There are many variations of Sharlotka Apple Cake out there. It’s a basic apple cake made with simple ingredients. Some recipes only contain only 4 ingredients! This is not like my American Apple Pie, which is worth checking out, but it’s definitely an Apple cake.
Sharlotka was created by a French chef Marie Antoine Careme. It was made in honor of the wife of Tsar Alexander I of Russia. Early names for the recipe was Charlotte a la Parisienne, and then became known as Charlotte Russe. There are many different versions of this recipe, some using lady fingers, others crushed cookies. It has evolved to a simpler cake recipe with ingredients that everyone has in their pantry. In Poland, this recipe is known as Szarlotka.
This is my wife Rita’s Sharlotka recipe, and I’m grateful she shared the recipe and baked it all for me. Apples and cinnamon are an amazing combination together, one that must not be tinkered with, even in the simplest of cakes. The apples aren’t coated in cinnamon and sugar like they are in a pie, but are delicately sprinkled on top of the cake just before serving. The flavours aren’t overpowered, but are separate and complement each other.
I remember my grandmother baking Sharlotka cake. Her recipe didn’t use cinnamon sugar, but was served plainly without sugared topping. It’s now commonly served with sprinkled icing sugar which looks a bit fancy. However, this cinnamon sugar recipe is my all time favorite.
How to make Sharlotka
There’s a delicate balance of not adding too many apples otherwise the cake will fall apart. Too few apples, and it’s just a glorified sponge cake. That being said, this is an apple cake, so we use 5 apples. It seems like a lot of apples, but they do shrink as they cook down, making just the right amount. This recipe is like an Upside Down Apple Cake. The thinly sliced apples go into the spring form pan first, and the batter poured over top. As it cooks, the cake batter covers the apples all the way down the bottom. When it’s cooked and you flip it over, it’s perfection.
This version of Sharlotka Apple Cake requires a bit longer cooking time due to the apple-batter ratio, but it’s still a simple, quick and delicious cake to whip up at a moment’s notice. My wife has been baking Sharlotka Apple Cake for years and it’s become a family favorite. Simple food done well, is perfection. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита
Sharlotka Apple Cake + VIDEO (Шарлотка)
This is the best Russian Apple Cake recipe. It's light, fluffy, moist and delicious and made with only 5 ingredients. Not an apple pie, but an Apple cake sprinkled with cinnamon sugar – Known as Szarlotka in Poland. This is my wife Rita's Apple Sharlotka Cake (Шарлотка), it's like an Upside Down Apple Cake.
- Butter or nonstick spray for greasing pan
- 5 large apples
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- cinnamon sugar to top your cake before serving
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a 9×3 round cake pan or springform pan with parchment paper. Butter or spray both the paper, and the sides of the pan. I believe butter gives a better aroma whilst baking instead of an oily chemical aroma.
Peel and core the apples, chop in quarters, then slice into thin bite size pieces.
Place the apples into the buttered cake pan.
Using a mixer or whisk, beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl until the sugar dissolves (around 5 minutes).
Add the vanilla and mix throughout mixture.
Gently add the flour and mix with a spoon until batter is thick and smooth.
Pour over the apples in the cake pan, spreading it evenly over the apples. Gently shake the pan to allow the batter to go down to apples.
Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Check cooking time at 40 minutes with a toothpick to see if cake is ready (Some ovens this is enough cooking time). Tip: Don’t rush the cooking time, or the centre will remain raw.
When cake is ready, allow to cool on a baking tray for 10 minutes.
Using a knife, run along sides of the cake pan. Carefully flip upside down onto a baking tray. Peel off the parchment paper, revealing the apple base (now the top of your cake).
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar to taste, and transfer to a cake stand or plate. Serve with thickened cream or vanilla bean ice cream.