Fall is most definitely approaching here on the island. Cool nights make way to perfectly warm days. Summer produce is fading as the fruits of autumn begin to ripen. Sweet grapes dangle from their vines and the wild fennel blossoms have gone to seed. With the passing of each day, the busy season is coming to a close. Summer is almost over and as a reminder to take some time to fully soak in this shift in seasons, I was inspired to make this roasted grape & fennel olive oil cake.


There is a feeling in the air here that is difficult for me to describe in words. September is the month that I came to Greece with my hubby for the first time 11 years ago. So there is a certain nostalgia that I feel being here again during this season. From the way the light of the sun glows to the smell of the sweet night flowers that infuse the breeze, my heart aches with gratitude to be here re-living those memories that I hold so dear. And now that we call this village home, we have been granted the privilege to make new memories as we settle into this sacred place that captured our hearts all those years ago.

As many of you reading this may already know, I made an announcement on Instagram last week that I am styling and shooting a cookbook for the most famous restaurant on our island! The owner of Agnanti approached me to help them put together a collection of recipes and images from our village as a tribute to his family’s food legacy and I could not be more honored to bring their story to life through my photography! This project has left me extremely busy, which explains my absence from the blog, but I squeezed in some time to share this roasted grape & fennel olive oil cake with you guys because the grapes are at the peak of their season here and I was feeling especially inspired to create something with them.

roasted grapes & fennel seeds

This cake is a variation of a pistachio cake that I made for a food photography workshop that I hosted in Point Reyes in 2017. This cake was received so well by the attendees, many of them telling me it was the best cake they ever had! This time around, I made some changes to reflect ingredients that are local here in our village: almond flour instead of pistachio, olive oil instead of butter and ground wild fennel seeds instead of rosewater –  and the result was just as good as the original (which I have yet to share here on the blog).

Roasting the grapes allows them to soften a bit and release some of their glorious juices. The flavor of fennel is an intriguing addition to the grapes that I absolutely adore.  Wild fennel covers our island and is a foundational ingredient in many of the local recipes. The scent of wild fennel alone is enough to remind me of everything I love about this island, so incorporating wild fennel into this dessert makes me feel especially sentimental.


Sweet and fragrant, this roasted grape & fennel olive oil cake is my tribute to the transiton between seasons here on the island. When I eat this cake I think about the joy I feel each day to wake up in this quaint village that is filled with a distinct peace that permeates the atmosphere. With each bite, I feel deep gratitude for all that our village has given us and with the turning of the season I am reminded to make the most of what remains.



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  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x


Units Scale


  • 1 1/4 cups (160g) sifted all-purpose flour (you can make your own with ap flour & cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (50g) finely ground almonds or pistachios (or substitute with nut flour of your choice)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (140g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (162g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (125g) Greek yogurt


  • 1 lb (500g) grapes, rinsed clean
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease an 8″ round cake pan with olive oil and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  2. Add fennel seeds to a mortar and pestle with 1 tbsp of sugar and grind until fine
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and fennel sugar. Add almond flour & whisk well, set aside.
  4. Whisk the eggs and the remaining sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy and light in color, about 2 minutes. Slowly stream in the olive oil while continuing to whisk until all of the olive oil is incorporated well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the Greek yogurt. Mixing until just blended.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread the batter out evenly with a spatula. Rap the pan on the counter 4 or 5 times to remove any pockets of air in the batter.
  7. Bake the cake in the center of the oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, approximately 22-25 minutes.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely on the rack before icing.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F (200°C)
  2. Add the grapes to a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fennel seeds
  3. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the grapes have just started to release their juices and the skins have began to wrinkle
  4. Remove grapes from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before assembling the cake


  1. Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl, add the Greek yogurt and whisk until smooth
  2. The glaze should be thick but spreadable


  1. Once the cake and the roasted grapes have fully cooled, spoon the glaze over the cake. You can pre-slice the cake and glaze the individual slices, this allows for the neatest presentation.
  2. Allow the glaze to air dry for about 15 minutes before arranging the grapes on top of the cake.
  3. Garnish with young wild fennel seeds if you have access to them and serve :)
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Michelle September 14, 2018, 7:02 am

    Your beautiful sentiments and feelings are so well shared here. This cake is really beautiful. Simplicity paired with using what the land has to offer makes the most spectacular creations. I know I should have guessed one of your favorite ingredients would be in this recipe. I had a good giggle about that. Love you and congratulations on your success with the cookbook! I sure would love one. I hope they decide to sell one to a loyal fan of your work. ♥️♥️♥️

    • bella | ful-filled September 14, 2018, 11:45 am

      Thank you so so much Michelle, it is such a pleasure to use ingredients from our village, the recipe somehow means so much more this way. Happy you had a giggle, what can I say, its such a versatile ingredient! I am really hopeful that the book will be available worldwide…I will share details as soon as I know! Thank you for the love and support!

  • Marilena September 15, 2018, 7:58 am

    I love everything about this olive oil based cake! As you said, it is the perfect transition between the two seasons…… Besides the stunning photography, your stories about everyday life at your Greek island mean so much to me every time I read them. Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

    • bella | ful-filled September 15, 2018, 8:44 am

      Aw…thank you Marilena! It really is perfect for this time of year. I am so touched that my stories about living here are meaningful to you…I am so happy to share <3

  • Effie Mattheou Demetriades September 15, 2018, 10:23 am

    Sweet and fragrant the cake, just like your blog, just like Skopelos. Brilliant photos.
    Fall will find you later in Glossa. It is kind of an early tristesse in Skopelos Hora.
    I shall try to carve out the time to bake your brilliant cake. So very sorry we never met last summer.
    Till next summer then~

    • bella | ful-filled September 16, 2018, 7:50 am

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much Effie…I too am so sorry that our paths did not get to cross, but we will most certainly meet in the future! <3

  • Gerlinde September 16, 2018, 5:31 am

    Your photos are stunningly gorgeous, showcasing this beautiful cake.

    • bella | ful-filled September 16, 2018, 7:49 am

      Thank you so very much Geraldine! I really appreciate that <3

  • Elizabeth September 22, 2018, 10:19 am

    Grapes are one of favorite harbingers of the fall season. This cake is stunning and happens to feature so many of my favorite flavors. I have a small celebration coming up next week, and think this would be perfect.

    And congrats on the book! I am positive your images will be stunning.

    • bella | ful-filled September 22, 2018, 10:30 am

      Oh my goodness! Thank you SO much Elizabeth! I would be honored if my cake graced your celebration table! And I really appreciate your encouragement for the book!

  • Tessa | Salted Plains September 23, 2018, 4:11 pm

    Congrats on the cookbook project! How exciting and so special. I love that you topped this with roasted grapes – I think I love roasted grapes more than raw. Just beautiful!

    • bella | ful-filled September 23, 2018, 9:24 pm

      Thank you so much Tessa! It has been a great honor to shoot this book! Roasting the grapes just a bit brings out their best in my opinion <3

  • Sonja Overhiser September 24, 2018, 8:21 am

    So exciting about the cookbook project! That is incredible and I can’t wait to see your work. XO

    • bella | ful-filled September 24, 2018, 9:05 am

      Thank you so much Sonja! I really appreciate your love & support <3

  • Niko September 27, 2018, 12:17 am

    SPEECHLESS!!! ALL i can say is WWW—OOO—WWW—!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • bella | ful-filled September 29, 2018, 4:01 am

      thank you so much!

  • Niko September 27, 2018, 12:18 am

    to say that your Food Photography and Styling skills are STUNNING would be an EPIC understatement!!!

    • bella | ful-filled September 29, 2018, 4:01 am

      you are so sweet, thank you!

  • Niko September 27, 2018, 12:19 am

    it is NO WONDER why EVERY time you announce a new Food Photography & Styling Workshop you sellout within hours…your work is PEERLESS!!!!

  • Niko September 27, 2018, 12:22 am

    i can NOT wait to see the Cook Book that you are shooting for the world famous Agnanti Restaurant, i am POSITIVE that it will be the most EPIC Cook Book Photography EVER!!!

  • Niko September 27, 2018, 12:26 am

    BTW, my wifey makes ALL of your recipes, and when i say ALL, what i mean is, EVERY…SINGLE… LAST…ONE>>>>>>>NO JOKE, EVERY SINGLE ONE!!! our family’s favorite part of your ROASTED GRAPE & FENNEL OLIVE OIL CAKE | WITH GREEK YOGURT GLAZE, was definitely the roasted grapes on top as they melded into the greek yogurt glaze when we would break into each bite with our forks, it made an EPICLY melded flavor as the two became one!!!

    • bella | ful-filled September 29, 2018, 4:01 am

      that makes me so happy! Thank you so much for all of your support!

  • Storm October 22, 2019, 9:42 am

    I enjoyed this so much I almost feel like I don’t need to bake this anymore. Almost!

    • bella | ful-filled October 22, 2019, 9:05 pm

      Haha! Your comment made me lol! I hope you bake it ;)

  • Stephanie March 20, 2021, 4:05 pm

    My friend Holly made this for me. After surgery last week she asked if I had a sweet tooth and I had just been reading about an olive oil cake with grapes in Shape magazine. I mentioned it, she found your recipe, and I’m wild with gratitude, enthusiasm and wonder!!! I don’t like sugary sweets just for the sake of sugary sweets, and fruit is my favorite in all desserts. I can’t rave enough about this recipe! So much so I found it on Pinterest so I could share my pure joy and happiness. Sorry for the overshare! Thank you for this glorious recipe. I just had another slice. It makes me so happy.

    • bella | ful-filled March 26, 2021, 7:53 pm

      Oh my goodness! I am SO happy that you enjoyed my recipe so much! I am incredibly honored that your friend made it for you! Thank you for the compliments, they mean so much!

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