This Russian apple cake called “Sharlotka” is the easiest to make apple cake recipe you can find. All you need to make this simple recipe is apples, flour, sugar and eggs. Just cut up the apples, mix flour, sugar and eggs in a bowl, pour over apples and bake! The ingredients are so common, and the quantities are easy to remember – if you make this cake recipe more than one time, you’ll have it memorized :)
Being Russian, I can honestly tell you that practically every Russian woman has her own recipe of Sharlotka. Some people call Sharlotka a cake (but it contains no milk, no butter), a Russian pie (but it has no crusts). It has slight resemblance of clafoutis, but without cream or milk. It contains no butter, although it has sugar, it’s not very sweet. Although it has eggs, it’s not very rich. Really, the whole structure comes from apples. You fill the cake pan nearly to the brim with peeled and chopped apples and you pour the batter over then smooth it to encourage it to seep down. It fills the spaces between the apples and makes a cake of what was a pile, and then you bake it until it’s done.
I think that this is the kind of thing you throw together for a quick weekday night dessert, or maybe on a Saturday if your kids are asking for something sweet.
So, here is my version of Russian Apple Sharlotka, adapted from my mother, who adapted it from her mother, and so on…
Non-stick spray, for greasing pan
5 large, tart apples, such as Granny Smiths
4 large eggs
1 cup (200 grams) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
0,5 tsp baking soda, dash of vinegar or lemon juice to activate the baking soda
Preheat oven to 160-180C /350F. Line the 9-inch springform pan with baking paper, or you can spray the form with non-stick spray.
Peel, halve, core and chop your apples into medium-sized chunks. (This time I decided slice the apple fairly thinly, it’s all up to you, experiment).
Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan.
Meanwhile, in a food processor beat eggs with sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs. Beat in vanilla, activated baking soda, then add sifted flour and mix it for a couple of seconds until just combined, don’t over beat the batter.
Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples. The top of the batter should end up level with the top of the apples.
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a tasting stick comes out clean free of batter. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the backing paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. You can dust it with some powdered sugar.
You can serve Sharlotka warm or cold – it’s so yummy!
So, here you have it, my version of Russian classic – Russian Apple Sharlotka – enjoy! This simple dessert recipe, along with some other Russian recipes of Russian Potato Salad, Stuffed Cabbage Golubtsy, Russian Beetroot Salad Vinegret, and many others, is among my families’ favourite traditional Russian food.