Apple Sharlotka is likely the most popular Russian sweet cake. It is famous for being simple, affordable and quick. Russian Apple Sharlotka is a sponge cake with cut apples baked inside. No fancy ingredients are needed and the result is hard to spoil. If you need to bake something quickly for pudding, you’d think of the apple Sharlotka first. It takes about 25 minutes to prepare and about 40-50 min in the oven. Here is our failproof recipe for Russian Sharlotka cake.
3 large Bramley (culinary) apples*, peeled (if desired) and cut into pieces.
some cinnamon to powder the apples.
4 large eggs.
200 g (about 7/8 of cup) sugar.
150 g (1 cup) plain flour.
1/2 ts baking powder.
Icing sugar, whipped cream or ice cream to serve (optional).
* Ideally you would want to use Russian Antonovka apples in Sharlotka. As they are almost impossible to find here in the UK, I use Bramley cooking apples and they work fine. Granny Smith or any other tarter firmer variety of apples will be another good choice.
You will also need a non-stick 25 cm diameter springform or a same size ring (Bundt) cake tin. In the ring tin the cake will bake a bit faster. If your baking tin has a design on the base your Sharlotka will look even better when it is turned over. See the photos. However, you don’t have to flip the cake over, you can just serve as is and enjoy a crusty merengue-like top layer of the cake. In this case it is easier to line the whole springform tin with non-stick baking paper.
Russian apple Sharlotka, method:
1. Cut up the apples into quarters, cut out the core, then cut every quarter into halves and then slice across in 5mm pieces. Powder the cut apples with cinnamon, shake well and put aside in a large bowl.
2. Grease the baking tin with butter.
3. Turn on the oven to 150° C (120° F).
4. Make the batter for Sharlotka. Beat eggs with an electric mixer on high speed for about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat for 3 more minutes until the mixture becomes lighter in colour. Sieve the flour and baking powder in and mix them into the eggs briefly on slow speed (don’t beat!). The batter should have the consistency of pancake batter.
5. Pour the batter into the bowl with cut apples and mix with spatula. Then pour all into your baking tin. Shake the baking tin slightly to even up the top and put it into the oven.
6. Bake Russian apple Sharlotka in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes at 150°C. Then turn the temperature to 180°C (350°F) and bake for another 20 minutes. Check with the toothpick if the cake is ready and bake for another 5-10 minutes if needed.
7. Let your baked Sharlotka cool in the baking tin for 10-15 minutes. Then run a thin spatula along the sides of the baking tin to separate the cake. If you are using the spring tin, take off the band. Now carefully run the spatula along the base of the tin under the cake. Take the cake stand and put it upside down on top of the cake in the baking tin. Now flip over with care and your Apple Sharlotka will seat on the cake stand the right side up.
8. Dust with icing sugar if desired. Serve Sharlotka warm or cold as is or top up with whipped cream (“the British way”) or vanilla ice cream (“the American way”). Clotted cream is great too if you don’t mind the extra calories! The cake is even better the next day when it gets moister.
Also try to make Russian Sharlotka with plums, cooking cherries or rhubarb instead of apples. It is very good too!