Baking with Apples: Apple Cake and Apple Turnovers

Tired of apple pie? How about trying them apples in cake and turnovers?

Credit: Flickr / olle svensson

If you prefer your desserts simple and fruity, try apple cake or apple turnovers

Take a classic ingredient and turn it into simple, delicious apple cake and apple turnovers

To be honest, I’m no sweet genius. I prefer to cook without the precise measuring and the chemistry, and I’m better at experimenting on the stovetop. Still, I manage to make my way to a bakery or two more than once in a while. (So the scale tells me.)

So this time my mom and I decided to switch up our cookoff and go with a dessert. We chose apples as our theme ingredient.

I went super simple. Don’t get me wrong… I love sauces and icing and creative marbling—but basic wins me over time and time again. Here is my twist on a classic apple cake my mom made us as kids. Made with olive oil, the cake is light and wonderfully moist. To make it my own, I added grated apples to the mix—and if I do say so myself…it’s delicious! Great with ice cream or just as is. You can make it your own too by adding raisins or currants or a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Be creative.

Mama turned out a delightful turnover using phyllo pastry. Easy to make and yummy to eat! Hope these treats inspire you to try your own hand at baking.

Mama’s Apple Cake

(Image: Anastasia Koutalianos)

Cake Batter Ingredients

  • ¾ cup olive oil*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk**
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups white flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 apples, peeled and grated (I used Gala apples)

*Use quality olive oil! For both recipes we used Golden Olive Eleni® certified organic olive oil.
**Can substitute with orange juice, almond milk or coconut water.


  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  3. Mix thoroughly until a smooth batter is achieved.
  4. Grease a small cake pan and add the batter to the pan.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and sliced apple. Toss well.
  6. Cover the cake with a layer of the apple slices.
  7. Bake for 35-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cake.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Modified recipe from From the Olive Grove cookbook (page 176).

Quick and Tasty Apple Turnovers

(Image: Anastasia Koutalianos)


  • 3 medium organic B.C. Gala apples, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup organic currants
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 package of phyllo pastry
  • Olive oil (for brushing)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the phyllo pastry). Toss well.
  3. Take one phyllo sheet and fold in half. Add 1/6 of the apple filling and fold into a triangle shape (like a Greek cheese pie (tiropita)) or into a square shape. (For triangle folding instructions, click here.)
  4. Brush the top of the turnover with olive oil.
  5. Place the turnovers on a greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Serve warm, and with ice cream if you’d like. Makes 6 large turnovers. Enjoy!

Helen Koutalianos is the President and owner of Basil Olive Oil Products. Along with her husband Basil, she imports quality food products from Greece, including their award-winning Golden Olive Eleni® certified organic extra virgin olive oil. She is a director for the Fraser Valley Organic Producers Association, and co-author of the cookbook From the Olive Grove: Mediterranean Cooking with Olive Oil. Helen is also a former Greek cooking instructor and food columnist for the Maple Ridge Times.

Anastasia is the director and founder of NADATODO.COM: an online event calendar and promotions/publicity hub. She also reviews theatre and live performance; her write-ups are featured on various blogs and websites, including and Anastasia hosts her own A&E review/music/talk radio show, @nadatodo, every other Sunday from 5-6PM on CJSF 90.1FM. Along with her mother, she co-wrote the cookbook From the Olive Grove: Mediterranean Cooking with Olive Oil. blog | twitter