A traditional Russian apple cake, warm and full of fruit. My version has a bit of caramel baked with the apples.
A Sharlotka is a traditional Russian apple cake. It has the most lovely crispy, crackly, meringue-like crust on top, with a delicious cake, filled with warm apples. My version incorporates a touch of caramel to the mix.
This cake is pretty simple, so it's easy enough to bake up anytime. It's not super sweet, so it would be at home in the morning, the afternoon, or for a warm treat after dinner.
Apples - For my version, I used a firm red Courtland apple. Empire or Golden Delicious would also work nicely. I would steer away from Granny Smith apples, as they tend to be too tart and hard, even after cooking.
Caramel Sauce - I've used a store-bought caramel sauce here, but you can certainly make your own to use here, if you like. That said, if you prefer, you can also skip the caramel sauce altogether and have a wonderful apple cake.
As we have taken great effort to bean air into the batter, we don't want to deflate it when incorporating the apples. Fold them in very gently. If you find them not well enough mixed in, once the batter is in the pan, run a knife straight through the batter a few times, to encourage it to mix with the apples. Straight strokes in a few different directions should do it.
Caramel Apple Sharlotka
- 4 medium apples, peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup white sugar, DIVIDED
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch kosher salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla, or vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade caramel sauce, thick works best
- Icing/Confectioners sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350° F with rack in centre of oven. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside on a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In a medium bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow and a ribbon forms when the beaters are lifted, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix in. Gently fold in the dry ingredients just until mixed.
- Spread the apples in the prepared pan in an even layer. Drizzle the caramel over the apples, then pour the batter evenly over them. If you'd like to mix the apples with the cake a bit, run a knife straight through the pan in a few directions to allow the batter to sink down in to the apples a bit. Otherwise, just allow to stand 5 minutes as is. This will bake up with the cake on top and the apples on the bottom.
- Bake the sharlotka (on the baking sheet, to catch any dripfor about 1 hour, or until it is golden and crisp on top and a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let it rest for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan, then remove the outer ring. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.
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