Bready or Not: Sharlotka (Apple Cake)

Posted by on Jun 15, 2022 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, lemon | 0 comments

As you might have noticed, I’ve been experimenting with many different kinds of apple cakes over the past while. This Sharlotka has a Russian name but British origins, because that’s the way of the world.

Bready or Not: Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)

I modified this from a recipe in Bake from Scratch’s October 2020 issue. There, they say the first Sharlotka was a very different kind of cake that was served for Czar Alexander during a London visit–and made by a French chef. Because of course.

Bready or Not: Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)

The cake that evolved after that became more of a basic apple cake. The batter is minimal, and beaten for a prolonged time to increase volume. It’s pretty much there to act like adhesive for the mélange of apples.

Bready or Not: Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)

The resulting cake is light and airy. The flavor of the apples really shines through.

Bready or Not: Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)

This cake is great for a breakfast, snack, or dessert. Eat it on its own, or with some ice cream.

Bready or Not: Sharlotka (Russian Apple Cake)

Bready or Not: Sharlotka (Apple Cake)

This Sharlotka is more apple than cake. The batter asks as a mere adherence for the fruity, just-spiced goodness. Modified from Bake from Scratch October 2020.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: apple, cake, citrus, springform pan
Author: Beth Cato


  • 9-inch springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • fine mesh sieve
  • offset spatula


  • 4 medium apples such as Granny Smith, Ambrosia, Fuji, or Golden Delicious; go for a mix!
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon white sugar divided
  • 1 large orange or 1 large lemon zested and juiced
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Cut parchment to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Grease the pan, then place in parchment round, then spray that as well.
  • Peel and thinly slice the apples. In a big bowl, coat the apples with 1 Tablespoon white sugar, the citrus zest, and 2 teaspoons of fresh juice. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat eggs, vanilla, salt, and remaining 1 cup of sugar at medium high speed for about 7 minutes. It should turn thick and pale, the batter forming ribbons when the whisk is lifted up. Remove bowl from mixer.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and cardamom. Use a fine-mesh sieve to sift the dry ingredients into the egg mix. Gently fold the flour in until it’s just combined and there are no white streaks.
  • Place half the apples in the prepared pan. Pour half the batter over them. Use an offset spatula to work the batter into nooks and crannies. Scatter the rest of the apples on top, followed by the rest of the batter. Again, use the spatula to spread the small amount of batter. For a couple minutes, thump the pan on the counter and tap the sides every now and then to cause bubbles to rise, smoothing batter again after.
  • Bake cake. Check it at 30 minutes to see if it is getting too brown; if so, cover it with foil. Continue baking 10 more minutes (40 total) then test the middle with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Let it cool on a rack for 15 minutes before carefully releasing the sides of the pan.
  • Serve the cake warm, at room temperature, or cold from the fridge. Add a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top for serving; if keeping cake for later, add fresh sugar each time, as it will gradually be absorbed. Store covered in the fridge or at room temperature.


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