21 May 2012

Sharlotka or Russian Apple Cake

Last week, my older daughter was learning about Russia in school.  I was asked to bring in some Russian desserts.  After a while of digging, I realized that several Russian dessert recipes were similar to Polish dessert recipes.

One example is Sharlotka.  The Russian Apple Cake.  In Polish, it would be a Szarlotka.  The pronunciation is almost identical, the subtle difference being that in Polish, there are more variations to the "S" sound than there are in Russian.  The "Sz" in Szarlotka is just slightly different, with the sound of the "Sh" coming from between your bottom front teeth instead of the top front teeth as a "Sh" sound does.

While the pronunciation is almost identical but not exactly the same, the same can be said of the recipes for these two versions of an Eastern European Apple cake.  There are also versions of this cake in the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and other countries.  In the Eastern European culinary world, there are also countless other cakes and desserts using apples.

Another interesting note, it is possible that the all American apple pie may actually have it's origins in some sort of version of this cake.

This recipe is extremely easy and once you make it, it will become a family favorite.  My family always eats the entire cake the day I make it and I know yours will as well.

Forgive the poor quality photo taken with my phone, I was baking four different desserts and had little time...


4 large Granny Smith or other tart Apples
3 Eggs
1 cup unbleached Flour
1 cup Sugar *
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/ teaspoon Ground Cloves


* Try this recipe with Raw Sugar for a subtle variation to the sweetness.  I make it with Raw Sugar or 1/2 table Sugar, 1/2 Brown Sugar and prefer it that way;

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, if you like, mixed with apple slices;

Try with cinnamon instead of cloves;

Try mixing Raw Sugar with the apples before layering in cake pan.

Grease cake pan with Butter.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash, peel, core and thinly slice apples.  If using cloves, raw sugar or lemon juice, mix with apples. 

Layer apples in bottom of cake pan in whatever pattern you want.

In mixing bowl, mix together Eggs, sugar and baking soda.  Add in Flour and mix well.  Texture should be like fork blended sour cream. 

Pour on top of apples.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool, then turn over onto plate.


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Mom Photographer said...

this looks really good :)

Olivia D {The Road to Poland} said...

The home we are moving to has an orchard full of apple trees, in it's most fruitful year it yielded half a ton of apples. (I've been told) I am looking forward to all the different apple concoctions I can make with our harvest in the Fall...this will be the first on the list. I love Szarlotka, always reminds me a bit of apple pipe (my favorite dessert). Thank you for this simple and yet elegant recipe.

Polish Mama on the Prairie said...

Thank you, ladies!