using an electric mixer beat the oil, sugar and vanilla extract together, and then add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring they are well incorporated before adding the next one.
  • Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • By hand, add the apples and lemon zest and fold this through the wet mixture.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients and quickly mix to combine.
  • Mix the egg whites using an electric mixer until they form firm peaks. Gently fold these by hand through the cake batter, trying not to knock all the air out.
  • Fill the baking tin and bake for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours until the cake is done (*to test insert a sharp skewer or knife in the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, it is done). Cool in the tin.
  • When it's cool, make the frosting/icing. Beat the butter, muscovado sugar, and maple syrup together until it is light and fluffy (I found it best to do this using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment despite the recipe suggesting using a paddle attachment). Add the cream cheese and beat until the frosting is totally smooth.
  • Slice the cooled cake in half horizontally and spread about 1xm of the frosting (about a third) over the bottom layer. Place the top layer on and ice the top and sides with the remaining frosting.
  • Dust with icing sugar (optional) or decorate with chopped walnuts


If your cake top is turning too dark during the baking, loosely cover with foil about half way through
Servings: 1 cake
Author: Sam Linsell

The frosting was soft and almost mousse-like with phenomenal flavour and will now be my go-to preferred cream cheese frosting I use when I’m baking similar fruit cakes.



I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

Visit my Drizzle and Dip Facebook page to get updates of all my posts.

I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food images on Pinterest, and snapping pics of my life in Cape Town and what I eat on Instagram



  1. Oh, that maple frosting looks delicious. Love Ottolenghi’s cookbook.
    Your pictures are beautiful and so is the cake.

  2. Gorgeous photos with lovely light. I like the idea of that maple frosting with cream cheese.

  3. Er, when are you supposed to add the dry mix??

  4. Oh wow!! CONGRATULATIONS!! So exciting!! (I tried the recipe by the way and loved it!) And this one is looking like a humdinger of note!!

  5. Hi Sam, Your pics are always amazing and you really deserve to have won that trip to London. We will be having lunch at both Bill Grainger restaurant and Ottolenghi’s restaurants as well when we are in London next week. Enjoy your prize. Jenny

  6. Another stunning dessert, love the maple frosting. Congratulations on your win! 🙂

  7. HI Jenny that is great. Let me know how it goes in London and at Bills

  8. Thanks Zoe and glad you enjoyed. Its awesome 🙂

  9. Thanks Sandra – I shall be reporting back here with all the details.

  10. Thanks Ben, I left that step out by mistake and will add it in

  11. Congratulations Sam on your win! Well deserved. You must be beyond excited for London, stop by a Hummingbird Bakery if you can for a cupcake. This maple frosting sounds heavenly, I am going to try it on coffee cake. Safe travels.

  12. Thanks Sam 🙂 – im super excited. yes this icing would work on so many cakes.

  13. Congrats on your win!! How exciting!! I can’t wait to follow your journey on Instagram 🙂

    This cake looks divine and that maple cream cheese frosting?! To die for!


  14. Thanks Ilse, Im super chuffed 🙂

  15. Thanks Kiran, needless to say I will be Instagramming London A LOT.

  16. This looks a great cake. Hadn’t thought of combining apple with a maple frosting. Thanks.

  17. Sam, 2 questions – 1) Can I make this cake the day before, or is that day best? 2) Having trouble finding muscavado sugar – can I replace it with brown? Something else?

  18. Hi Zoe, the day ahead is perfect – it should last about 3 – 4 days. I would store in the fridge after day 2 – 3 because of the cream cheese. A dark brown sugar should work in the same way.

  19. Hi Belinda, do you not get apples all year round? Pears could work.

  20. Hi
    Can you convert from grams to US measurements?

  21. I just saw conversion table!!!!!! LOL, excellent

  22. Glad you found 🙂

  23. Your images are so mouth-wateringly gorgeous! This apple cake looks like creamy heaven…
    I may try the frosting. Nice work here!

  24. Thanks Donna 🙂 – its my new favourite icing and thew cake is pretty good too.

  25. Do we get all purpose flour in SA now?

  26. HI Stella – All purpose Flour is cake flour in SA

  27. Hello!
    I want to bake this cake for my friend’s birthday this week. Can I replace the maple syrup with honey? Does it affect the frosting’s level of sweetness?
    Thanks in advance

  28. HI Tanya it should work fine bioth are very sweet and similar in texture.

  29. Busy with the maple frosting. Battling to dissolve the sugar into the butter + maple. Beating and beating but still some sugar grains.

  30. Oh dear Nitsi – Mine was smooth and creamy – just keep beating – add the sugar slowly

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