apple-sharlotka Recipes

apple sharlotka

At last, I have a new recipe for you in the heavily neglected category of Russian food. How could this have happened, you ask? Are you not married to a Russian? Does your son not respond to the question “Would you like to go to the library?” with “Da!”? Are you not still in love with all of the Russian food you’ve encountered in your (holy wow) 8 1/2 years of courtship? And the answer is very simple: I needn’t cook Russian food because my mother-in-law does it so well.

great green granny apples
apple peelings

Weekly, she brings us deliveries of stuffed cabbage or Salad Olivier (which is one of my oddball son’s favorite foods) or blintzes or vegetable soups, oh, and farmers cheese, which I have come to believe Russians imbue with the healing/halo-ensconced qualities most American parents do yogurt. But, she never brings us this, and so I had to take matters into my own hands.

halved and cored apples

chop your apples

My mother-in-law insists that she does not bake — that’s my job — but she does make this, which the family calls “Apple Thing”. It’s official name is Apple Sharlotka, but that really gives you no more help than “Thing” by way of description. “Sharlotka” would sound like it relates to a dessert Charlotte, but Charlottes, with their mousse-like, Lady Fingers-decked grandiosity, have little in common aside from the course in which it is served. I’ve heard this referred to as a cake (but it contains no milk, no butter), a Russian pie (but it has no crusts) and/or a pancake (but it’s not very cakey). I wanted to tell you that it’s like a clafoutis, but no, that’s not right either, with no cream or milk and a proportion of fruit to batter that is nothing short of staggering.

fill your springform with apples
pour the batter over the apples
spread the batter so it seeps

And so, you’re just going to have to make it yourself. I know, I know, it’s JANUARY and We Do Not Eat Dessert In January. I hear you. But I cannot bear a life without dessert, without a bit of something sweet each and every day, and I think this is an excellent offering for the most resolute time of year. It contains no butter, save that which you need to grease the pan. Although it has sugar, it’s not very sweet. Although it contains flour, it’s not a whole lot for the size of the pan. Although it has eggs, it’s not very rich. Really, the whole structure comes from apples. You fill the cake pan nearly to the brim with peeled and chopped apples and you pour the batter over then smooth it to encourage it to seep down. It fills the spaces between the apples and makes a torte of what was a pile, and then you bake it until it’s done.

apple sharlotka

I am assuming that this is the kind of thing you throw together for a quick weekday night dessert, or maybe on a Saturday if your kids are staying for dinner. I assume this because it’s when I have experienced it but that isn’t to say that in the day since I’ve baked it it hasn’t come to fill other roles too: breakfast, with a hearty scoop of yogurt; an afternoon snack for an eager toddler, or simply a dessert that is the opposite of December’s decadence.

apple sharlotka

One year ago: Vanilla Bean Pudding
Two years ago: Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens
Three years ago: Fig and Walnut Biscotti
Four years ago: Goulash
Five years ago: Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and World Peace Cookies

Apple Sharlotka

Adapted from Alex’s mother, who adapted it from her mother, and so on…

Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
6 large, tart apples, such as Granny Smiths
3 large eggs
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
Ground cinnamon, to finish
Powdered sugar, also to finish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan. Peel, halve and core your apples, then chop them into medium-sized chunks. (I cut each half into four “strips” then sliced them fairly thinly — about 1/4-inch — in the other direction.) Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs with sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs. Beat in vanilla, then stir in flour with a spoon until just combined. The batter will be very thick.

Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples. (Updated to clarify: Spread the batter and press it down into the apple pile. The top of the batter should end up level with the top of the apples.) Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon.

Serve warm or cooled, dusted with powdered sugar. Alex’s family eats it plain, but imagine it would be delicious with a dollop of barely sweetened whipped or sour cream.

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742 comments on apple sharlotka

    1. deb

      Cake stand — I bought it last month, but spent the whole month making cookies and never got to use it. I am obsessed with it; it’s pretty and inexpensive. We are in love. I got it at Macy’s. I resisted the compote bowls, but it wasn’t easy.

  1. Ohh this is awesome. My dad is Polish/Russian and I remember (like it was yesterday) that my grandma used to make szarlotka for us. It’s such a delicious cake and now I can make my own – thanks for that! Have a great weekend, Deb. xo

  2. cb72

    Cool- I’m already anticipating that when I make it, some other kinds of fruit will find their way in there, due to the fact that my kids snarf the apples off the counter just after I buy them…

  3. Oh Deb…I had big plans to bake Joann Chang’s Apple Snacking Cake (from Flour Bakery), but now you show me this recipe??? And it involves 12 less Tablespons of butter than my original plan…

    What a decision I have to make now.

    Looks delicious! :)

  4. lenzai

    My mom made this all the time when I was little and I’ve made it in college with only a hand mixer and a square pyrex dish. We slice the apples a little thinner and wider larger and layer them carefully (with a bit of the batter on the bottom first), that way it comes out denser. Adding fresh or dried cranberries and/or chopped walnuts is lovely too.

  5. Anna

    I think I might have to make this tonight. We only have sweet apples, but we have many underripe pears. Maybe a combo of the two?

  6. Katie

    This looks a lot like an apple version of Marcella Hazan’s “Farm Wife’s Fresh Pear Tart”—also made mostly of chopped fruit with a relatively unrich batter poured over, but with the addition of bread crumbs coating the pan, which cook up to this crispy texture that is just amazing.

  7. KT

    Some parts of this recipe, like the proportion of eggs to flour, resemble a Dutch Baby/German Apple Pancake somewhat, although it doesn’t seem to puff up the same way. Because of the egg to flour ratio my husband would sadly never go for it.

  8. Oh boy does this look good. All I’ve been doing the first week in January is COMPLAINING about my girth/weight but boy do I feel like baking this apple delight!

  9. Anna

    Being Russian, I can honestly tell you that practically every Russian woman has her own recipe of sharlotka (and btw, in Russian “apple sharlotka” sounds like “chocolate brownies” in English, not really necessary). For example, my mother always adds baking soda and lemon zest to the batter, my grandmother used to mix a cake batter very like a classic spongecake, and in general I have never eaten a sharlotka with apples chopped so small, though it does look pretty. :) In fact, the sharlotka I’m used to is very similar to your recipe of your mother’s apple cake, just without the cinnamon.

  10. Ravan

    Love it!! I have been making this exact recipe for the past 3 weekends as my step mother is Russian, and I grew up loving her “Russian Apple Pie”….:-) I had a mad craving for it strike mid-December and dug out my old recipe. It’s light delicious and just sweet enought to feel like dessert without over-doing it. Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Michael

    While I generally subscribe to Alton Brown’s “no single-purpose tools” rule, I find that a hand-cranked apple peeler/corer is worth having if you like baking with apples. Since I do have one, and this is not too calorically intimidating as desserts go, I’m going to try Apple Sharlotka soon.

    1. deb

      I bought one of those apple peeler/corer things after so many readers recommended it and proceeded to want to throw it out the window. Maybe my apples aren’t straight or smooth enough, but it never peeled cleanly and there were always plasticky pit parts left. I was jealous of all the people who seemed to use them so successfully. I’ll happily donate mine — which I have no room for, anyway — to someone else.

  12. This looks awesome. I’ve never heard of this before, but I’m going to try it for sure. I love that you use tart apples, it sounds delicious. I make an apple dutch baby, which is what this reminds me of, but I LOVE how many apples are in this :D

  13. This will be my first introduction to Russian food (unless you count pierogis at Veselka’s, but I guess that’s a Ukrainian restaurant, and I didn’t cook those, only ate them). Anyway, looks delicious!

  14. This will be my first introduction to Russian food (unless you count pierogis at Veselka, but I guess that’s Ukrainian, and I only ate those, didn’t cook them). Anyway, looks delicious!

  15. tj

    …Oh my. First of all, I heart your cake stand. And secondly, my ex-inlaws were Russian and I have never heard of this recipe. Yes, my former married name was “Kuznecoff”. Whenever I used to say it someone would almost always say, “bless you”, as if I sneezed. I know, silly. *giggle* :o)

    …I am going to the store later and this just may be the thing I need to make this weekend. It sounds and looks delish’. And simple. Not a pretentious dessert with a mile long ingredient list altho’ it sure does look the part.

    …Thank you Miss Smitten for sharing! I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful New Year!

    …Peace & Blessings :o)

  16. This looks splendid. And that filling. Oh, that filling. The pouring shot of it makes me want to just eat that with a spoon. Thanks for the stop and start, step by step, pic up your camera a million times pictures…that filling pic with the pour shot has me drooling. As does the whole thing!

  17. JK

    Ah, this looks so simple and delicious. Do you have any idea if one could substitute rice flour (or some other GF option) for the regular flour? My husband would love this but he’s got a wheat sensitivity (*sigh*). I’m clueless in the realm of GF baking. :)

    1. deb

      Gluten-free — I haven’t tried it but imagine it could work. The cake gets it’s structure mostly from apples, so the gluten in the flour doesn’t play the same role it would in a traditional cake. Or, that’s my theory at least.

  18. No way! I live for my apple peeler/corer thing! You have to make sure the peeler part is at the right springy-ness but that thing has seriously quadrupled my apple intake.

    This cake is beautiful. It makes me wish I had a Russian mother-in-law!

  19. Oh my goodness, this apple cake looks absolutely delicious. And to think that I had just said to myself that I wanted to make an apple cake of some sort for this weekend…you’ve just solved my problems once again Deb!

  20. This looks amazing – and not really that bad for you! Can’t wait to make it for myself. And while I would like to stay traditional, I might not be able to stop myself from throwing some crystallized ginger in it.

    Your photography is beautiful by the way.

  21. Maria

    I make this all the time, everyone looooves it. Also, you can add a little bit of plums, it adds an interesting flavor. Or sour cherries, if you can find them. Only thing is -if you add the plums, put then on the very bottom of the pan, and add a little bit more sugar to the batter.

  22. I was a terrible daughter and didn’t make my mom a birthday cake on Wednesday (technically she told me not to). But apple desserts are her very favorite thing to eat and this is definitely healthy enough to not be a resolution killer. Guess I need to go buy some apples. I’m guessing I could make it even healthier using some of the whole wheat pastry flour I bought awhile ago and have yet to use, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

  23. This is my childhood cake. My mom wasn’t the best cook or a baker, but this one she used to whip up in a minute! It was amazing, great recipe. I am making it now, for my own family! Lithuania meet New York! Our kitchens unite us!

  24. Cari

    I have had better luck with my Pampered Chef Apple Peeler Corer, which I use with the stand Pampered Chef sells also, than my first one (don’t remember the brand), which I somehow managed to ruin. It definitely works best with firmer apples, though, so if they’re a softer apple in the first place you may want to put them in the fridge before coring them.

  25. Vlad

    Thanks! Mouth-watering pictures. As Anna said above in the post 16. Baking soda is the missing classic ingredient – one third of a tea spoon or so, for the listed ingredients.
    I have four or even five eggs for the same amount (a Russian cut glass – the usual measurement cup) of flour, though, I can’t say those four eggs are large. Any sour apples will do, and I sometimes baked sharlotka using some unripe apples from the nearby apple tree in mid-July – during Soviet times there were not so many imported apples of any kind. Though ripen ‘antonovka’ apples in Autumn would reach the flavor…
    Waiting for some other Russian recipes to bring good memories…

  26. I have always told anyone who will listen that my favorite food is the apple, in any form. This looks like a thicker version of Dorie Greenspan’s (though I found it on David Lebovitz’s site) french apple cake, though hers has butter and the addition of a few tablespooons of rum. Definitely going to try this also!

  27. Heyyyyy Deb? What should an apple-sharlotka-craving kiddo do if said kiddo doesn’t have a springform pan (other than BUY ONE, duh? Is this doable in a standard cake or pie pan, do you think?

    Many thanks!

  28. Deb, this cake has been on heavy rotation at my mom’s house since before I was born! It’s my absolute favorite apple cake. I recently tweaked my mom’s recipe (adding spices and honey) to include in the Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box. I love that you share traditional Russian dishes on your site!

  29. Oh, I love salad olivier, possibly even more than Jacob. My best friend growing up was originally from Latvia, and her mom always seemed to have a bowl ready to go whenever I’d play at her house. I saw a bunch of recipes for it on blogs last year, but still haven’t made it. I even interviewed my best friend’s mom to find out what exactly she put in it. It’s really all about the canned peas.

    Now, I don’t remember seeing a sharlotka at their house, but for celebrations they would have this amazing layered cake confection. I think they called it a napoleon, with thin layers of alternating cream and cake. Your birthday cake from this year reminded me of those unbelievable cakes. There’s actually a Russian store, nary a 10 minute walk from my house, in which I discovered they sell, no joke, 18 different versions of that cake.

    As for your apple peeler, as a New Englander, I’ll happily take your apple peeling machine refuse. Happily.

  30. Gayle

    Actually, this reminds me of the strawberry summer cake (a la Martha Stewart) you wrote about last spring, for some reason. Maybe it’s the cakey fruitiness of them both. Or maybe it’s that I can probably actually bake this, too, since I can’t really bake but I can make the summer cake.

  31. Charlotte K

    This reminds me of the best apple dessert I have ever eaten, called Apple Pie Pudding, from the classic New York Times Heritage Cookbook. I like calling it Sharlotka better! ;-))

  32. Deb, I will happily try this tomorrow morning with either hazelnut flour or almond flour (depending on which I currently have). It looks gorgeous and a fitting brunch treat!

  33. Oooh…this looks delicious! Bookmarked. Like the other 50% of this site that’s bookmarked in my browser.

    Also, can you please stop posting really pretty pictures of glassware/dishes? I kid. I’ve determined that we have remarkably similar taste, because I finally got around to buying the Anchor Hocking glass nesting bowls and I seriously adore them. And then I needed the measuring cup because it’s got 3 spouts and that’s amazing.

    I kind of want you to update the “how to stock your kitchen” post with all of the new delights you’ve probably found since, but um, kind of don’t because then I’ll buy things.

  34. This looks so good. I am a big fan of every kind of apple pie and this remembers me of a cake I had sometimes when I was a kid. This Sharlotka looks as I should try it.

  35. Greta

    Oh, this looks so good! I am SO upset that my oven’s not working. Sigh…love this post, as always. Your site is amazing and the source of most of my cooking inspiration! <3

  36. Arti

    How cute is that cake stand? You have wonderful taste. Can I ask a dumb question if there is anyway I can bake this in a lined cake pan? I don’t have a springform and I have sworn off baking supplies till end of Jan(went overboard last month). I love the earnestness of this cake- the no butter will have my husband singing.

  37. Amy

    Oh, how jealous I am of you and your Russian connections! I love when you introduce Russian cooking. This is funny though… I recently made and blogged about a french apple cake that looks oddly familiar to this–same heavy heavy apple to batter ratio and it looks as rusitic and as oddly categorized as this. Yay for European overlaps? Haha

  38. Sarit

    Do you think Macintosh apples will work just as well? I’m on the hunt for a good apple cake recipe and I was actually looking back at “mom’s apple cake” from 2008 today…

  39. for those wondering if this would work as a gluten-free cake, yes! Surprisingly, I found that making gluten-free cakes is easier than breads, pancakes, cookies, etc. And since this recipe asks for no-fuss batter to begin with, a basic gluten-free flour mix should do the job nicely. I recently used my go-to mix for another Russian cake (2 parts brown rice flour, 2/3 parts potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca flour, plus appropriate amount of x.g.), and couldn’t even tell the difference in texture between GF and original version of my cake. I also made GF Napoleon, but that one was a bit more fussy when it came down to rolling out the dough. In the end it still turned out very authentic :)

  40. I think I will make this next weekend when we have company over. It has to be healthy right? I mean 6 apples in a cake? Sign me up! That is pretty much health food. At least a lot healthier than a cake filled with butter and sugar and covered with tons of frosting.

  41. Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie

    Mmm I would have thought it’s similar to a clafouti but guess not! Perfect for the apple’s that are a wee past their prime in my fridge :)

  42. I love Russian food, the day our local Russian restuarant closed was truely sad. I’m off to buy apples as soon as it’s light… and I quite fancy making salad Olivier over the weekend too. Thanks Deb!

  43. I’m Russian as well, and when I was little, I used to call this cake “charlatan” cake (they sound very similar in Russian). My Mom always brings it up when she serves it. Thanks for reminding me to make it, now that I’m living in California far away from home.

  44. Roz

    For gluten free, I *think* you could do a 1:1 ratio substitution of almond flour for the wheat flour. You may need to add 1/8 tsp of baking soda to the batter to get it to puff up as well as the wheat version. This is definitely a recipe I want to try adapting. I did successfully adapt Deb’s Mother’s Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake of Pure Edible Awesomeness to gluten free, with a blend of starchy flours (rice, sorghum, etc)…

  45. This looks tasty and I think it would be a great Saturday breakfast, if you’re not doing desserts in January which is completely crazy! Besides, it’s mostly apples and those are good for you, right?

  46. PlumGaga

    My grandmother, of German heritage, used to pile a deep, oval Pyrex bowl with cinnamon dusted apple slices, top them with, essentially, 1-egg cake batter, and bake. This “apple pudding” (done in the summer with blueberries) was served with a custard sauce and was my favorite dessert for many years.

  47. Marie

    Goodness… Now I need to make it tomorrow morning, (too tired right now) but my mouth is watering. I do find it peculiar that there’s no oil or butter (except for the greasing) but I will see.

  48. Apples will forever be my favorite fruit and it’s always a delight to find new ways to use them. This looks particularly amazing, I can’t wait to give it a go.

  49. Are you inside my head? I could never bear a day without something a bit sweet too. Ever! It’s my life line.
    Also, I was going to start by telling you that I had a Russian client in 2007 who fed me weekly as she believed I was very deprived of the delicious meals she grew up with… but then I saw that adorable pic of your little guy in that snuggly sweater with that perfect hair. Ooomphf.

  50. Wakana

    My mom in Japan used to make this for my sister and me and we had this often for our after-school snack with a glass of milk. She just called it “apple cake”… so cool to know that it’s Russian! I’m going to make this this weekend. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  51. WOW! First can I say how gorgeous your pictures are! The lighting is just spot on!
    Second…my mother in law makes a “charlotka” too! Are you Russian by any chance!

  52. farmers cheese! but only the one by friendship. my mother (a bronx girl with russian roots) taught me to make the best comfort dish: bowtie pasta, farmers cheese, and sugar. seriously, it will change your life.

  53. Lindsey @ Lindsey Living

    I’m married to a Russian, too! My mother-in-law has never made this before though. Can’t wait to wow her with this recipe!

  54. Oh my! This looks so simple to make, yet so delicious! I love there’s so much fruit in it! I have to buy the spring form pan so I’m sure I’ll make it next week maybe using brown flour or rice flour. Last thursday I made your Zucchini Fritters and they were delicious! Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes!

  55. Amy

    Deb, I’m also married to a Russian named Alex :) This looks delicious, and I can’t wait to impress my hard-to-impress mother-in-law with this! Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

  56. Dave

    This looks awesome. Do you have an estimated mass for the apples? I feel like I’m always over-appling or otherwise futzing it up when they’re measured in whole units.

  57. alycat

    OOOOO, this is a very famous Russian dessert and everytime i made it in America, for the last 14 years, it was a huge success! I recently have discovered your blog and read it constantly, it is absolutely wonderful. Everything you talk about your mother-in-law making i grew up eating….so I was absolutely tickled when I was Sharlotka today! back home it is one of those deserts that could be made when unexpected guests arrive…because everything you need for it is usually on hand. Thank you, again, Deb, you blog is such a delight to read.

  58. AnnGee

    I second the motion on the applecorer contraption. It works like a charm….once I re-read the directions and put the apple on the correct way. Alas, it is currently put away and it’s been a month since I used it but it does say to put the fruit on in a specific direction for better results. It certainly came in handy for the recipe I was working on that called for 7 cups of apples, all nicely peeled, sliced, and diced!

  59. Ana

    Love it. I’ve been making Sharlotka, since I was a little kid. First with my grandma and than on my own. It is a household must :). Thanks for Sharing Deb.

  60. BERMD

    This is lovely. I am anxious to try it. It reminds me of the French Apple cake in Dorrie Greenspan’s book. Marie Helen’s cake, which is also lovely. It is very good. This is just as good too I bet. Well we will look forward to it at our house this weekend.

    Thanks. BER

  61. Marcin

    Actually, sharlotka comes from France, not Russia. It is attributed to Marie-Antoine Carême who created a pie named charlotte russe for tzar Alexander I. It is named after dutches Charlotte (tzar’s sister-in-law).

    I’m from Poland and here sharlotka (in polish szarlotka) is very popular. My grandmother and my mother have both made it many, many times and also my wife know how to make it and she have made it couple of times.

  62. CJ

    Deb, I adore your website and can’t wait for your book. Just a question: Are the apples cooked/baked through when completed (I am allergic to raw apples but can eat them when fully cooked)? Thanks!

    1. deb

      CJ — They’re fully cooked after an hour. Thinner slices will doubly ensure this.

      Marcin — Thank you!

      Sarit — I’d use less sugar if so.

      Re, using something other than a springform — I believe the cake is too tall. You could reduce its volume, however, and put it in a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides, i.e. 2 eggs, 4 apples, 2/3 sugar/flour, etc.

  63. Polish also consider Sharlotka a very Polish cake. There is a great variety of apple cakes in Poland, but only one of them is called Sharlotka. As you said, it is more of an apple mousse with grated apple chunks baked between two layers of short crust. Your Sharlotka looks very good and I am sure it is delicious as well.

    Bogna

  64. My Estonian grandmother made this! I always called it magical estonian apple cake because it does seem like too much fruit and too many eggs…It makes a cake by magic! I was overcome with a craving for it this fall and spent some time perfecting a gluten-free version. I have also made it with pears and it is so delicious! It is so lovely to read all of these comments and realize what a beloved and common cake this is in Eastern Europe.

  65. Evi

    Haha, this made me laugh. I’m Polish, and growing up my Mom made this dish so many times. It’s also called an “apple szarlotka” (jablkowa)! Small world, right? And I liked how you didn’t know what to call this- cake, pancake, etc. I feel this way about every Eastern European dessert- it’s just so different than anything here in the US. Looks delicious- I’ll need to remake this myself. =)

  66. Anna

    My mom has been making this as long as I can remember; it’s so easy I even make it for myself/friends now that I’m in college. Super great go-to desert (especially if you’ve got apples laying around)! We use a few less apples and just line the bottom of a 9-in cake pan about an inch high (so no piling them on). Also, after you grease the pan, in my family we sprinkle the bottom with a fine milled grain so it helps the Sharlotka to come out. After you bake and let it cool pretty well, put a plate over the pan and flip out. You get pretty pieces of apple visible in the cake, at the top, and you get more wonderful cakey spongey dough at the bottom.
    So glad you did another Russian recipe Deb! Thank you!

  67. Stephanie S

    Apple desserts are my favorite! Seriously, no matter what else is on the menu if there is an apple dessert I’m almost guaranteed to order it. And that means passing over creme brulee and chocolate, which are both hard to ignore. This just looks so tasty and densely appley that I am going to try it this weekend!

  68. Stef

    re the Apple peeler/core-er things. They frustrate the hell out of me. Get a ‘rotato’… it’s the 20.00 electric version. Less tension in the blade arm. Works like a charm – with no manual input other than to impale the apple/potato on both ends and move the cutting arm up to the top. Push a button and Bob’s your Uncle they are done. You have to core them yourself. Who cares? The aggravating part is done. I did a bag of potatoes in 5 minutes. Minor blemish/skin removal cleanup and I had them in the saucepan. Have used one for decades! Quick cleanup too.

  69. Jenc-Alaska

    This was a fabulous way to use of the extra apples in my fridge! Perfect on a sub-zero Alaskan night. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe.

  70. I could totally serving this for brunch. I’m so intrigued by the fact that there’s no butter in the batter… just flour, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and spices. I’m going to have to give this a shot ASAP as we have a ton of apples in our fridge (damn our CSA!!!)

  71. Kate

    I’ve just pulled this out of the oven… it’s not what I was expecting! It’s a bit crunchy and almost like meringue on the top, but looks to be a little softer in the middle. I’m waiting impatiently for it to cool so I can take it out of the pan and devour it.

  72. Auburn

    LONG time lurker (and user of your recipes) now compelled to write because THIS very morning I was fretting about the excess of apples in our crisper drawer. Not recently. TODAY. You see, I’m a recent subscriber to Spud.com, one of those weekly sustainable produce delivery websites, and have yet to be on the ball enough to adjust my orders to account for what we already have so keep getting the same exact things every week: apples, limes, apples and lemons. And apples. The Spud delivery came yesterday. Today I realized I needed to find a recipe that used a TON of apples and little else (because I haven’t gone to the “real” grocery store since Christmas); my fiancee suggested apple pie but that seemed like too much work and too many calories. And, like manna from heaven, I saw your post on FB about this entry, came home from work and proceeded to make this recipe. I ended up using about 8-9 apples because mine were small and went a little light on the sugar as mine were Gala and therefore far sweeter than Granny Smith. But, whatever, those apples had to go somewhere. We’re just about to cut into it but so far so good. I potentially released my springform too soon as one side sort of caved in and crumbled but once I inverted it and sprinkled the top with cinnamon (and a tiny bit of kosher salt), you couldn’t tell.
    Anyway, thank you for the timing on this bit of culinary goodness. I and my crisper drawer thank you.

  73. Vicki

    My Swiss-German grandmother used to make a dessert similar to this but used cherries and minus the cinnamon. It was wonderful. I always thought it was like a cherry clafoutis.

  74. Theresa

    I hope that no one reading this reports me… But I made this with my gluten free flour blend and palm sugar and then served this to my three kids and hubby for breakfast! Anyone listen to Bill Cosby? “Dad is so great he makes us chocolate cake?” Cake for breakfast? LOL Does this make me the best mom ever or the worst mom? :o)

  75. Leeho

    Looks great (: As Russian myself, i bake this thing time to time since when i was like what, 10 years old or so, maybe. Your sharlotka looks gorgeous, but if you wanted to see authentic thing, i would suggest you a few corrections.

    Well, as for the pastry, it’s just a traditional sponge cake. So, as usual, for the classic sponge cake you want to beat yolks and whites separately, mix them together and then add flour very carefully with the spatula. Also, as this pastry is very delicate, you usually want to use less apples, like maybe 3 for this size of the whole thing. Otherwise you will have difficulties mixing them in, more likely squishing the pastry too much to achieve the sponge structure.

  76. Amy

    I have a friend who, every once in a while, served dessert before dinner. The kids and hubby all had three pieces of pie before the stew, but so what. This would be the perfect ‘pie’ for that night! Sneakily, more fruit than sweet. Can’t wait to make it!

  77. Amy

    Deb, it’s a rare recipe that causes me to run right out to get the missing ingredients because I must eat whatever it is right now, today. But off to the store for apples I went! (And honestly, yours is the food blog that most often tempts me to do such things, hands down.) My sharlotka is in the oven even as I type this, and smelling wonderful. I love a good apple cake. It occurred to me, as I was mixing it up, that this would probably adapt well to the use of matzah cake meal over Passover, which is exciting to contemplate.

    Also, I noticed someone asked about a gluten-free version. As a frequent GF baker/recipe creator, and a teacher of GF baking for a really long time now, I feel perfectly confident saying this will work without a hitch with a good GF flour mix, plus a little xanthan gum. It might hold together without the xanthan gum, given the eggs, but I think the results will be far superior with xanthan gum. My usual ratio is 1/2 teaspoon per cup of GF flour for most (not all!) baked goods. My personal fave flour recipe is Bette Hagman’s Featherlight Rice Mix, though I much prefer it made with sorghum flour over rice flour. You can use it as an all-purpose mix though, and simply substitute it 1:1 for the flour in many, many baking recipes (being sure to add the correct amount of xanthan gum as well). Alternatively, you could use a GF *baking* mix (like Pamela’s) instead of a flour mix, but that’ll contain baking soda/powder, xanthan gum, salt, etc., so it’ll change the recipe somewhat. (And if you or any other folks have questions about GF baking, feel free to email me at halfassedmama@gmail.com)

  78. This looks so great! My husband loves fruit based desserts with a substantially higher ratio of fruit to other ingredients so we very often end up making an apple crisp (or similar) for dessert. This looks like it would be a nice switch up, I’ll have to give it a try soon!

  79. oh my, that looks fabulous! On the list to make this weekend (if I can find some baking paper – tricky here) – my husband has been making a lot of apple crumble, and while lovely, I’m ready for something a little bit different.

  80. lo

    Haw nice to see typical Polish cake in your site. Yes, this is Polish, no Russian. The word is Polish – sharlotka (correct is szarlotka), the recipe is Polish. Szarlotka is very popular and tipical cake in Polish kitchen. Also you can find this cake in Russian kitchen becouse our contry are neighbours, but szarlotka is Polish.

  81. Sylvia

    Im just wondering, what do I do if my oven doesn’t go right up to 350 degrees? I live in Australia and our home ovens go up to 250 degrees max. Or am I perhaps missing something?

  82. This is what I have been waiting for. I have tried (and liked) many apple pie/cake/whatever recipes that I wanted something new. You just delivered it. I have many apples from our trees stored in the basement and my husband at breakfast asked for an apple something today for teatime. This will be it. I am absolutely certain that it will turn into a favourite of my family. It seems easy and effortless do to. I will try it. Thanks again for sharing.
    Greetings from the centre of Germany
    Christa

  83. Julie

    I ran across this yesterday will looking for dessert inspiration for a small post-holiday dinner party and whipped it up with items on hand. (thanks for that Deb!!) To take it to the next level, I drizzled it with one of favorite autumn recipes, Salted Caramel Sauce and a little fresh fluffy cream…FAB-U-LUS!! Can’t wait to serve it to my guests next week. Many thanks to you and your mother-in-law. There is something so special about recipes passed on across the generations.

  84. Brandice

    I am looking forward to trying this recipe out soon. All this baking (I plan to bake the cinnamon oatmeal raisin cookies today- i prepared the batter yesterday) is going to make my hubby and me gain weight haha.

  85. Kimberly

    Someone above asked about gluten free? This is one of those recipes you would NOT skip the xantham gum on – just use bob’s red mill gluten-free baking flour in place of regular flour, and when substituting, always add 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp xantham gum per cup of flour – so 1 tsp will be enough for this recipe. I would also add just a pinch of salt or something since gluten-free flour is so bland. Adding a few nuts or crasins might help off set the gluten-free taste too.

  86. This easy and non-dairy wonder will bea great addition to the files. It’s perfect for those avoiding milk due to lactose intolerance or cause they are looking for parave (non-dairy) desserts in order to honor the kosher rules. It looks like a celebration of winter apples. Wondering about using pears instead, or in combo with the apples?

  87. Your little guy is getting so big – and those cheeks, oh those cheeks! Whatever the exact texture may be of this “apple thing”, I am pretty darn certain it would be a big hit in my house.

  88. Mira

    Good grief, Deb. I come back from Miami to find that you’ve posted not one, not two, but THREE new recipes. And I definitely can’t wait to make this one. In fact, I think I’m going to make it literally right now.

  89. I will try that today, I made organic banana bread this and it was a big hit – not penitential but not a holiday induldence.
    We have a banya here, and I like sitting with my eyes closed and listening to the Russians speak, much more so than.. ya know.. the hipsters.

  90. If you saute the apples first and use brown sugar, and bake it in a cast iron skillet, you have what my family calls “French Apple Pancake, and according to my mother, the apples make it perfectly suitable for breakfast! (My mother, not being a morning person, is of the opinion that your belly doesn’t know what time it is, so after I was old enough to be responsible for some of my own food decisions, anything I was willing to eat for breakfast – cookies and milk, leftover spaghetti, a turkey sandwich – was just fine as long as it filled me up and she didn’t have to cook it: any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.)

    I’m thinking breakfast for dinner tonight!

  91. denise browning

    Words cannot describe how delicious this “cake” sounds. I admire your love for cooking and your dedication- especially considering that you have a baby. God bless you! I am a Brazilian Chef. I saw that you post a recipe in this category. My blog about Brazilian Cuisine will be ready by the end of this month. I hope you can visit me there.

  92. Hannah

    so interesting! my grandmother makes this, but she calls it apple crisp, and i had no idea that it was a real thing that other people make too…it’s really nice to know that it’s called sharlotka. thank you!

  93. Kay

    I’ve been meaning to post an “I LOVE THIS BLOG” for awhile but it took a question.

    Could I use Bartlett pears for this?….and how ripe should the pears or apples be?

    Thanks

  94. Claire

    I just saw this late last night (here in Germany) and could hardly sleep! I had a recipe similar to this once, but yours looks/reads so much better. I teach culinary arts to military high school students and this looks like another of your great recipes to add to their experience! Thank you!

  95. Dee

    Just to mix it up a bit, I cut the whole apple into eight wedges, thinly slice off the narrow end of the wedge to core, peel each wedge with a paring knife, then chop.

  96. Anna

    This was one of our favorites when we lived in Poland and I’ve been searching ever since for a good recipe and haven’t found one. I might have to make this today.

  97. zaqwes

    Whole my life I thought szarlotka is Polish/French but according to wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_%28dessert%29) it’s not that much.

    As we have lots of apples in Poland, we make different apple pies, the most popular one is with crumble on top, or sponge cake with big pieces on top, but in my region of Poland (Silesia) we call most of those “szarlotka” but I don’t recall using cinnamon in any of those.

  98. anonymous

    I would like to make this right now…..I have everything I need except parchment paper….can I still bake this without the parchment paper???? If so, what will happen….do you know??? Thanks!

  99. Deb,

    I’ve had you on my blogroll for 4 years and I had no idea about your Russian connection!
    Sharlotka, indeed, is considered a “gateway to baking” for every new cook, so easy and inexpensive it is (even if one makes a mistake and completely ruin it, the cost of few apples and a cap of sugar is not a big deal – compared to a layered chocolate cake, for instance). It is also usually made in the Fall, when apple harvest is in – but popular in the Winter, too, as apples are local and traditionally available in Winter.
    There are many variations of the recipe; some ask for separation of egg yolks and whites and whisking the white with sugar first before mixing them with yolks+sugar – like for a pound cake. Some start with making a caramel and pouring to the bottom of the springform. Or instead of apples using strawberries.
    See, for instance, this blog of a pastry writer Irina Chadeeva, under the tag “sharlotka”. She accompanies entries with step-by step photos, so even without translation the process is comprehensive. If you have questions re: proportions/quantities I am sure Alex or your in-laws can translate for you – or I’d more than happy to assist.

  100. kim

    I would love to pin this to my board on pinterest. Does anyone know how? I will be baking this tonight after a trip to the grocery store. Y U M!!!

  101. After indulging in so much gluten over the holidays I paid dearly…and am finally going to take gluten-free baking seriously…this cake looks so gorgeous I’m going to make it my first attempt…of course I have much guidance from Tartelette and Gluten -Free Girl…but I’ve yet to take it on myself…so I’ll try with this and let you know!

  102. Yum reminds me of a cake in Dorie’s Around My French Table…. guess there really are no boundaries in sharing foods between countries. Looks scrumptious. I’m sure it is.
    AmyRuth

  103. For anyone who wondered, pear, pear, and yes, PEAR will work. Opened this recipe from my email inbox while still in bed, sprang OUT of bed to rescue overripe pears just barely clinging to life in the bowl on the dining room table, and made this insanely delicious confection. Deb, you did not mention how the crust takes on a delightful meringue-like texture! You can’t oversell this recipe! Mine cooked to complete done-ness in 45 minutes. Family of 4 utterly demolished it on the spot, oh my goddess of the internet!

  104. Olga

    In my family it is called ‘guests at the door’, as it’s something you can bake quickly and ingredients are always at hand. Yours look just gorgeous, inspires me to make one tonight.

  105. Terry C

    You have me eating out of the palm of your hand. The photos, the descriptions, the numerous links to click on (and I have to look at every one, because you are a master of wonderful and fun surprises). I am fortunate enough to get apples from my parents’ farm every fall, and I still have half a box left, so will have to make this. It looks and sounds delicious. Thank you for your constant inspiration and fun!

  106. Stacey

    I love, love, love your site, and especially love that you’ve started giving weights for ingredients. I wish you would also give us the weights of the fruit you use….my apples are nearly as big as my head, still 6? Thank you for all you do here!

  107. A..

    Hi Deb,
    I am itching to bake this right now! Thanks, once again, for posting a fabulous recipe!
    I do have a Quick Q- does this recipe not need any baking soda/powder/ some other agent to make the batter rise?

  108. Dana

    Thanks so much for posting! Looks delicious! I am very familiar with many eastern European desserts which were staples of various jewish communities. Many of the cakes and tortes are very simple, very few ingredients and usually does not contain any dairy (that is so you can eat it after a meat meal).

  109. I MUST comment. This is a divine appointment!

    (1) Two days ago, one my Russian co-workers arrived at work and, knowing that I love baking, asked me if I like biscuits because she brought one her mother made. Biscuits? One? I walked back to the breakroom to find a “sharlotka” daintily sitting on the table! (2) I ran back to her office to exclaim my joy and request the recipe because I had eaten hundreds of these cakes when I was in Russia for a study abroad 11 years ago! I hadn’t ever got the recipe right and gave up trying some years back (partly because I never knew the real name of this dessert. I just called it” apple cake” for some reason). (3) She was confounded by my calling it cake because it wasn’t a cake: it was a ???????. Away we went to Google Translate and learned that this was a “sponge cake” according to her family, (which maybe someone else has said in the long stream of comments).

    And that is my story of the ????????. Needless to say, I will be making this as soon as I get some more apples!

  110. Larisa

    Was in desperate need of going food shopping and basically only had apples and basic pantry staples in the house. This came out delicious and made me miss my Russian mama.

  111. I was just looking for a new apple dessert, and this will fit the bill. I made a complete mess of your Jewish Apple Cake recipe — no tube pan, so I used a 9X13 and the center was raw. I promise to use the right pan for this one!

    I think I might sub almond extract for half of the vanilla extract. Have you tried it with almond?

  112. This is the easiest! Today our Houston Texans are in a playoff game and I decided to take something to the game party. Traveled to store, prepared ingredients, and in 4 minutes the apple thing will come out of the oven. Start to finish, grocery, prep, bake, less than 2 hours. I am considering a brandy chantilly cream for a liitle added taste when served Thanks.

  113. Jenya

    Sharlotka is the world’s most adjustable and forgiving recipe – next to frittatas and vegetable soup.
    Apples can be any apples – sweet or sour, peeled or unpeeled.
    Where it comes from, most people grow apples – it’s a clear-out-the-fruit-bowl recipe. If there’s stuff besides apples – plums, berries, walnuts, filberts, raisins, dried apricots, sour cream that needs to be used up – it’s a bonus.
    I’ve never seen anyone put vanilla extract (or vanilla anything, for that matter) in their sharlotka, but gilding lilies isn’t a crime.

  114. Alie

    How many slices do you get from this baby? I’m guessing about 12? If that’s the case, it really isn’t so bad in terms of calories. 162/slice, with 35 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat, 3 of protein and 3 of fiber. If you go for 14 slices, you bring it down to 139/slice, which is downright reasonable for January!

  115. Sarah W.

    I had some freakishly giant apples from a Christmas fruit basket that I used – two granny smiths and one fuji. I only used those three apples, but the full amount of batter. I started with only half the batter, but it didn’t look like it would hold together. (i was using a poorly greased bundt pan, though.) Basically, it came out sort of falling apart… Think apple bread pudding. Totally delicious, though. I’ll have to make it again in a proper pan.

  116. serena

    Just made it. Batter was so think it sat on top of the apples… Looked nothing like your pic. Had to take a rubber spatula and move the apples around, almost stir it in the pan to get the batter to evenly distribute. If I make it again, I’ll add the apples to the batter before pouring everything in the pan. It’s almost done baking and smells heavenly. Can’t wait for dessert!

  117. That looks delicious. The more apples the better! My family is Russian too, but the only Russian dessert I had growing up is Paskha, and that was reserved for Russian Easter. Happy New Year Deb!

  118. one of my most favorite cakes ever is so similar to this! i first saw dorie greenspan write about something she calls ‘marie helenes apple cake’

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Marie-Helenes-Apple-Cake-361150

    and recreated it very successfully:

    http://eatandrelish.com/2011/03/09/this-cake-je-ne-sais-quoi/

    i LOVE that your version has you pour the batter down over the apples – that is one of the chief differences, and as i have made this cake at least 3-4 times now i will try your cake next :) im interested to see the difference.

    thank you for posting – awesome, as always….and hope you are enjoying winter in NYC. i just moved out to colorado from NYC after a 7 year run there (sniff), and i miss it dearly.

  119. Patti

    not sure what went wrong… the batter was more like a thick meringue that sat on top of the apples… i was hoping as it baked that it would melt into the apples… not so much…and the apples became like applesauce… :( the whole thing spread when I released it from the springform pan… looked nothing like your lovely cake!

  120. My very non-Russian mother makes a cake quite similar to this, except it adds spices. I love the idea of having just barely enough batter to hold all those lovely apples together. Can you make it with pears instead, do you know, or are they naturally too sweet?

  121. Walking through the market today, I warned my hubby that I am feeling the cravings for stuffed cabbage, be warned. May not be Russian but is a part of my German Heritage.
    Don’t fight it, it is much bigger then all of us.

    Sue

  122. Roz

    I’ll just chime in again about the gluten free flour mixes and adding xanthum gum — make double sure if you’re using a store bought flour blend that it has no added xanthum (or guar) gum in it already, or else things could turn into a brick real fast!

  123. This looks so good! I’m actually originally from Russia, but I’ve never had Sharlotka. I’ve been wanting to try it, and now I finally have a recipe! Thank you for posting this. I was wondering how I could substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour… Is it one-to-one substitute and is it even a good idea?

  124. hannah

    I was looking for a butter-less batter, and lo, from my RSS feed it came! I used your recipe with my backyard cherries, which I dehydrated half-way, and then froze (which half filled my freezer, oy). I think dehydrating the cherries helped, because, man, the water really weeps out, otherwise. Thanks Smitten Kitchen.

  125. laurie

    Hi Deb, I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for listing gram weights. The “icing on the cake” would be the weight of the apples that you used. (Same request for recipes using potatoes.) Now on to the important topic…every time I click to see Jacob’s photo, I say the exact same thing in my head: “he is so darn cute!” Well sometimes I use a slightly stronger adverb, but still.

  126. Oh! Holy delicious looking apple thing. I was scrolling so fast through my reader and I had to slam on the brakes and reverse back to your first photo. This looks freakin’ amazing, and I will, in fact, have to make it myself. Wow. Can’t wait – and I love your witty write up!

  127. Marciagd

    Unlike Hannah, I was thinking that it could use some butter!and some spices. I haven’t read all 201 comments–yet, but it seems so simple, I’ll bet this recipe could be embellished in any number of ways.

  128. anonymous

    Ok. So. I had left a message earlier this morning asking whether I could make this cake without the parchment paper……I got obsessed with the recipe and all the granny smith apples in my kitchen staring at me in the face. I realized you had sooooo many comments under this recipe that there was no way possible you were going to get back to me in time enough to satisfy my desperation so I went ahead and made it. I’ve eaten two pieces already! FANTABULOUS!!!!! I must admit though that I tweaked your recipe a little. When I added the vanilla, I also added 1/4tsp ground nutmeg and 1/2tsp cinnamon. Then after stirring in the flour, I folded in 1tsp baking powder. Also I heavily buttered a deep 9″ cake pan that I usually use for baking my flancochos (latino style creme caramel cake). Turned out absolutly PERFECTO! Thank you so much for sharing. This is going in my book of stuff to make regularly! YUMMMM

  129. Elizabeth

    After reading this I RAN to the kitchen to whip it up. We are apple enthusiasts, to say the least. It’s terrific, and so easy! We loved that it wasn’t too sweet (my apples were small and tart), and the batter created a wonderful thin and crackly crust on the top. Instead of whipping cream we used vanilla ice cream (the kids won that vote) and it wasn’t my favorite combo. Seems to cry out for some whipped cream…maybe for breakfast? I’m already craving my next serving. I love your site, and always have much success with your lovely recipes. Thanks!

  130. lea davenport

    the ratio of apples to batter is interesting. Maybe bake tomorrow and will do the whipped cream thing for sure. I love the pictures…..pears sound wonderful also.

  131. Vanessa

    I just made this and it is AMAZING!! My batter was thick but it did get down between the apples. I kind of pushed it down between them. Maybe some people over beat the eggs and sugar? I used a hand whisk and stopped beating once I had incorporated some air. I used dark brown sugar instead of white and that was my only change. I’m looking forward to seeing how it reheats in the morning. This would make a wonderful brunch item if you can bake it the night before and just reheat.

  132. Elisa

    This question is for Deb or anybody else who could help me. I just baked carrot cake cupcakes and they came out horribly wrong looking and then I tasted one and it tasted like amonia.
    Does anyone know what ingredient could go this bad where it gives off this scent and taste? Did the baking soda go bad? HELP!! I’m an avid baker and this has NEVER happened to me and don’t want it to ever again. THANKS!

  133. tommytang

    hi deb, your killing me!!…im stuck in dhaka, bangladesh listening to the opposition parties propoganda outside my hotel window and needing breakfast. it will be paratha and vegetable bhaji for me. where are you??

  134. Wow, 211 comments… I had no idea Smitten Kitchen was so popular! I feel so lost in the crowd!

    Anyways, your apple dessert looks delicious, especially with all that powdered sugar on top!

  135. Danny

    This is a doppelganger for an apple cake recipe I copied from the back of a children’s book! The only differences seem to be that eggs instead of oil are used here, and raisins are omitted. I’ve been making that apple ‘cake’ for years but will definitely try this version!

  136. This is perfect! For my birthday this year, I want to have an “ethnic” potluck, where each person has to bring something from his or her own national heritage. For my part, I want to make 1 dish from each of my 4 parts: Swedish, Irish, Czech, and Russian. This (plus some stuffed cabbage, of course) will fill my Russian category perfectly!

  137. Brilliant! And I’m jealous. My Ukranian mother in law saves me the gristle from her pork chops. You’d think for the dog, but she thinks I may be able to “do something with them..”

  138. Letha

    Cleaning up in the kitchen after dinner, 8 medium apples eyed me reproachfully from their perch near the sink. . . tomorrow morning they will take their places in this wonderful-looking/sounding sharlotka and become the highlight of Sunday family dinner! Thank you!
    But really, I’ve had to make the ginger/scallion meatballs and the carrot soup with miso, in the past few days. Both so yummy! The breakfast puffs have been in our family for years (a long acquaintance with Betty Crocker), so I can count them in, too. And now this apple thing. I fear I am becoming a SK addict! Thanks again for your wit & flavors!

  139. Rebecca

    Can’t wait for breakfast when we can eat leftovers. This recipe was a bit hit at a dinner party this evening, but thank heavens I could bring a small amount home. Don’t wait for the tooth pick to come out clean because that never happens. Just cook 60 minutes and take it out of the oven.

  140. Krista

    Thanks for the info about not having a springform pan, and adapting it. This looks good as a healthy sub for apple pie but without all the work! And send me your apple corer thing! It sounds interesting, I wonder if it needs to be sharpened on a grinder? Thanks for the great recipes. I was wondering if (it being winter and all) you could do a tortilla soup or some Mexican type soups (which really don’t get much press). I sit here eating a sort of soup I made up with chicken, rice, beans, corn and cheese (on top) that I added l/o enchilada sauce to the broth. It’s spicy but really quite good… Sort of experimental but sometimes those are the best types of meals as some of your previous posts show!

  141. Dayna

    Deb,
    You never cease to amaze me how awesome, SO delicious-looking, ACTUALLY-approachable (even when you are for-reals lazy), and diverse your recipes are! I also love that all the recipes that I’ve made from smittenkitchen have always turned out so good – and by SO good, I mean they actually end up tasting as awesome as you make them out to be, and they usually look as damn good as they do in your photos :) (from my food-blog-reading and -cooking experience this is DEFINITELY not always the case, and therefore I love that when I make one of your dishes I can trust that the recipe is pretty much always going to be off the chain. Anyway, thank you so much for putting so much time and effort into something that really truly lifts me up when I am having everything imploding all around me. :)
    Cheers,

  142. Paula B.

    This looks heavenly. Warm or cooled, I am wanting this now at four in the a.m.,will have to put it on the short list for dessert next weekend. Loved your “description” as you tried to pin down for us what exactly this is: I’m thinking pure delight!

  143. Amy

    YES, my husband is Russian (half), and it just so happens that I turned to your blog (as I often do) for inspiration for a casual, non-rich cake
    to celebrate my FIL’s birthday. Many thanks!

  144. Mary

    I made this for breakfast this morning. I added 1/4 tsp. salt to the flour, which I think is necessary. Next time, I’ll probably bump that up to 1/2 tsp. The problem I had was that the batter wouldn’t cook through. I used a 10″ springform instead of a 9″, and my oven runs hot, but still, even after 1 hour 20 minutes, the batter in the center of the pan was wet and gooey (and even the edges were just barely done). I ran out of time; my family needed to eat, so I just had to cut short slices that didn’t reach the middle of the cake. We enjoyed it. Since the “apple thing” isn’t sweet, I’m much happier having this for breakfast than for dessert. Next time, I will allow MUCH more time for baking.

  145. Lois Thorpe

    I was so excited to see this post. I have a sharlotka recipe scribbled into one of my notebooks from one of my cooking-with-friends gatherings over the years I’ve lived here in Ukraine, but I’ve never heard it mentioned outside of Ukraine. Thank you! I’m looking forward to trying your recipe. Plus the photo of what it looks like is great (nothing what mine every look like)! Amazing that your mother-in-law brings you Salad Olivier so often! So much work for a weekly offering! Enjoy!

  146. hattie102

    I halved everything, used 6 small Granny Smith apples (fist sized) and baked for 45 mins in a 9″ springform. It came out about an inch tall and beautiful – perfect for after dinner or snacking. Hard to believe you can get that much flavor out of so few ingredients. Thanks for sharing!

  147. salena

    I made this yesterday and thought it a bit meh. I wasn’t so fond of the texture; mine came out fluffy, a bit like a pancake. Any textural issues I had were gone by day 2, though. It became much denser and more flavorful.

  148. Thankfully GF

    Yes, yes, yes on Gluten Free! I followed your suggestion in comment 112 to make a reduced volume batch in a regular 9 inch pie pan if we don’t own a springform pan. I substituted Pamela’s mix for flour, added 1/8 tsp baking soda per one of the comments, whipped the egg whites separately before adding other ingredients. Unlike comments 129 and 142, I found absolutely no need to add extra xanthan gum to the prepared mix–it holds together great when it is turned out on a plate—really pretty. Your tip in comment 112 to cut the apples thin was important because it cooks much faster in a nine inch plate. I used unpeeled apples so really fast to prep.
    Bake for only 45 minutes in a 9 inch pie plate.
    Turned out perfect! Delicious! Totally had it for breakfast. Thanks for a super recipe to use up apples!!!

  149. Valerie

    Made this TERRIFIC recipe on this cold Sunday morning. It looks just like the picture and tastes delicious. I used a 10″ springform pan, and was able to cut into 12 satisfying servings. Will serve with dollop of whipped cream. May not make apple pies anymore – this is a lovely presentation. Spasiba! (that should read “thank you” in Russian)

  150. Kate

    Made this yesterday afternoon for last night’s dessert: I had two slices, my toddler ate one, and my husband ate four (four!). Suffice it to say, it’s light and delicious. Thanks for yet another fabulous recipe.

  151. Saffoula

    Can’t wait to try. Sounds similar to my go found at tohttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/the-apple-ladys-apple-cake-gateau-aux-pommes-de-la-reine-des-pommes-recipe/index.html. I was thinking about doubling to make it taller, but your recipe seems to do that. I may add the glaze though from this recipe as it adds a nice glossy finish. It’s delish with good quality vanilla ice cream and served while still a little warm.

  152. Lauren

    I used dessert apples so cut down on the sugar slightly. I also used half wholewheat flour and half plain. The finished cake was spongier than I thought it would be – I was expecting more of a clafoutis-like texture, more like German apfelpfannekuchen – but I wonder if this is down to the wholewheat flour. I covered it with a liberal dusting of icing sugar mixed with cinnamon, and we ate it with a little double cream. It was lovely, but frankly what’s not to like about apples, sugar and cinnamon? I might try it again with a little bit less flour and maybe a tablespoon or so of ground almonds. Thanks Deb :)

  153. Beth

    I made this with coco palm sugar, our go to sugar and am very pleased. The batter was not too thick , so I am not sure why that happened to some bakers. Mine is not as tall as Deb’s, but I think the apples I used are smaller than hers because they don’t come up as high in the pan even before the batter.
    I skipped the sugar at the end, just sprinkled cinnamon, but did pour a bit of cream over it and ate it warm.
    Since I have a glass bottomed springform I didn’t have to cool it and flip it over.
    A definite keeper.

    1. deb

      Dorie’s French Apple Cake — It looks so similar, but with a whole stick of butter in it, it’s got to be a very different confection, i.e. a true cake and not like this … baked crepe-like thing. Yeah, I’m still calling it “Apple Thing.” :)

      Meringue-like crusts — I didn’t get one (but, in hindsight, might have underbaked mine slightly this time) but I don’t think this is uncommon, or a bad thing. Of course, unless you don’t like it.

  154. Please don’t hate me, I put 4 tbsp of powdered almonds in the batter along with the flour. No-one spoke as we ate, which counts as high praise around here.

  155. GiGi

    Deb,
    I made this last night. And something strange happened. The batter all around the apples, and on top of some of them, became very hard.. almost meringue-like. When I lifted up this hard crust, the batter underneath still needed quite a bit of baking. What do you think happened? Needless to say, I followed the recipe, but perhaps beat the eggs too much/not enough?

    Thanks

  156. cristina

    I wanted to love this dessert, but it was a challenge. I found it way too sweet and it seemed to take forever to cook the insides. After about 55 minutes of baking, the top had a crust and I let it rest in the springform for like 30 minutes. cut into it, and then put it back in the over for another ~20 mins without the springform circular part. In the end, I served a moderately cooked dessert. My experience was similar to Gigi’s post (#244 above). Apple tool lovers: – I swear by the Amco Dial-A-Slice Adjustable Apple Corer and Slicer. You have to peel your own apples, but it’s a huge timesaver! It’s small and transports easily if you are planning to bake apples in someone else’s kitchen.

  157. linda

    hi deb,
    i stand beside you on your comment 24!
    never do i mind hand peeling/slicing apples … looking forward to baking this!

  158. @Kim, comment 163, copy the URL for this post, then at the top of the Pinterest page select Add: Add a Pin, then paste the copied URL and click Find Images. You should then be able to select the image to pin, describe it, and pin it!

  159. Um. I came here because I didn’t have your apple granola crisp bookmarked (despite having made it a dozen times) and I was about to make it again. Then I saw this. Apples are apples, and you said it yourself, I can have this for breakfast with yogurt, which was the plan for the crisp. This is happening. Now.

  160. Stuart Borken

    I made this cake tonight, 01/08/12. It is fantastic! It was simple to make and throw together, as long as you have all the ingredients….9″ spring form, parchment paper, 6 Granny Smith’s, flour, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Served with peach apple cinnamon syrup and chocolate chip mint ice cream. WOW! Thanks for a great recipe.

  161. EllnMllr

    I made for dinner and it was great. I did let it go at least 15 minutes beyond the 60 minute mark for baking. It was a big hit.

  162. Autumn

    I’m really impressed that you have 248 comments! (249 now) It sounds great and easy to make. You can’t go wrong with an apple cake.

  163. This is so lovely, but cannot indulge myself now or later. Must hit the gym more than once a day! Teaching 4 food’s classes and writing a blog is getting the best of me! Extra pounds that is! I love the cake stand!

  164. Nicole

    I just tried making this and while the taste is spot-on, the filling oozed out of the sides when I removed the spring form ring. Deb (or anyone else for that matter)–any thoughts on what I did wrong? Thanks!

  165. Amanda

    i made this for dinner tonight with a whole eastern european theme … cabbage rolls, beef stroganoff, russian style potatoes… the ‘cake’ was a HUGE hit! my husband instantly requested i make this for his birthday cake and then him and my son continued to go bonkers. thanks for the recipe share! its wonderful seeing people so happy after a meal! :D

  166. Julie

    I made this today to take to my sister’s and it was delicious! Lacking a springform pan I instead used a 9″ round cake pan. I used 5 apples instead of 6 and added Amaretto liquor to the batter. It came out perfect. Spongy inside but crispy on top. I bought enough apples to make a second, I’ll be surprising the boyfriend when he gets home from Vegas. And I might add walnuts to the batter for funsies :)

  167. I made this tonight and it was great! I had some after dinner, and then some before bed, and will probably have a bite for breakfast too. Thanks for the delicious and easy dessert!

  168. Anna

    I made this with some Pink Lady apples I had around the house, and dialed back on the sugar (about 3/4 of a cup instead of the full cup) for fear that it’d be overly sweet. It wasn’t. I missed that 1/4 of a cup. Also, I think mine was a bit under-baked at 55 minutes — the tester came out clean, but it was very egg-y. I’ll cook it longer next time.

    Also? Don’t skip the parchment! I ran out and thought I could swing it with a very well buttered pan, and.. nope. Cake definitely broke in half.

    I’m crossing my fingers it turns out better next time — it looks so amazing!

  169. mickie

    I made this tonight with Braeburn apples. And I used a casserole dish instead of a springform (and served it in the dish), and added allspice to the batter. DELICIOUS. My mother is visiting to help out with sick kids, and we ate this for dinner. It’s a keeper! I also got a meringue -y crust. Very tasty, but I was worried I had over beaten my eggs. Glad to hear others had the crust too!

  170. Jillian L

    I made this last night, it was incredible! I used 2/3 of all the ingredients and put it into a 6 inch springform (rather than the 9 inch) which worked out perfectly (still took 60min to bake). We had it for dessert, which was great, but I’m also thinking this could be a perfect brunch addition.

  171. Shari G

    I made this over the weekend and had very good results. I especially like that there is no butter in this recipe making it “lighter fare” as you have mentioned. It is very reminiscent (to me) of desserts my russian Grandmother used to make. I few things I noticed in making it…firstly, peeling coring and chopping up 6 apples is somewhat time consuming; so is whipping the egg/sugar mixture until it thickens. The whipping took at least 7-8 minutes on high speed. The batter needs to be pushed down a little into the dense apple pieces…I think a pinky or index finger is the tool of choice here. I couldn’t resist grating a tiny bit of nutmeg into the batter which gave it a lovely fragrance. I buttered the parchment and pan as directed but wasn’t sure when to open the springform…before the 10 minute cooling or after. I ran a plastic knife around the rim of it to help it come out and a little bit of the cake part stuck but after flipping it right side up I took the pieces and pushed them under the bottom rim and all was well. Thanks for the great recipe.

  172. Deb, I drool every time you post something in the “Russian food” category. It just brings back all the good memories from when I was there in college. (If you could manage a recipe for shashlik you would be my favorite person in the world ;)

  173. This cake looks absolutely divine! I love the chunky apples. I’ll have to make this of the kids then usher them to the map to find Russia. You’re to have a mother in law who can cook. My husband and I have been together for 8 1/2 years and I’ve yet to find a dish I like that my mother in law makes. Kudos!

  174. Caroline

    That’s the problem I have with Indian food. My girlfriend’s mother is always sending it over, and even if I did make it myself my girlfriend won’t like it unless it’s identical to her mom’s. I guess an endless supply of homemade Indian food isn’t the worst thing in the world, though.

    This cake reminds me of an old recipe from the Chocolate and Zucchini blog. Hers uses pears, but I typically make it with apples. It’s one of my favorites!

  175. Irina

    I saw this and couldn’t help but smile. Sharlotka is like the thing all Russian/Ukranian people know how to make, I think. Even my mother, who doesn’t bake, can and does sometimes (once every five years or so) make this. Unfortunately, because she is rusty, it didn’t quite come out right last time. So I’m excited to use your M-I-L’s authentic version to fill in the memory gaps.
    I usually don’t think of Ukranian/Russian foods as being delicious (bad eater growing up, really into pizza thereafter) but I should stop. Sharlotka and Olivier are delicious. Chicken soup doubly so. Pickles triply so (I think your husband and I are related, based on your description of his love of all things in brine).
    If your MIL has a recipe for sirniki (farmer cheese and raisin pancakes) try it! They taste like little cheesecakes for breakfast. Topped with sour cream and sugar, of course :)

  176. I’m thrilled to see a Russian recipe on your blog :) Your Sharlotka looks delicious and it makes me want to bake it. It’s a very traditional Russian cake and there are two ways of making it. One is the way you described it and it’s exactly how my grandma makes it with whipping everything until it doubles in size (sometimes she even separates the egg whites and the yolks). My mom, however, doesn’t do any whipping and this is how I make it. I only lightly whisk everything, so the whole batter only takes about one minute to pull together. Try it some day when you don’t have a lot of time.

    Here’s a link where I describe that technique (ingredients and amounts are the same as in your cake): http://www.imagelicious.com/blog/post/quick-and-easy-cake

  177. I laughed when I saw your MIL’s declaration of “I do not bake.” And that it’s your job. Precisely what has happened in our house. My Romanian/Greek MIL, who knew not a lick of cooking until she got married, bakes only 2 things: baklava (which we can never have again due to son’s nut allergy) and a sort of slapdashed yumminess of fruit and a “French dough” of 2+2+sometimes1 (cups flour, sticks butter, soup spoons of greek yogurt or sour cream). I’m slowly learning the savory of stuff cabbage and sauerkrout and All Things Pork at her side, but I still reign Baking Queen. I’ll take what I can get. And bake this very, very soon, for all the reasons you give. Thanks for sharing this the way you did!

  178. KennyS

    JK, Potato Starch Sponge Cake is a good gluten free cake. Buy a can of Potato Starch in the Jewish section of the supermarket and it should have the recipe on it. It’s like an angel food cake except it uses potato starch instead of flour and also uses the yolks. It’s a good cake on its own that just happens to be gluten free.

  179. Wow. what a beautiful post. I love your writing on top of the photography!! Apple cake is my very favorite and I’m willing to depart from the cakey to try this dish. Looks amazing.

  180. Adam

    Raced to make this the second I read it (like everyone else). It came out delicious. Added 1teas sea salt, which I feel is necessary. But I had the same problem as other commenters in that the center was gooey and my apple pieces were mostly al dente. Not that it stopped us from inhaling it, but next time I’ll have to experiment a bit.

  181. Ladotyk

    I love that you said “We Do Not Eat Dessert in January”, yet your previous year’s recipes are for pudding, biscotti, and world peace cookies! Why deny, we love it.

    1. deb

      Ladotyk — Ha! I was speaking for other people. We always have dessert, even if it’s just (as has been in recent rotation) a little bit of Bailey’s on ice.

      Julia — Spot on. My MIL says she barely beats the batter (just whisks by hand, I think) but that most people do it for longer, so I did. She also said that some people separate the eggs and I was going to, but then deferred to her quick method, which was of course, perfect as it is.

      Irini — It’s like you peeked into my recipe plans! I was hoping to play around with it this month, before I got waylaid by my cookbook’s copyedits and stopped cooking altogether.

      Noelle or anyone with warm, fuzzy feelings about farmer’s cheese (which, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is not terribly different from a thick ricotta) — Everyone must make these Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies. They’re intended for farmer’s cheese. Though other curd and cream cheeses work, they’re just perfect with farmer’s cheese.

  182. Oh how lucky you are to have an actual recipe! It took me ages standing behind my mother and driving her nuts by stealing ingredients from her hands to measure them. She still goes by the old “until it’s enough/until it looks right” specifications. Infuriating, considering my undying love of the kitchen scale (and most definite hatred of the scale in the bathroom). My mom has been making this at least once a month ever since I was little. I remember when I was little we rented a small dacha by the Black Sea and one day while my sister and I were busy burying my napping dad in sand, a small green parakeet landed on my dad’s head. We carefully covered him with a beach hat, and he proceeded to scare the living daylights out of my sleeping father who was rudely awakened by the angry pecking. Of course we had to take him home and keep him as a pet, so we put him into a large glass vase and put in a hunk of the apple sharlotka in there for him. I still remember how he put one little foot on top and angrily devoured it, glancing both ways to make sure no one took it away.

  183. Brittany

    Whether peeled with a pairing knife or a peeling-thingy, I always feel bad throwing away the peels when I cook with apples! (actually, I can’t stand to throw any food away)

    Sometimes I put a bit of peanut butter on them and have as a snack later in the day, but you can only eat so much of that…. any other suggestions on how to use peels??

  184. Noelle

    Farmer’s cheese! Every time I mention this ingredient to people, they look at me strangely. My Polish grandmother used to make heavenly blintzes with farmer’s cheese, and sometimes even snuck a little into her pierogies. This has absolutely nothing to do with your post, but it’s just funny how two simple words can bring back some lovely memories.

  185. Kathleen in MO

    I AM making this tonight!!! I have a drawer FULL of apples that I have been feeling terribly guilty about. My conscience will be much lighter a few hours from now :D Thanks for sharing such a beautiful recipe from a culture & part of the world that (I think) most of us have little exposure.

  186. I made this this evening. I didn’t have a problem with a gooey centre, or al dente apples, but I did find that my batter didn’t sink down between the apples (even with pushing with a spatula) so I ended up with a hard, smooth, meringuey top to my cake. In the end I flipped it and popped it back in the oven for ten minutes so the underside could get some colour. Next time I’ll try reserving some apple pieces to put on the top after pouring on the batter.

    I loved the recipe though – it’s the first thing I’ve actually made from the blog (although I’ve been reading for some time) but won’t be the last. I really want to try the tiramisu cake!

  187. Ana

    Thanks for the recipe – I made one on Saturday and ended up making another on Sunday! The first was exactly as your recipe but with Pink Lady apples (the supermarket I went to didn’t have any Granny Smiths), the second was with Granny Smiths (different supermarket) and I used a proportion of muscovado, dusted the apples with cinnamon before putting them in the tin, and sprinkled flaked almonds over the top. Recipe blogged here.
    I think the second was my favourite. The first reminded me a bit of British trifle sponges but was still good to eat. I think Cox’s Orange Pippins would work very well. I did also wonder about pears but I think the cake needs some acidity which would wouldn’t get with pears alone.
    One thing to ask you – do your apples cook all the way through to the centre of the cake? Both of mine had somewhat crispy apples in the centre, which was ok, but I would have preferred them soft all the way through.

  188. CookBot

    I also made this on Sunday — knew I had to as soon as I saw the pictures here, since I adore apple desserts.

    What a wonderful, simple and versatile recipe! Thanks so much for it, Deb. I only had 5 apples and they were kinda dinky, so I added a cup of chopped cranberries left over from Christmas baking, and upped the sugar by 1/4 cup. They looked absolutely gorgeous sprinkled among the apples.

    Mine baked up completely and beautifully in 55 minutes flat in my non-convection oven. I could have done with a wee bit more cakiness among the fruit pieces though, so I might plus up the batter by 25% or so next time. And I foresee lots of variations in the future: almond extract, orange rind, cherries — how about redhot cinnamon candies??

  189. oh thats the apple pie of my youth. I like to call it 4-ingredient pie (just apples, flour, sugar and eggs in my family). now I know I need to make it again…

  190. Phyllis

    I made this tonight, and shared with a neighbor. Scrumptious! The neighbor called to say she loved it, and to ask if if was some kind of a bread pudding. I have owned springform pans for 10+ years, and this is the first time I used them. My only problem was in removing the sharlotka from the pan. I did not get the parchment paper to cover all the bottom seam, the sharlotka stuck to the pan, and an entire corner of the sharlotka stayed behind in the pan! I carefully removed the broken piece, squashed it back on the cake…and it stayed! Yummy! This is the first recipe I have tried from this site, but it definitely will not be the last.

  191. Jeanio

    This was delicious! I had to bake it twice as long but it was worth it. Next tine I’ll sprinkle sugar on the top after baking.

  192. Sharon

    Hi Deb, been checking out your website for quite some time now, but this is my first time commenting! (BTW, love love LOVE all your pics of Jacob!) I have a springform pan….minus the bottom….apparently lost it in a move. I was wondering if you or anyone else has tried making this in a tube pan? I am dying to make it!

    1. deb

      Sharon — I haven’t tried it in a tube pan (I’m assuming you mean the kind with the removable bottom?) but think it could be gorgeous.

      Ana — Mine were cooked through. If yours were not, I’d slice them a little smaller or more thiny next time. You could also increase the cooking time until they seem fully tender.

  193. laurie

    Used 4 apples and scaled down the ingredients by 1/3. Baked it in a square ceramic Pyrex baker. With the buttered parchment, no sticking. Smells soooo good. We will be having this for breakfast (only 9 hours to wait!).

  194. I had Granny Smith apples on hand that desperately wanted to be part of something wonderful, and so they were! I skipped reaching into the closet for a springform pan, because I’ve been on an iron skillet kick this month. I put the apples, then batter into the oiled, preheated skillet, baked it for 55 minutes and it was perfect! It easily slipped out of the pan after cooling, and held it’s shape without breaking. What a great apple pie/bread pudding-esque dessert, breakfast and snack! . I’m calling your “Apple thing” – “easier than pie” : ) Thanks for sharing.

  195. Wioleta

    You just made me miss my mother’s szarlotka… oh and all of the Polish cooking. I think it’s time to make a giant batch of pierogi and kopytka. I was born in the Eastern part of Poland (which might as well be Russia).

  196. Diana

    Thank you for the wonderful blog! I made this recipe tonight, pretty much verbatim. The baking time seemed to need extension, so all together, I believe I baked it for maybe 1 hour and 15 minutes, also upped the temp to 365F. It came out very good, so surprisingly satisfying for not having any butter or cream in it! I will make this again for sure!

  197. Jose

    Thank you for this recipe, it is a very beautiful, simple and healthy cake. I will be baking one this weekend. I was not born in Russia, but I am a Russian at heart, but I try to avoid the heavy Russian food, the one with too much fat and calories, you can only have a couple of bites, but this cake is perfect for me.
    ??????? ???????!

  198. masha

    Oh Sharlotka. Another Russian here, chiming in. My mother’s recipe involves sour cream AND mayonnaise (1/2 cup of each), which shocks the americans around me to no end, but they all eat their words in the end (so to speak). But it makes the dough fantastic. And I make it in whatever pan happens to be around (square, round, springform or no) and it works out fine! Thanks for posting this beautiful alternative.

  199. I just made this last night… yummmmy…. thank you! It was perfectly sweet without over doing it!

    In lieu of a spring form pan, I used a bundt cake dish. I had to double the recipe to have it fill the pan, though. And it formed a serious crust on top, so I flipped it onto a plate. Did I mention the yum part? :) Thanks!

  200. My daughter made this last night, and it turned out really great. My only suggestion: do use parchment, and butter it heavily. We used cooking spray and wax paper, and it was a little tough to peel off the bottom. It also took about another 15 min. to bake. Otherwise, though, the cake was a total success. I ate some for breakfast. (So sue me. I topped it with plain yogurt, though!)

  201. oooo i love desserts that aren’t too rich and heavy! clafoutis have been my go to, but this looks even BETTER! more fruit, less pastry, but still enough to convince my brain it’s eating dessert! lovely lovely. could you do this with other fruits, like berries? or would they be too wet?

  202. Tatiana

    Deb,

    I have made this many times and the consistency comes out a little different but delicious nonetheless!I whip the eggs with sugar first to get them to a frothy airy state, then fold in the sifted flour and pop in the over right away. The result is a crusty meringue-like top with a soft cakey middle. If you let the batter sit, the cake will come out denser. Thanks for posting this age-old Russian recipe.

  203. Dee

    Wow, your take on it looks amazing!
    I grew up eating this, but I always thought of it as a sweet apple omelette of some kind:)) This one actually looks like a proper lovely cake!

  204. Anne

    Pears worked great in this. I used 5 1/2 large, overly-ripe Bartlets. They were very juicy but the cake still turned out well – puffy and golden brown on top, juicy fruit throughout. Cooking time was exactly 60 minutes in my new oven. Can’t wait to make this with apples. Thank, Deb!

  205. Yulia

    I read through all the comments by Russians looking for this and was so surprised that no one mentioned it: Sharlotka usually is served bottom up. Or was it only at our house?
    Thank for reminding me about Sharlotka – haven’t made it for ages! And it’s always so much fun to find Russian recipes on your site!

  206. mrs r

    Deb, this was so delicious. I made it Saturday night for our book club and it was just perfect for our health-conscious group who LOVES dessert but feels guilty about having it. This was the perfect dessert – all of the flavor with very little guilt. Yum! Thanks so much for sharing this lovely recipe.

  207. Rose Marie

    Hi,

    Would it work to make this up, put it in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning? I assume it would be good to let it ‘warm’ up a bit and/or increase the bake time. I’d like to make this for a staff meeting, but want it to be fresh. Thanks! Love the blog!!

  208. I made this tonight! Sooooo good. Make this everyone! So easy. Its like pie had a baby with bread pudding. I sprinkled some Penzey’s Cinnamon Sugar blend on top and a bit of whipped cream. Can’t wait to have this for breakfast in the AM.

  209. tree town gal

    Loved the article, Deb… I missed it the first time ’round. And I too will be making this in a day or so… the eggplant cavier is a standard for our Lebanese meals as well. We add green onion and use olive oil but very close, indeed. I think it’s fantastic with a side of hummus… or the cavier is the side and the hummus is the main dish… whatever – it’s all great with nice fresh Syrian bread (pita).

  210. Anna

    Okay, tried this again with granny smith apples (instead of pink lady), the full cup of sugar, all purpose flour (instead of white whole wheat), and the very necessary piece of parchment paper that I skipped the first go around. It was awesome. Delicious. I’m in love. The comment above that it’s like pie and bread pudding had a baby is totally spot on. Thank you, Deb (and your mother-in-law)!

  211. It’s nice to see this classic Russian (Soviet?) cake on your blog! Sharlotka is my go-to cake when I need a quick dessert; also, my husband has requested it for his birthday for the past few years. I am impressed that you managed to fit six large apples into this cake! I usually use three large or four-five medium. I make sharlotka in a regular 9-inch pan and mix the apples into the batter rather than pouring the batter on top; I also use baking soda in the batter and I don’t peel my apples – we like a bit more texture to our cake, and the apple skins get pretty soft anyway.

  212. Oooooooooooooh my god. Thank you SO MUCH for posting the recipe to this. My grandmother makes the best one but refuses to divulge the secret (“as long as I’m here, what for you need the recipe”). So happy!!!! YAY.

  213. Oh my gosh! this looks even better than your mom’s apple cake that I have already made FOUR times- and even once with a little rum :) Wondering if anyone has successfully made this gluten free and vegan? want to make it for someone with allergies and wonder if flax will work instead of the eggs?

  214. Heather K

    I made this last night- my first baked good of the year:)
    The supermarket had no granny smiths!!! so I went with bramley apples instead and it was delicious. I ate a slice practically straight from the oven last night but will be having it with custard this evening.
    Quick question re sugar- if one is trying to save on calories can you substitute spenda instead???

  215. anonymous

    I made this last weekend, and it was really tasty. Two things: I didn’t use enough butter on the parchment and sides of the pan, so it was a bit tricky to unmold. Second you might want to mention in the recipe that the apples should come up almost to the top of the pan. Only small apples were available at my market, so I had to guess how many to use.

  216. Rachel

    My grandmother passed this same recipe down to me (from her grandmother, from Russia), and we simply call it Jewish Apple Cake, I assume because it is non-dairy and can be served with a meat course. Thanks for sharing!

  217. I think I will make this for my Russian’s friend bday this weekend. After the time consuming Napoleon, Medovnik and Kievsky cakes, I was planning to give up on making a Russian cake this year, but this seems easy enough to make on a week night. I am debating serving it with bourbon ice cream. Do you think it will pair well?

  218. Emily

    I made this last night, and my husband and I found it… I guess a little one-note. Not enough flavor contrasts, not quite enough textural contrasts (though the top does get a little meringue-like, which was nice)… Somehow this just didn’t quite do it for us…

  219. Katie B

    Love your Russian food posts! My family is Russian and make all the same foods, but I never learned to make them as a kid, and now when I ask for recipes, the response is always “it’s so easy, you just take a little bit of this and a dash of that and there you go,” and I’m like, wait, how MUCH of this or that? I’m so happy that you have specific recipes for some of my favorite dishes (salted mushrooms, eggplant caviar), and I’m excited to try this one as well! Keep em coming!

  220. Ellen

    Made it this morning with 3 sad Granny Smith apples on their last legs and 2 pears. Very easy and tasty – thanks, Deb! I found it quite sweet and will probably add less sugar next time, perhaps because the pears are naturally sweet.

    I can’t help but scoff at the idea that this is in any way “healthy” or “guilt-free,” though. It’s apples, flour, and sugar! That’s a lot of calories and a lot of carbohydrates. It’s delicious, but c’mon people – if your resolution is to lose weight, this is not what you should be eating for breakfast!

  221. Emily Rae

    I made this last night, in a 9 inch deep dish pie pan. I put the parchment on the bottom and greased the sides, ran a knife around the edge, & it flipped out beautifully. Served with brown sugar-sour cream, and it’s wonderful! I was a bit worried about the batter overflowing, so I kept back about 2/3 cup and poured it over some frozen cranberries and sugar in little pots, then baked those up alongside. Can’t wait to eat those with some yogurt! And to Ellen: Any food can be guilt free, so long you don’t feel guilty about it!

  222. Elan

    Another great recipe! I’m early on in my pregnancy, so many things aren’t sounding good right now…this actually sounds good! Also, I saw a blurb about your blog in the January Marie Claire (p. 81)! Congrats!

  223. Bella

    I made this the other day but it didn’t quite turn out as expected – I ended up with a weird meringue-like topping that was crunchy and rose above the rest of the cake. Maybe I beat the eggs too long? I’m not really sure why it happened, but it sounds like for everyone else it was a great success.

  224. thank you for recipe! baking right now, I hope it will turn out good :).. didn’t have enough eggs, only two, so decided to put a bit banana to substitute one egg.

  225. Lynn

    I made this the other day and it turned out wonderful! I didn’t have the springform pan so I just put it in two 9 inch cake rounds. I also didn’t have parchment paper, so I just buttered the pans and then dusted them with large grain sugar. Added a great effect! This recipe is so healthy and light, and last for a couple of days after too.

  226. This is in my oven right now! I couldn’t wait any longer to make it. So what if it’s Wednesday? This lovely Russian dessert matches well with the book I’m reading right now, ‘Nicholas and Alexandra.’ My family would definetly call it ‘Apple Thing’ too, but Apple Sharlotka is such a beautiful name

  227. Jan

    I made this tonight and it looked just like the photo and tasted FABULOUS! I will make it again because it is satisfying without loads of calories. However, I’m not usually a baker except for my cheesecakes and it would have helped me if you included what speed the mixer should be at when blending the eggs and sugar. While I know what the ribbon effect is, I couldn’t remember how to achieve it. On my second attempt, I let the eggs get to room temp, mixed those on low speed until blended then added the sugar a bit at a time on high speed. Ran it for 8 minutes but it wasn’t getting as thick as I wanted so I added about 1/4 cup more flour. It cooked up just right. I think I will add just a pinch of salt to the batter and pour the apples into the batter then into the pan. I love your blog. You slow roasted grape tomatoes are fantabulous! Thanks!!!

  228. Ooh! It’s like you and Luisa (with her cabbage soup post) were sent from above to help this sister out…. I’m newly-wed to a Belarusian. Luisa’s soup made him utter the ultimate praise (“Tastes like home!”) I’ll have to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing!

  229. Nithya

    I’m new to this blog but its truly inspiring,specially when am just 19 and has a very partial attitude to cooking(only then do i study) more than the recipes(they r awesome!!!)i like ur story behind each of them…
    cant wait to read more and more on smittenkitchen..

  230. Hi!
    A couple of years ago on vacation, my husband and I visited the little snow covered town of Suzdal outside of Moscow. The homes were adorned with intricately carved wooden accents and people went to town on horseback! We stayed in a bed and breakfast of sorts, where the owner also lived with his family and grandmother. Upon arriving, she made one of these cakes and served it with tea. It was delicious and so comforting that I’ve been searching for a good recipe ever since. I can’t wait to try this! Thank you so much.

    Johanna

  231. Sarah

    i made a half size of this last night in a 6″ pan. i added a little lemon juice to it too. it was so yummy! yay for the apple thing! it was a total mess getting it out of the pan and it pretty much fell apart (but honestly, i think i should have cooked it longer anyway…i was impatient). it was still delicious awesomeness!

  232. Casey Dunne

    Made this for a football party (yes, a bunch of dudes watching the college national championship and drinking cheap beer), and it was gone in seconds. The brownies at the party? Untouched. But this awesome “apple pie on steroids”, as it was dubbed by the host, went before the first quarter was over. This is going to be my fruit dessert of choice in the future!

  233. Ashley

    Deb, you have solved a riddle for me and my husband, and I’m embarrassed that I just didn’t check here first. We were recently in Spain, and everywhere we ate we saw “Russian salad” on the menu. Since we were already straining the gracious Spanish hospitality with our muddled attempts at communication, we didn’t have the nerve to ask what it was, nor the pluck simply to order it and hope for the best. I’m assuming that Salad Olivier is what they meant by Russian salad, and now I’m kicking myself for not getting it there since everything they did with potatoes was amazing!

  234. I made this a couple of nights ago and it was delicious! I think I beat the egg/sugar mixture longer than you did because the batter was very thick and a good layer stayed suspended on top…when it came out of the oven it had a lovely meringue-like crunch on top and the apples were all buried underneath. Just enough batter made its way into the apples to hold it all together. It was heavenly…like a baked apple with a light meringue cookie on top. This one’s a keeper!

  235. Gia

    Made this last night and it did not quite turn out as expected. I think I need to buy a scale for measuring. The mixture stayed on top and became something like a giant Nilla wafer that separated from the apples. Bummer. I will try again but perhaps mix the apples in the mixture before pouring into the pan.

  236. Catherine

    made this a few nights ago and it’s officially my new favorite treat! I love how the consistency is almost like a bread pudding. I couldn’t find my whisk so I cheated in the egg beating stage (never got ribbons) but it still turned out great! THANKS!

  237. Alicia

    Hi Deb! I love your blog… i have been a long time reader. I made this for breakfast today… so good with a dollop of coconut yogurt (have to accomodate my dairy allergy). My whole family thought it was a national holiday or something.

  238. I made this earlier this week and we absolutely loved it! It’s so easy and takes such few ingredients that I understand why it’s considered the brownies of Russia. The cake also reminded me of some German desserts my mom used to make.

  239. Natasha

    That’s right – that’s true Charlottka :) BUT we add soda and vinegar to make the Charlottka rise. I’ve been making it since i was 12 – NEVER came out bad! Still one of our favorite receipies considering huge variety of delicioussness on the market.

  240. Eileen W

    Like #264 I used 2/3 recipe and 6×3″ springform for 6 generous servings. Baked it for ~60 min at 340 convection and it was cooked through with a crunchy meringue-like top. I did sprinkle the buttered pan sides & bottom with panko, so they were as golden as the top. To keep it together when unmolding I ran a knife around the edge BEFORE releasing the springform. I think the parchment bottom is a non-negotiable necessity for intact removal. Quite tasty as written (with whipped cream/creme fraiche alongside), but the possible tweaks seem endless.

  241. Tanta

    Yay! I haven’t had apple sharlotka since I lived in the (former) Soviet Union in 1989. I have a party this weekend and this might be just the thing to make for it. Heck, would be great just to make anyway for the fun of it!

  242. Annie

    I made this with my senior residents this week (I’m the Activities Director of an assisted living community) and they just loved it! It was so so easy to make with them and one remembered that her mother used to make the same dish when she was younger. I thought it was very pudding or kugel-like, in an excellent way. And the slices are so pretty–they look like fancy soaps. Thanks so much for posting!

    Oh–and we used asian pears because that’s what we had. And it was amazing.

  243. Natasha

    hello, bit of a lurker but i love your recipes and was inspired to make this. unfortunately all my apple pieces sank to the bottom. tasted great but wasn’t the right consistency because of this. any advice for how to stop this?

  244. Annette

    This is a great recipe! I am Russian and I am always looking for Russian desserts especially for our church’s Maslenitsa celebration (Butter Festival – last Sunday before Great Lent begins). I am planning on making it this celebration! Thank you!

  245. i am definitely trying this today!!! like i know myself and my husband, we will be eaten up even the crumbs before i even get the chance to take a picture of it! thx for sharing!

  246. I made rhubarb sharlotka tonight in two 5″ ramekins using 3 sticks of rhubarb instead of the apples and 2/3 quantity of batter. I mixed up the top of the batter a bit after pouring it in so that some of the rhubarb chunks stuck out at the top and baked it for around 30 minutes. Tastes amazing and the pink rhubarb looks fantastic.

  247. bell

    I’m definitely a fruit-dessert-person, particularly an apple-dessert-person, so I made this yesterday evening. The only issue I had with is was that I found the batter too sweet for my taste, even with the tart apples. When I make it again (which I will, because it was still delicious) I think I’ll reduce the sugar maybe using two-thirds of the quantity stated, or even half. I followed your instruction on the size of the apple chunks and they came out perfectly tender and delicious.

    Thanks! You’re great!

  248. AMS

    I just made this and had a slice – it’s lovely! The parchment paper was a bi*ch to get off though – I think it’s because I cut a circle to fit the bottom, but should have made it slightly larger so that there would be something to grab on to peel it (so put the paper on the bottom, then put the sides of the springform pan on).

    I made minor changes due to preference and ingredients I had on hand. I used a scant cup of sugar – half white half brown as I ran out of white (!). Used 7 small granny smiths, added a half teaspoon of baking powder, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. I used a 10 inch springform pan and baked in a convection oven at 175 degrees celsius for 40 minutes – I probably should have taken it out a few minutes earlier.

    Also, after reading all the comments I chose not to whisk my eggs and sugar for very long – maybe one minute, and it was by hand with a whisk. I think this was perfect – the cake was light and spongy, and there was a slightly crackly/crunchy top.

    Definitely a keeper – just as good as apple pie but without all the fuss of pie crust. And no butter!

  249. This looks delicious! My best friend just came back from studying abroad in Russia and this looks like the perfect desert to make for her. I only have honey crisp apples at home, would these work ok as well?

  250. rupi d

    I’d like to make this cake, my green apples are really small- anyone know about how many cups chopped the 6 large apples come to? Thanks!

  251. Joan

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I happened to have a bag full of apples so I made this right away, and it is absolutely a keeper. Easy, delicious, simple. A great addition to any cook’s repertoire.

  252. Deb, I made the Sharlotka and everyone here at the Gravy Company loved it! I posted it on my blog with my addition of a little salt and cinnamon. Many thanks to you, Alex’s mom, and her mom,….delicious!

  253. Lisa

    My housemates and me made this last night. It was super delicious and so easy to make! But it turned out a little different than on your pictures. The batter didn’t really sank between all those apple pieces. Most of it stayed on top and on the sides and it created this very nice crust on top. We had it with custard and next time there will be ice cream! :) Thank you so much, we love your blog!

  254. Suzanne

    hi – was just wondering about the size of the pan – i used a 9 inch but mine was not as tall as yours – perhaps yours is 8 inches? everyone at my house loved it!

  255. Payal

    Thank you Deb for your delicious sweet recipes. I made this tonight, and it was quick and easy. I used a bundt pan, since I lack a springform, plus added some cardamon and cinnamon with lemon zest and juice to the apples. And subbed 1/2 barley flour (thanks for introducing me to it).

    My question is how many pounds would you consider 6 large apples? I used 3 extra large mutsu apples, and my apples were overflowing as the batter sunk to the bottom, and the whole thing fell apart when I turned it out. Don’t get me wrong, we ate it happily, but next time I think I might make 50% more batter so it holds together.

    Also, the cake part was a bit eggy, kind of bread pudding-like. I’m sure that’s what it’s supposed to be, and maybe I have a preconceived notion about cake, but could I get away with 2 eggs or sub in baking soda/powder?

    I know I made a ton of changes, and I’m not complaining how it turned out. Just curious how I can go from following recipes verbatim to adapting a recipe for myself.

    Thanks.

  256. This was delicious! My batter was so thick that it sort of sat on top though. Do you usually mix it up or tap the pan or something to make the batter sink down?

  257. Tangel

    Saw the picture this evening, checked out the recipe and baked it and ate a slice all within 4 hours. Yum! My husband says its a keeper :D

  258. Panki

    Hi Deb, I’m your fan from Prague, I read SK for almost two years and have tried couple of recipes, but this is the first time I write a comment. After I baked Sharlotka I realised that my granny makes quite the same thing (the batter she uses is slightly different, she puts cinnamon in it and makes it thinner. As you mentioned at the end I add greek yogurt and blueberries and it is delicious!

  259. Michelle

    Just tried this out for breakfast, I had some apples to use up, it was incredible. I tried it with sliced almonds and sanding sugar sprinkled on top before baking, yummy! Thank you I’ll be baking this one a lot!!! It will be amazing for tea.

  260. Michelle

    ps I didn’t have a springform and used my regular cake pan lined with parchment and sprayed with oil and it came out beautifully. Hooray!

  261. Mariana

    I didn’t have a spring form pan either but was able to fit all the ingredients in a 11″ x 7″ (2 qt) pyrex dish. I let the batter sit for several minutes over the apples so it would seep down and then tapped/shook the dish a bit to make sure the batter would reach the bottom of the pan. I baked this at 350 for 60 mins and the center still wasn’t completely done, though the pan was only 1.5″ deep. I cut into the cake after ~20 mins of cooling and it fell apart. More cooling time was definitely needed. Of course, it tasted delicious regardless – but I was disappointed that it looked like a mess. Next time, I will definitely reduce the sugar in the batter – it was way too sweet – cook it longer, maybe at a lower temp towards the end so the top doesn’t get too crusty, and let it cool to room temp before cutting. Thanks for the recipe!

  262. Anna

    Baked this the other day and it came out perfectly using 120g of sugar, some lemon juice and chopped almonds on top. Amazing recipe, thanks!

  263. Leah Smith

    I will have to try this recipe. I love anything baked with apples. Looks much easier than a full on apple pie and can be eaten at any time. Thanks for the family recipe.

  264. Vickie

    Deb – my husband is Ukrainian and I (unfortunately) don’t have a mother-in-law nearby but he regularly talks about (and makes!) Salad Olivier, borscht and all those other somewhat odd yet surprisingly tasty Russian/Ukrainian/Eastern European things. I just told him about your post for sharlotka and he started raving (in a good way)…sounds like I’ll be making this soon! Thanks!!

  265. Caroline

    I made this on Fri and it was very tasty although it didnt turn out quite right. My apples didnt quite come all the way up to the top of the pan, and I think that not enough of the batter got down to the bottom of the pan. When I pulled it out of the oven after 55 min the top was actually crunchy, almost meringue-like and when I went to flip the cake over it fell apart. The tester came out clean though so who knows how I messed it up, overmixed eggs maybe? It still tasted great with some barely sweetened whipped cream!

  266. Carla

    Thank you deb! I made the cake and it was delicious. I think I will adjust the sugar to 130 gramms, the apples I have are not that tart.

  267. MamaLana

    Speaking of Russian Napoleon, it was my birthday cake my entire childood. I’m really looking forward to seeing your recipe. My Russian mother’s receipe calls for canned Carnation milk. Talk about secret ingredients! Happy New Year.

  268. aline

    Thanks for yet another winning recipe. I made this last Friday for dessert and it vanished very quickly! The only suggestion I got from the family was to make 2 next time :)

  269. Deb,
    Thanks for another wonderful recipe and more beautiful photos!
    Unfortunately, my version came out with an incredibly soggy bottom half that wouldn’t firm up even when the top was already a beautiful brown. The only change I made was to downsize it 2/3 to fit in an 8-in loaf pan. Any suggestions/diagnoses, anyone?

  270. I tried the recipe this weekend – it turned out SO well! My not-a-desert-eater father had two pieces, and everyone in the house wants a repeat :)
    I’m glad you shared your hubbie’s family recipe for ‘apple thing’!

  271. Melissa

    Made this over the weekend and loved it. A word of warning though… do not skimp on buttering the pan! I went a little light and lost a lot of the sides of the cake due to sticking! (and I did it a tube pan, not having a springform).

  272. Alison

    Thanks for another great recipe, Deb! Your pictures make me feel like, yes, this IS possible! I made this yesterday for my dad’s birthday and it was a big hit. It will also be appreciated by my two-year-old nephew who is lactose intolerant and hates to be left out of the celebrations.

  273. Goli

    Deb thanks so much for this recipe! I made it for a family dinner get-together last night and it turned out beautifully and everyone loved it. I also took your advice and had the leftovers for breakfast with yogurt … and yummmmmmmmm!
    Thank you! you’re the best!

  274. I agree with you that a bit of something sweet everyday is one of the pleasures in life that should never be regretted. The rule in my home is that as long as I make it from srcatch, it can’t be so bad, and we save the real indulgences for when we dine out. And I am married to a Polish guy so I completely understand about being surrounded by delicious dishes that I dare not try at home. But it keeps me excited about them knowing that I have to wait to eat it at his parents’ home.

  275. Lingmind

    Oh, i was so excited to make this but it didn’t come out. All the apples were still a bit crunchy, and the middle was all gooey and not cooked through. We ate the outside anyway, but i’m so sad. I used half brown sugar, and whipped until think but not quite to ribbons. I also cooked it for a few minutes longer, but it tested donewhen i took it out. I can’t figure out anything that i did wrong. Any ideas, anyone? Help! I really want to make it again because i think it would be delicious.

  276. Deb, how on earth could a meringue-like crust fail to be anything but stupendous?
    All this fuss about the parchment! Me, I used my springform pan, was so excited I forgot parchment but I just unmolded the sides and served it as it was on the pan bottom. I got no complaints.

  277. Kate H.

    Hi Deb, I’m writing a review of your blog for a writing class. How did you get started blogging? (And which recipes would you recommend to bring in to class? Desserts, obviously. I’m considering the apple pie cookies and the chocolate cake that you made a while back.)

  278. Cindi

    I have wonderful memories of having a similar version of this as a child, made by my Russian grandmother and, occasionally, my mother. Her version was started on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet and finished in the oven, sort of like a fritatta. Can’t wait to try this one of these chilly Sunday mornings!

  279. Nelleke

    I made it. As I tried it just after I made it, I wasn’t too impressed…the cake was very eggy, and I thought maybe it could use a dash of salt. However, the next day and the day after, it was absolutely delicious. The apple flavour permeated the cake so it stopped tasting too eggy. I recommend making this the day before you want to eat it for best results.

  280. rupi d

    Made this this weekend and it was beautiful, easy and so light! Added a pinch of salt and zest of 1 lemon. Would still like to know the cup equivalent of 6 large apples, I’m sure based on the appearance of my cake vs. yours, mine was about 1/2-1 cup less.

  281. Lex

    I made this on sunday afternoon and it is all gone now and I admit to eating 90% of if it myself.

    It really reminds me of a bread pudding and I will be making this again, so simple.
    I made it in an 8″ round silicone dish so it didn’t brown as nicely as yours did but came out pretty easily. I look forward to trying it with different fruits.. how would strawberries work do you think?

  282. sherry

    Holy Wow,( I took that from you too!) this is fantastic! Looked so pretty. So easy to make but looks so “fancy” on the plate! Everyone loved it, especially after all the sweets in Dec. Wonderful for breakfast too! Thanks so much, once again for sharing your brilliance and your beautiful photography! Happy New Year!

  283. As someone who was born without a baking bone in his body, I must live vicariously through others especially when it comes to the marvels of pastry, pie and cake.

    I also love the line about having something sweet each and every day.

    Thank you, Deb, for all you do. Have a wonderful year.

  284. Cat

    I made this this weekend for my boyfriend (who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth) and our South African friend (who is quite the foodie) and they absolutely LOVED IT. I haven been searching for almost 4 years now for a cake that comes close to a cake my host mother used to make for me in France and this tastes almost exactly like hers did! Thank you SO SO much for the recipe! I can’t wait to make (and eat) it again! xx

  285. I made this the other night, but I couldn’t find my springform pans. They went missing when I moved. So I just piled everything into a glass casserole dish, and baked it like that. You can’t de-pan it to serve, so the presentation isn’t as pretty, but since my family doesn’t stop to look at their food before shoveling it into their faces, it didn’t matter. I’m going on a quest to the basement to find the springform pans and I’m going to make this again to bring to work, where people appreciate beautiful foodstuffs.

  286. Question- I am doing no refined sugars…and this dish would fit into my “okay for dessert in January” category if I could sub sugar for honey….do you think that would work in this cake and if so, what would you recommend the sub ratio be? Thanks!

  287. I made a gluten free version of this last week by substituting the 1cup of flour for: 1/2 c g.f. flour
    1/4 c rice flour
    1/4 c. potato flour
    1/4 t. xantham gum

    It was really yummy especially after I let it sit for a day. Thanks again for the fun recipes!

  288. As always, Deb, you know just what I want to eat at this time of year. Something fruity and fresh but still dessert. I was about to resort to chocolate squares and dried fruit, but this sounds much better.

    Do you find when you mix the flour into the egg/sugar mixture that it clumps? I usually hear mixing the wet ingredients into the dry to avoid clumpage. But if you don’t have issues, then I’m sure I wouldn’t either. :)

  289. Susannah

    I made this apple sharlotka along with borscht, your recipe for black bread, and some zakuski (smoked salmon, pickles, and havarti), for a Russian themed meal, and it turned out wonderfully! The black bread was a lot of work, but this cake was so easy to make that it made up for it. More Russian recipes would be appreciated! :)

  290. Rachel

    Made this tonight in a casserole dish instead of a springform– totally soggy bottom, couldn’t hold together for the flipping part! But delicious! Added a little almond extract for that quasi-maccaron taste.

  291. Sarah

    For the Gluten free questions: I have made this twice in the last couple of days (it is a HUGE hit with my Russian husband) gluten free. I substituted 1 for 1 with Bob’s red mill all-pupose flour mix because it was easy/on hand and in the proportion it is used, I didn’t feel I needed to choose a “lighter” flour. But I think it would be really good with sorghum, millet or teff (alone or in combination) and a starch. The trick is then to substitute by weight instead of volume. Gluten free Girl has an equation that I find works really well. See it here: http://glutenfreegirl.com/gluten-free-whole-grain-muffins/

  292. I made this, and when it came out of the oven, I thought “no wonder Deb can’t decide what to call this!” Granted, I don’t bake much, but still, I couldn’t describe it. I also couldn’t wait until it was completely cool to cut a slice, and it was absolutely wonderful. But not quite as wonderful as it was the next morning when the cakey part had absorbed the moisture from the apples, and it tasted like a firm apple custard. Next up: a gluten free version for my celiac sister-in-law. Of course, I might just have to add chocolate to get her to eat it. Thanks for the recipe, Deb!

  293. Hi Deb,

    I made this with some of my co-workers today and we followed your directions exactly, “The batter will be very thick. Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples.” It just came out of the oven and seems to be a hardened cake layer on top of cooked apples. It doesn’t look like your pictures at all. What could have gone wrong? Should we have mixed it or banged the pan on the countertop to disperse the batter?

    1. deb

      Lynna — Perhaps that wasn’t clear enough. What I meant was spread it by pressing it down into the apples (i.e. not just, say, frosting them like a cake). Sorry if this caused trouble. I will update this now to prevent any further confusion — I hope you’ll give it another chance.

  294. Looks so yummy!! And I must make this because apples are the only gosh darn fruit that’s available during the winter out here in my newly adopted home of Massachusetts. (Yes, we Californians are spoiled to the max.) This recipe will certainly elevate their status.

  295. pam

    made this today for a couple of friends…we all agreed that it was fabulous! and seriously, could a dessert get any easier or more guilt-free??? loved it! thank your MIL for me! <3

  296. Parents and I loved this! We used the under-ripe apples from our trees, which are tart like granny smiths, and cut them really small. Also used a square 8×8 pan and I think that resulted in the apples cooking more which I liked. We probably didn’t use so many apples so our top ended up really lovely and crisp and meringue-y too.

    Anyway, a big thank you – my Mum LOVED it :)

  297. ok, I HAVE TO TRY IT NOW.
    The italian word that can describe it is maybe GOLOSO. It describes in the same time the food-obsessed gourmet, and THE IRRESISTIBLE CAKE. :) So, both, me and your Sharlotka, are golosi. The meeting is inevitable. :D

  298. Karen

    I made this last Saturday and it couldn’t have been easier. It has an ingredient list you can actually remember and it is appley and delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  299. Thanks so much for the clarification, Deb. When we flipped it out the batter had actually made it to the bottom, which was good; however, I do think pressing it down onto the apples will remedy the hard top part and make it look as nice as your pictures. Next time. Thanks again!

  300. I made this cake last night, and it was delicious – almost like the flavor of an angel food cake combined with the denseness of a German pancake… plus yummy appley flavor, of course! Very difficult to describe. It was good the first day, great the second day, and awesome the third day after baking. So if baking this to impress, you might want to do it ahead of time as the flavor just keeps getting better.

    I didn’t have a springform pan, so I used my deep dish pie plate which worked out great. After pouring the thick batter over the apples, I let it sit for a little bit before throwing it in the oven, because it didn’t seem like the batter was reaching the bottom. There may have also been a little banging of the dish to speed the process along.

    Mine barely took 45 minutes to bake all the way through, but that might be because of the different baking vessel? But thanks for sharing the recipe! It was amazing.

  301. Beth

    Wow! just made this recipe and it is delish! I got rave reviews from the whole family, and it was a cinch to make! Definitely a keeper :)

  302. Kate

    YAY! Delicious like everything at sk I obsess over and cook and obsess over. Unfortunately, I have an perverse oven which lets me choose to either burn the bottom of things or overcook the top. I chose the latter, so the top was pretty golden and crunchy. It was reminding me of something and driving me crazy that I couldn’t place it. Finally popped into my head when I woke up this morning! Fortune Cookies! Weird? Yes! True? Ask my oven!

  303. koneko

    i tried this last night, just needed to buy the apples (6 apples for $5 cry) as others have posted, my center was still wet and gooey and the top lightly browned after an hour and a half! in the oven. i had to take it out so i could go to bed. i took the ring off the springform pan and the edges are soft and wet squishy. perhaps i shall try baking it some more this evening after work? i don’t want to dump it. :(

    i think i overbeat the eggs and sugar, the batter did not drip down. i ended up stirring it all together, and like at least another posted, the top was sort of meringuey.

  304. Sarah

    So we have been trying to be good in the new year and I thought this was the perfect recipe to have a treat that wasn’t too, too bad for you. It is delicious! However, I have one question. What is the texture of the middle of the cake supposed to be like. Does it full set? The top had a nice sort of crunchy texture but the inside was quite soft still, almost like pudding? I cooked it the full amount and it is yummy but because I hadn’t made it before or even had it, I was not sure if that was the current texture. Thoughts? Thanks. (Just read koneko’s post and it looks like she had the same issue.)

  305. Jen

    I made this last night and it turned out phenomenal! I brought it to a dinner party and I had three people ask me for the recipe (so, I’ll be referring them to your site). One slightly strange thing about it though – no salt? Seems like with a small pinch it would be absolutely perfect. I’ll try it that way next time.

  306. Sara Elgin

    By your picture, you obviously did not level the batter with the top of the apples…hate to nitpick, but I did and mine looks nothing like your picture. Good, sure is, but NOT like the photo due to your instructions.

  307. Mega

    Made this last weekend. Delicious just with a huge dollop of double thick cream!!!! I had to hide the last 2 slices from hubby so I can take it to work for my snack. Thank you for the recipe

  308. Isabel

    oh dear…just realized how necessary the parchment paper was! First, I had to make more batter, I think because the eggs I used were quite small, and when I finally had it all ready and was patting the batter down into the springform pan I realized it was dripping out the other side!!! So… the parchment paper obviously helps waterproof the whole thing! This had never happened to me before, with my pan… I have put the whole thing in another boring rectangular tin, fingers crossed I can still impress my partner’s grandmother, but not sure…. i will have to try this again!

  309. Just got this in the oven! The batter was certainly delicious :) I also just wanted to say I’m super impressed by your apple coring skills; mine always come out so haggard. Yours are so beautiful still!

  310. Konrad

    Delicious!
    I’m Polish and actually “sharlotka” is more polish then russian when it goes for a name, but the overall recipe is similar.
    Every mom and oma in Poland has its own idea for this cake. I tried a lot of them and I can recommend focusing on more apples then cake and serving it hot with few scoops of vanilla ice-creams and cinnamon sprinkled over.

    Bon appetit! Smacznego!

  311. This brings back so many warm memories! We would make apple sharlotka so often and especially in the fall. Growing up in upstate New York we had plenty of apples and we brought our Apple Sharlotka recipe from the former Soviet Union. The picture is absolutely mouth-watering.

  312. Tatyana

    I grew up on this cake. I do not peel the apples, cut them up pretty big and random-like, use about 1/2 the amount of sugar and flour for the number of eggs listed, do not press anything down or worry about it being very level, and it always comes out just fine. The eggs in my house were always beaten by themselves first until they were a pale shade of yellow and foamy – this took a while by hand (we obviously had no electric mixer) and doing this is one of my most vivid childhood kitchen memories. Nowadays my Jersey-residing mom likes to drizzle melted chocolate on top.

  313. I just made this for a light Sunday night desert, and it was fabulous! I had to bake mine for about 20 minutes longer than the recipe called for, but the results were so good. I can’t wait to try it cold for breakfast!

  314. Ellie

    I made this cake over the weekend for my family. I’m relatively new to baking and have had several mishaps where things have caught fire, tasted like salt instead of sugar etc. But this was foolproof and oh so impressive! Thanks Deb!

  315. AM

    I made this last night. The cake is very sweet (I used sour and not sweet apples). The texture is nice, but I would definitely add last than 200 g of sugar (150-100 g maybe). I am surprised, because the other cakes that I made from you were not overly sweet (your recipes are always a great hit). Maybe in your recipes you can write when cakes come out very sweet, so that people have the option of lowering the amount of sugar. Otherwise this is a nice variation of an apple cake (very moist/soggy).

  316. Bob

    Outstanding recipe! We have made the cake twice with rave reviews. Has a real European character. Nice to find a tasty recipe without so many unhealthy ingredients!

  317. Jackie

    Deb- I don’t see any parchment paper lining your springform in the pics. Is this fiddly step necessary if you have a non-stick pan?
    p.s. Thanks for bringing my two favorite things together- food and humor.

    1. deb

      Jackie — I did line the pan. (I don’t show all photos; just the ones I like!) I wouldn’t skip it because you never want to find out the hard way that you wish you had. Plus, with no butter in this cake I could imagine that if it stuck, it would really be stuck.

  318. I made this over the weekend and I thought it turned out great. I did bake an extra ten minutes to ensure it would be done all the way through and it was perfect golden on the outside and moist on the inside. I do wish I hadn’t leveled the top in order to get peaks of apple like in your photo. I think I’ll reserve some apple bits next time to finish off on top once I’ve squished the batter in. Thanks!

  319. Karen

    Hi,
    Was I happy to see a recipe that use lots of apples and lots of eggs, considering I have a small orchard and 12 chickens! I made it and mixed the apples with the batter first and did not use parchment (because I did not have any) and there was no sticking. However, consisitancy was spongey and I think it could have used some cinnamon. I used macintosh apples beacuse that is what my orchard grows and I have stored in the cellar, but I think that is what contributed to the spongey. I would like to try it with cinnamon and a crispy granny smith.

  320. sharon

    My mom made this last weekend and it was a big hit at our family dinner! So simple and so good. Even though it’s quite dense, it doesn’t have the rich heaviness of more elaborate cakes, so it’s actually a nice “light” end to a meal.

  321. I found that MacIntoshes work well in baking recipes; also I agree that the apples seem to need some cinnamon and a touch of sugar, perhaps. I’ll try this weekend!

  322. Ronit

    I just made this cake for guests today and the responses were amazing. Everyone who tried it asked for the recipe (which was very easy to remember…).
    I am always on the lookout for easy recipes and apple cakes are always in demand at my house (I make alot of easy apple strudels).
    This recipe is definitely a keeper.
    From one busy mom to another – thanks!

  323. Sandra B

    I was testing mine after the hour’s baking time and it was still a bit gummy at the very bottom. So while it got another 10 minutes in the oven I zoomed through the comments looking (and finding) others who got the meringue on top like I did! Deb, you’re right, it doesn’t in any way harm things that I ended up with a little meringue bottom on mine. It did, even after another 10 minutes, seem to have wanted another 5 or so, as it seemed a smidge gummy in the middle still. Nonetheless, quite delicious!!

  324. SaraQ

    Deb, the only apple corer peeler slicer that works is the one from L.L. Bean. We’ve had it in my house for over 20 years and it works like a charm every time. When I got married I bought one from Williams Sonoma and it just didn’t work the same, in fact, I also, felt like you, and wanted to throw it out.

  325. Made this last night and it was great! I was trying to cook it with dinner at the same time, so I had the temp a bit higher. Made for a crusty top, which was yummy, but probably not quite right. Still great though! Thanks!

  326. Anna

    I made this for my birthday a couple weeks ago, doubled the recipe though, and it was a huge hit! I ended up covering it in a thick creamy caramel sauce that wasn’t too sweet and by the end of the night I think there was only one small piece left.

  327. Erin

    This was incredible! I made it for a dinner party in my 9-inch springform and it came out great. I’m going to try to scale down the recipe to fit in my new mini-springform pan so that I can bake this even when I’m not entertaining. Thanks for another great recipe!

  328. Audrey

    I lived in Russia for a year in college, and we made Sharlotka at least once a week (this exact recipe in fact). My host mother claimed that she learned it from her Ukrainian mother-in-law. Thanks so much for reminding me of a taste that will always bring me back to that wonderful time and place.

  329. Holly

    I’ve never heard of this before, but I have a six year old named Charlotte and our last name is Russian, so of course we had to try it. It ended up being a hit – Charlotte and I ended up eating it for dessert, breakfast and snack over the course of about 20 hours. Definitely a hit.

  330. I made this cake exactly according to the recipe and it is delicious with, as Deb suggested, lightly sweetened whipped cream. It is very moist and spongy, and the light brown crust that forms on top makes it a little dicey to slice neatly. But it’s a good, simple, tasty recipe that I’ll certainly make again. Next time I’m going to bake it in a souffle dish and scoop it out to serve it like a trifle.

    By itself it is very fruity and light; it’s not all that fattening, considering that it has no milk, butter, or oil. My quick calculation showed that it’s only about 263 calories per serving if a serving is one-eighth of a cake.

    Anyway, it disappeared within hours of coming out of the oven. I like “Mom’s Apple Cake” on this blog better, but the latter is much more complicated, more fattening, so the Sharlotka is a great alternative.

  331. Agnieszka

    Hi there. That szarlotka looks absolutely delicious, and it it’s a much simpler that my mum’s version. It resembles somewhat an apple cake made by a Dutch friend of mine.
    Referring to a comment made above, the word szarlotka originates in French. The cake itself I don’t know, but as apples grow both in Russia and Poland I take it, both countries come up with the recipe of a cake involving apples independently. But it’s just my common sense, not backed up by any research.
    I’ve got a question though, 350 degrees is a lot. That surely can’t be C? Please let me know, as I really feel as spoiling myself with it.
    Just had some baked rice with apples. The captivating aroma of cinnamon still lingers in the kitchen. Not sure if it cooked in Russia as well, But if not, it’s definitely worth trying.

  332. Jackie

    made this today – Sunday, 1/29 – SO nice! I am a family of 1 so I divided it in thirds – 2 apples etc. . .and used a little oval pottery baking dish – voila. . .perfectly lovely.
    I have already sneaked a piece (but who’s looking, right?). Plan to use one of your suggestions for breakfast tomorrow and put a big dollop of vanilla yogurt on top of my a.m. serving. I lined it with parchment paper and didn’t have any problem with sticking. Planning on taking some to work tomorrow for a snack (thanks Meg!).

  333. Jamie

    I made this for a baby brunch with gluten free flour and:
    it worked great, tasted amazing, it’s a beautiful cake and I can serve it at a “meat” meal with my kosher family if I omit the butter on the pan and use oil. I’ve been a little bored with the pareve dessert recipes I have so far.
    There were lots of complements on the cake and questions about where the recipe came from. I think you acquired a few new followers that day.
    Thanks so much.

  334. Louise

    Made this two days ago… there’s already none left.
    Making it again today for friends and family as it is one of the most delicious, simple and easiest dessert ever.
    Thank you sooo much for sharing.

  335. Pam

    I actually did make this today. It took longer than 60 minutes to bake. I baked it for 75 minutes, and could probably have left it even longer. Another commenter said to let it cool completely in the pan and I agree with that. Removing it from the pan after 10 minutes and then trying to flip it onto another rack and then onto a serving platter is only going to cause the sharlotka to break apart. Once it’s cool, the batter would have achieved a stability and become the “glue” that held the apples together and it would be able to flip more easily. I’m still serving it for dinner tonight, but will be serving it more like a baked pudding in a bowl with whipped cream on top as opposed to sliced like a cake or pie. I like the concept and the flavors, but I think there needs to be more clarification on how to finish it once it comes out of the oven.

  336. Nancy B

    This sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to try it. How many cups of chopped apple should go in it? I want mine to turn out tall like yours! Different apple sizes could alter the finished product… Thanks so much!!

  337. Jena

    I made this last weekend for a children’s party for the adults to have instead of birthday cake and all the 5 yr olds were asking for apple cake once they heard the adults going nuts for it! It was delicious and the crunchy top devine. I served mine with agave sweetened whip cream, which also added some fancy to it. All the mom’s asked for the recipe and since I had made some other savory items from your site also for the party, it really was a “smitten kitchen menu” party of links I ended up forwarding. So far everything I’ve made off your site has turned out perfectly and I love that the recipes are so reliable that I don’t have to worry about doing a test run – I just make it day of and so far, all smiles!

  338. I have already made this four times since the recipe was posted. Love everything about it, not least that it is so easy to make and so delicious!
    Thanks for inspiring as always.

  339. Anna

    Hello, just small correction. The name ‘scharlotka’ fonnetically is a typicaly Polish and in fact it is a Polish cake. Comes from French Charlotte and its spelled in Polish.
    No Russian word will have such ending.
    Endeed this recipie in several modification is widely spread in Poland.

    Greetings

  340. Anna

    Cannot correct it my previous statement; just checked its originally – Charlotte after indeed some Tzars relatives (so Russia but in Tzar times) so thats why the name spread in this way but it is actually a modification of Tarte Tatin so – noting else as apple pie :).
    BTw i like v much the authors version of Polish/Jewish pancakes. Ate them lately in Italy that way – really great.

  341. Olessia

    Thank you…thank you…thank you for posting this recipe. I grew up eating freshly baked Sharlotka with sour cherry juice. This was the easiest and the best dessert my mom would always throw together on Sunday. I bake it at least ones a month for my husband. The most interesting thing is that I grew up in Ukraine in a small village but the recipe your mother-in-law gave you is absolutely identical :) Btw I always add Cardamon to mine instead of cinnamon, my husband is from Azerbaijan, where Cardamon is used a lot in baking, it makes Sharlotka an international “apple thing” in my house :))

  342. hi i loved discovering this blog, I’m still in a growth phase and accepted ideas :) thank you and I will become a follower, I love cooking!cooking inspires me and fascinates me!! :)

  343. As an experiment, I made this cake in a buttered 7.5″ souffle dish from which I scooped it out and served it directly while still warm.

    I used 5 Granny Smiths instead of 6, cut the sugar back to 2/3 cup and doubled the vanilla. Before baking I sprinkled the top of the cake with sanding sugar which formed a crisp, sparkly crust on top.

    After 55 minutes at 350 degrees it was done. I dusted the individual servings with a bit of cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar and topped each off with a bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream.

    This dessert is fabulous. The apples hold together and keep their shape, it’s moist and not too sweet. Thank you sooooo much for a real keeper.

  344. Mia

    Too funny. My russian mother-in-law sounds a lot like your russian mother-in-law. I’ve had the sharlotka, the olivier, and I’ve been avoiding the farmer’s cheese for a good 12 years now. Have you had the holadetz? What about a good recipe for chicken-tabak? It’s a chicken cooked under a brick that my husband loves and I’d like to make, but have yet to come up with a reliable, clear recipe.

  345. Green Key

    Last night I did the very thing I always say one should never do: I tried a recipe I’d never made before and served it at a casual dinner party. My gamble paid off: your Apple Sharlotka, adjusted to be gluten free. Recipes like this one – short on flour, long on other ingredients – are good candidates for gluten free conversion. I substituted King Arthur gluten free flour for all-purpose flour, cup for cup. My guests raved about it, and I really enjoyed it, both for dessert last night, and this morning, warmed up and accompanied by a scoop of yogurt. Thanks so much for this great recipe. I’ll make it again and again!

  346. Green Key

    Btw, in reference to a comment above, I had no problem flipping it out of the pan after 10 minutes. I ran a sharp knife around the inside edge, opened and removed the springform ring, placed a wire rack on top, flipped it over, lifted off the pan bottom to which the parchment was conveniently stuck, placed a platter on it, and flipped it back. It wasn’t perfectly centered on the platter, and I made an attempt to move it. I saw that it was too fragile to slide around, so it stayed where it landed, and looked great.

  347. Kristina S

    Fantastic. Made it this past weekend for friends. Added 1/4 teaspoon of salt and replaced vanilla extract with vanilla bean paste. Yum!!! Served the cake with salted caramel sauce drizzled over the top, and a healthy serving of homemade salted caramel ice cream. Outstanding. Thank you for sharing. Will pass on to friends.

  348. Anna

    I made it this weekend and it’s so easy to make and delicious! I would probably cut the sugar in half because I found it to be too sweet (and this is a Russian with a huge sweet tooth!) Otherwise it was perfect! Would be amazing with some fresh whipped cream.

  349. This is the third time I’ve made this. The first time, the batter didn’t move inside the apples, although I tried. Tasted great, and everyone loved it, although it was more like an apple, upside-down sponge cake… the second time things were better, since I shook everything, and fidged the apples around, but NOT perfection… but now, after making the batter, I dumped the apples in, and mixed them around, and placed the whole apple-batter thing to bake… and voila ! Just like your pictures ! LOVE IT

  350. Theresa

    We have made this twice in the last week……..both times, it was gone within 24 hours. The second time we added some chopped walnuts and orange zest and it was great. So easy, so good!

  351. La Piratte

    Ah the childhood memories! My Russian mother tells me that she adds a dollop of sour cream to the batter (for tenderness), and then generously sprinkles chopped walnuts on top.

    You have a lovely, lovely blog – will be trying many of your recipes!

  352. Carolynn

    Wow, I am so glad I found this site! I have some buttermilk chicken marinating in the fridge right now… mmm! Coincidentally, I too am married to a Russian and have a mother-in-law who is a formidable cook (and formidable in general!). I hear you on the lack of motivation to cook Russian, even though it’s delicious. In addition to the fact that her recipes are mostly “a dash of this” or “enough of that to make it look right,” who wants to hear, “Well, it’s ok, but not like my mom’s,” right? This might be the perfect recipe for me to try though, because as far as I know, my mother-in-law never makes this cake, so I can have this one to myself! Plus it looks delicious, and simple!

  353. Denise

    I was curious as to whether the absence of baking powder was a mistake, but decided to stick with the ingredients (except that I added a little nutmeg and cinnamon to the flour). It was delicious and gone in minutes. No baking powder needed. My children and husband loved it. I will be making it again. Thanks for sharing.

  354. Charlie

    I made this and it’s lovely, a completely guilt free dessert – my favourite kind!
    That said I need to ask if I’m missing something with the preparation on this? I tried for a few minutes to manipulate the batter into the apples with little real success, so I dumped the whole thing into a big bowl, mixed it up and replaced it into the baking tin. Is there a reason why this approach wouldn’t be used as the norm, does it change the outcome in some way? Mine – kinda – looks like the picture so I’m just curious really…

    Thanks

  355. Hello, happy Tuesday!

    Just to say thank-you for the recipe – I made it twice in a week, when suffering from a terrible Christmas sugar high. (I think we made more than two hundred yule logs at our bakery – I feel like I ate about hundred for breakfast.)

    Very nice with raspberries, though untraditional. I wrote about it, credited you. Hope that is suitable! http://wp.me/pRIg5-iS

  356. I’m baking it right now :)
    I’ve just made a little variation adding lemon zest into the batter.
    The kitchen smells delicious!!!! I have to wait 20 minutes more before it’s ready……

  357. I always thought that szarlotka is polish. I never would have guessed that it comes from Russia. It is here (in Poland), traditional cake, everyone knows and bakes it

  358. Andrea

    Confession time: I made this tonight and drizzled it with the salted caramel sauce from one of your more recent posts. Absolutely divine!

  359. kim

    Made this for a birthday party, delish. Reminds me of a jewish apple cake, but with a lot less batter and tons more apples. Will make again.

  360. Mark

    Hi there–I made this over the weekend. It was lovely and looked great. My only issue was that it was a little bland–perhaps it needs some more spice? Lemon? Suggestions or ideas would be welcome.

  361. Erin

    seeing as how I have one of these bad boys toasting in the oven and it is the third (third!) time I’ve made it since it was posted, I figured I owed it to comment. this was received the first time to rave reviews from both my husband and I, and upon making it for my brother and niece they have requested its presence at all family gatherings henceforth. the pronouncement that I was making “the apple thing” earlier this evening practically broke into a Jewish chair dance.

    my only variations on it thus far are that I use half brown sugar and half regular, and that I add a heaping tablespoon of chai masala in the vanilla-and-flour phase because I put it in damn near everything. regardless, this might be my favorite recipe on SK, and that’s saying quite a lot. A+++.

  362. Christine

    I made this this past weekend for my mother-in-law for her birthday. It was delicious but I think it was a little underdone in the center, even though I baked it the full time at the given temperature. The top was nicely browned and nicely crackly and crusty around the edges but the bottom was pale when I pulled off the parchment and the middle seemed a little soggy and raw, not cakey and light as it was closer to the edge. We ate almost all of it, with a piece being carried to my sister-in-law in Milwaukee the next day.
    The cake went perfectly with some homemade cinnamon-vanilla gelato adapted from Perfect Light Desserts by David Malgieri and David Joachim.
    Thanks!

  363. Samantha

    I made this cake a couple of weeks ago (I seem to be cooking your recipes at the rate of one a week, since I found your site – I love your site) – and I’m sorry to say that I didn’t completely love it. I didn’t dislike it – no no – rather, this is the best fat-free cake that I have ever tasted, but it wasn’t as quite good as I thought it was going to be from the comments.

    Notes:
    1) I worried that the batter wouldn’t sink between the apple, but in fact it did, very nicely, as it cooked.
    2) I think I undercooked it just a little. The tester came out clean, but there was a not entirely pleasing sogginess at the center of cake.
    3) My top didn’t look like your top. When I poured the batter over the apples, it sat there i.e. I couldn’t see any apple chunks on the top. And I still couldn’t see the chunks when it came out of the oven, rather the top of the cake had formed a crisp, meringue-like surface. Not bad, but I liked the look of yours better. Was my batter too thick?
    4) When I make it again, I might add some cinnamon directly to the batter, for additional flavour.

  364. MN Maya

    I made six of these by now, because they are good no matter what. A couple I made gluten free, and they were slightly under sweetened, so the flour type seems to affect the sweetness? Made four with regular flour. Some had the meringue like top, which I served upside down, letting the crunchy meringue be a bottom ‘crust’. It seems clear the crunchy-meringue-top happens when the egg-sugar mixture is over mixed, which is easy to do when using the electric mixer. When I left the mixer on for many minutes (8-10), even if I pushed the batter in so I could see the top apple layer, the hard meringue layer still formed. I too found cooking the Sharlotkas longer than 60 minutes necessary, especially for the apples to loose their raw crunch (and my over runs hot). Also as others have noted, instructions should say to butter the sides of the pan *generously*. Or, to line the side wall of the pan with parchment too.That produced the most cohesive, best looking Sharlotka. I tried one with unpeeled apples, but we all prefer them peeled.
    They all tasted good no matter what, for breakfast, snack, or dessert. Sure kids, you can have seconds, it is good, and good-for-you! Thanks, Deb.

  365. Leslie

    I made this yesterday for a dinner party. It was fabulous! Everyone loved it. There was not one crumble left. I grew up in an Italian town that was surrounded by Russian villages, a delicious place to grow up, and this really reminded me of home. Thanks for sharing! Love your site.

  366. AllieIsSuperAwesome

    I just made this tonight for dessert and it tasted great! I. too, got a bit of a crunchy “meringue” top, but am skeptical as to the whole “beat the eggs and sugar too much” theory… especially since I don’t have a hand-mixer and must rely on a whisk… and because today was push-up day on my workout program (arms… so… tired…). :)

    But seriously, the cake tasted great AND it made me feel good. Like the kind of ‘I-ate-dessert-and-didn’t-undo-my-healthy-dinner’ good. Thanks! I’ve pinned it for my friends to find! :)

  367. Jordan Riley

    Hmmm… Is there any way to replace the eggs with something else in this? I really want to make it over my Spring Break, but I’ve gone vegan for Lent and I haven’t figured out how to bake without eggs yet. Is this an instance where applesauce would work, or not so much? (Or should I just wait until Easter to make it?)

  368. BSN

    Hi Deb,
    I tried this tonight and it came out nice but I was wondering, is it supposed to be similar to a bread pudding consistency? I beat the eggs and sugar for a minute or so then followed the directions and baked it for 60 mins.
    Thanks! Love your blog!

  369. Erin

    Any other suggestions as to what you can bake this in other than a springform pan? Living in a small apartment, I only have a round stoneware pie dish or square baking dish….

  370. Angela

    I just made this and it is in the oven! You are right, the batter is really thick! It smells lovely and I can’t wait to eat it!

  371. Sam Wibatt

    @Jordan Riley – This may be a tricky recipe to veganize since such a large fraction of the batter is egg. I believe it’s possible, though, and can at least advise you about one thing that *doesn’t* work – I tried substituting 3/4 cup plain soy yogurt for the eggs (nearly all of a 6 oz container of WholeSoy brand.) The batter ended up even thicker than the egg version – I’ve made the recipe as written and it came out fine – the yogurt version is more of a paste and needed to be mixed with the apples and the whole mixture then sculpted into the springform. Then after an hour and a half at 350 it still hadn’t set all the way – it was rubbery and greyish with some unpleasant little white eruptions. I did another 5 minutes at 400 and it still didn’t quite set but had started to scorch.

    So, not like that. I got that idea from this page: http://www.theppk.com/vegan-baking-the-post-punk-kitchen-shows-you-how/ – there are other possibilities there, and you might try the forums at that site for advice, since there are much more experienced vegan bakers than I hanging out there.

    I mean to keep trying – not vegan myself, but I’m sympathetic to it and have friends who are and I like to make treats for them too.

  372. Sam Wibatt

    (BTW – though the yogurt version was a disaster texturally, it tasted fine. It’s just gluey and weird to eat and totally unpresentable.)

  373. Alya

    This was the first thing I learned to make. My mother had these cups that measured the flour and the sugar perfectly. As long as I added egg and apple it was always perfection. Then we moved to America(obv. without the cups),and although I “eyeballed” how much of what to put, it never came out right. Either it didn’t rise enough, or fell too quick… I knew it was the flour to the egg ratio=i read myths (beat eggs counterclockwise), other recipes, but sadly I never recovered the perfect Sharlotka I baked with my mom starting 6yo… Your recipe…was perfect!!!!!!
    Thank you. It was a taste of home. Although I never used that many apples (mainly just on the bottom, so it was more of an “upside down apple pie”) this was perfect!
    Thanks again

  374. I’m Polish. I know what a traditional Szarlotka is supposed to entail. The name intrigued me, as did the idea of no butter.

    Ooooh, so tasty. I possibly went a little overboad on apples, but still, wonderful!

    The dough reminded me of a biszkopt – which, with apples, is also freaking delicious (one of my favorite desserts).

    :D. And now this one too. <3

  375. Lissa

    I thought I would let you know that my Brownie Troop in Ohio researched Russia for their Thinking Day this year. We wanted to pass out a russian treat for those going by our booth. So one of the leaders searched for a fairly simple and delicious russian recipe. Your’s came up as the winner.

    We asked some of the troop moms to make batches of the recipe to pass out. Some of the mom’s used muffin tins while others used cake pans. Both turned out really well!

    Talk about a BIG hit. We had people come around for seconds. We posted the recipe up so people would know where it came from. The girls were really proud to be able to share this along with all of their research on Russia.

    Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  376. Melina

    I wonder if this would work in an 8×8 pyrex dish? I don’t have a springform pan.. It must’ve “walked off” during one of our many moves within the last 6 years. :(

  377. Rebecca

    I’m 21 and a semester away from graduating with a bachelor’s, and all I’ve done for the past 4 years is study French and Russian, and cook (or knit, let’s be honest) in my free time. How happy am I to find this blog. Very. ????? ???????. :)

  378. Meagan

    So, I have been drooling over your recipes & pictures for a while now and finally took the plunge and tried a recipe. This recipe. Boy, am I happy I did.
    Amazing.
    Paired it with Chantilly Cream a commenter rec’d.
    Thank you!

  379. cookie

    I just made this and although I pushed the batter into the apples and I could see them peeking out on top of the batter before baking, the batter never did go down through all the apples as pictured. I think next time I would mix the batter into the apples in a separate bowl, then fill the pan with this mixture. Has anyone else had this problem?

  380. Kitka

    Cinnamon in szarlotka? I don’t think so, it is purely american way to spoil the delicate flavor of apples. Szarlotka is as russian as pizza is american, lol. Or the polish sausage (polska kie?basa) in USA… nothing to do with polish sausage. It is the pride of Polish kitchen, and giving the credit to Russia (which I love) where most russians never even heared of the recipe, is, well, not cool.

  381. fedorukville

    @Cookie – we had the same problem too. My 12 yo daughter was making it and she said she’ll mix the batter and the apples next time. We’re having it for dessert right now and she said she’ll add some nutmeg or cinnamon next time around, then I saw Kitka’s comment above ha-ha. Szarlotka with a twist! :)

  382. Kitka

    fedorukville, add the cinnamon, why not? But then it’s not szarlotka, just another apple cake, american style ;) Nothing wrong with that, only why call it szarlotka (which btw is correct spelling, like pizza not pitsa, right?).
    The recipy itself is all right BUT not enough batter. The apples simply break apart, since there is not enough “glue” holding them together.

  383. Carol

    I finally made this after having it bookmarked for months and I was really happy with it. I have never made a sharlotka/szarlotka so had nothing ‘traditional’ to compare it to and no expectations. I beat the heck out of the eggs and sugar and while the batter was a bit thicker than a regular cake batter, I had no trouble pushing it into the apples. I also used my spatula to do some vertical squishes to drive it down. (I don’t see why a person couldn’t just mix the apples into the batter directly and pour it into the pan other than maybe the apples would tend to settle on the bottom.)

    It had a crunchy meringue top, which was really enjoyable. It may have had something to do with my apples being slightly on the small side. I served it as suggested with some softly whipped cream and dusted with the cinnamon and icing sugar. We didn’t find it too sweet and it was much lighter to eat than you would think at first glance.

    My friend suggested a drizzle of caramel sauce would be nice on it, or maybe some raspberry to contrast the sweetness. I would like to throw some cranberries in there next time too. (traditionalists, I can hear your jaws clenching…lol)

    We had this after a spicy lasagne dinner and I would love to serve it at a brunch.

  384. The Bug

    This was delicious! though a bit sweet for me, so next time i will dial back the sugar and add lemon zest. It also took me 90 minutes to cook and for the last 15 i bumped up the temp to 425, but really i think that was my oven, the center came out a bit under done, almost like a brittish pudding

    BUT everyone liked it and i will be making it again, changing this for my darned temermental oven!

  385. SHELLY

    can anyone have a recipe for fluden(which i think is russian) as I remember it it was a honey nut filling inside 2 cookies.

  386. I really wanted a cake for my birthday this year (the day you published this recipe), but I was in the middle of the woods in Tasmania. I’m so glad it’s finally apple season Down Under so I can make myself this belated birthday cake.

  387. Sveta

    Shelly (#582). I am Russian and there’s no cookie by that name in Russian cuisine.Moreover, I do not think the description fits any of Russian cookie recipe, what made you think it was Russian?

  388. Sveta

    Kitka, historically speaking Sharlotka is a type of pudding (made with bread). The adaptation that became popular in Russia was made by a French cook who made it for Russian Tsar Alexander I and was named “charlotte russe”.

    I do not agree with “where most russians never even heared of the recipe”. In fact, it is widely made in the kitchens of Russian housewives and restaurants alike and recipe is easy to remember.

  389. Mindy

    So I ended up with a bunch of apples. What to do? EUREKA!! I remembered this recipe. I’d been wanting to try it & finally, the opportunity presented itself.

  390. Mindy

    Con’t…..
    So, I baked this cake with 5 very large apples. I think it could have baked 5 more minutes, it tested done out of the oven. However, it was delicious. I sprinkled the cinnamon then powdered sugar atop. It was very yummy. Love the fact that this recipe has no added fat in it.
    I met a russian couple at work the next day & told them about the cake I baked. I wanted to know the correct pronunciation of Sharlotka. They were delighted to hear about their Russian cake. In fact, the lady said how she had forgotten about this cake, and now she wanted to make it. Nice story. Thanks Deb….keep em coming.

  391. Ceinwenn

    I just made this today & I only have a 10″ springform pan, so that’s what I used. I would say that I had to double the recipe – I used 11 large baking apples & doubled the batter. Unfortunately, even after more than 2 hours in the oven the batter wasn’t completely cooked in the centre.

    I’m not sure if it’s because the apples were too wet (they were Braeburn, which are sold as cooking apples here in the UK), but we cut it & ate it anyway & it was gorgeous!!

  392. Ceinwenn

    Shelly (# 582), google Ashkenazic Jewish pastry & it’ll bring up lots of recipies. It is, as you say, a Russian treat. It’s from Eastern Europe & definitely from Russia!

  393. Julia

    HI, Guys;
    Bad news it’s not Russian Sharlotka, may be Jewish. Russian are making slised white bread and apples one. This one maybe great but it’s not A la Russe :)

  394. Nadia

    I made this a couple of days ago and it was a hit with the family. I just found it too sweet for my tastes. Next time I’ll cut the sugar back to about 2/3 cup. Then it will be perfect with ice cream.

  395. Carrie

    Just made this today. It tastes delicious, but I think the batter didn’t make it all the way to the bottom of the pan like I thought it had. It kind of flopped a bit when I removed it from the spring form. Next time I think I’ll try adding the apples and batter in layers to make sure everything gets mixed together right. I also added 1/2 tsp of cardamom to the batter, which tastes great.

  396. Luba

    Hi! This looks amazing .. could gala apples be used in stead of granny smith? I have a lot of Gala apples and this would be a perfect way to use them up :)

  397. munching mochi

    Deb, we went apple picking this weekend, and came back with WAAAAY too many apples. Luckily, I knew just what to do with them! My apple sharlotka is in the oven, and my goodness, the whole apartment just smells DELICIOUS! Hope it turns out well–thank you for the recipe!

  398. Astheart

    Russian or Polish – no difference if you keep in mind that for several centuries those countries had the same history. I am Czech and living close to the Polish border know it as well. You can use any apples that don´t look good enough to be eaten fresh. And it works with pears too! Some people use some rising agent; well, you can if you feel like or you´re afraid the dough will be too dense. But if you whisk eggs properly to have them foamy and fluffy, there´s no need for it. I never use any rising agent and the dough is soft, not like pancakes.

  399. L

    This looks amazing, and the perfect way to use up some of the giant bag of apples I bought. The only thing is, I don’t have a round cake pan. Would I need to alter the proportions at all to bake it in a square 8×8 brownie pan? Or could I make mini sharlotkas in a muffin tin? Thanks!

  400. Thalia

    Just made this. I agree with others that the batter sat too much on top to give me a crust – next time I will mix batter and apples before it goes in the pan. I also found it too sweet which I was surprised by – I used a mix of old English apples specially chosen to be crisp and sharp (dalice, bleinheim orange). And it was horribly damp on the bottom even when skewer came out dry, so much so that I put it back in the oven, damp side up, for 10 mins.

    On average i’d give my version a B+.

  401. Lady Saffron

    I just made this tonight after receiving 20# of apples from my CSA. I was nervous about the apple to batter ratio, but it came out beautifully. I baked it for exactly 1 hour and the apples were perfectly al dente. There was an amazing crust on the top and the inside was soft and tender. I ate it right out of the oven so I am looking forward to how it is cooled. I added ground ginger and cinnamon to the batter and then topped the finished cake with more cinnamon and powdered sugar. Absolutely divine. Thanks for a delicious, easy, and beautiful fall cake.

  402. Teena

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was terrific!!!
    I too wondered about the batter to apples ratio but followed the directions and encouraged the batter to drip down among the apples by pushing on it, then picked it up and kind of shook the pan from side to side. I then let it sit on the counter for just a couple of minutes before putting it in the oven to give the batter time to work around the apples. I was truly amazed how the batter, as it warmed, mingled among the apple pieces.
    My only problem was that my springform pan started to leak so I put it on a cookie sheet, then it took 1&1/2 hours to bake. Even with the additional baking time it turned out. Super moist.

    We had a few teenagers from our church over for dinner last night & were supposed to feed them food from Russia. We’ve done this before and the children aren’t always thrilled with the Borscht and Rye bread so I though a nice dessert would be good. My daughter-in-law and son spent some time living in Russia. She suggested a Russian Apple Cake but didn’t get me the recipe in time. Thank heaven for the internet.
    The children loved the Sharlotka and asked for seconds. They all ate the borscht and rye bread but not as enthusiastically.
    Thanks again it was a hit! I’m now planning on making this for Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s.

  403. Eve

    Just made this and it’s fantastic!! This cake is for serious apple lovers!! I ended up mixing the batter and apples in the springform pan to make sure it made it all the way to the bottom. Lovely crunch on the top.

  404. Rebecca

    I’m so glad that you posted this recipe! I studied abroad in Moscow and my host mom used to make this, only with the addition of raisins. Strangely enough, they just ate the dish for breakfast instead of dessert… and always with a healthy dollop of smetana!

  405. i love recipes in which i have all the ingredients! love the sponge like cake! i had a little batter that wouldn’t fit in the pan so i was able to make a couple cupcakes too! o happy day :D

  406. Anya

    I grew up eating sharlotka in Belarus. I lost my mom’s recipe and ended up using yours thinking that it is the same. Well, it came out like a flat pancake. It was awful! I realized after it was in the oven that your recipe didnt call for baking soda, which is a very important ingredient!

  407. Barbara

    I made this today, in less than 30 minutes, and I will make it again and again and again. So delicious, and light, and perfect! I highly recommend this recipe!

  408. Jean

    I wanted to make this to bring into work, but some of the comments made me nervous. So I did tweak this a little bit. I made this with 6 medium sized granny smith apples (it was what was in the Trader Joe’s package). I used a food processor to sliced the apples thinner. I beat the eggs by themselves first to get them really fluffy and then put in the sugar. I did get the ribbons as the recipe called for. I buttered the parchment really well and I had the parchment go up the sides so I could just lift the cake out after baking. I first put in half the batter then the apples. I finished with the other half of the batter on top of the apples and tried to squish them down. I baked it until the tooth pick came out clean and the top was nicely browned (though not as nice the the picture above). This took about 75 mins. I lifted it out after about 10-15 mins. after cooling. THe sides held, but the cake was not as high as the picture. Maybe it was because I used medium sized apples, not large. So then I took out a slice out (sorry coworkers :-) The middle was cooked and all the apples were cooked as well. The texture did remind me somewhat of a bread pudding, but not really. It turned out really well! I could easily eat this plain, but the cinnamon and the powdered sugar will to on top soon. Thanks!

  409. I have never been great at following instructions of any kind and when it comes to recipes, I tend to feel that most could use at least a little bit of improving. This past spring, in the midst of a frantic search for a reliable rhubarb recipe, I stumbled across your brilliant site and it turned my whole world upside down. Instead of referencing five different cookbooks every time I want to bake a pie, I now go straight to you, because your recipes simply trump the rest. I admit, there are times when I simply must color outside the lines, but my originality rarely results in a better final product and I should know better than to mess with perfection.
    You are great and your blog is great. Thank you so much Deb.

  410. I can’t wait to try this! I’m making beef borscht for Christmas eve dinner and this will be a perfect dessert to go with it! The best part is that it has no dairy, which I can’t eat (I’ll use a substitute to grease my pan). I’m also going to use gluten-free flour since my husband can’t eat gluten. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  411. Perla

    We made this for Thanksgiving day. We follow the instructions and it was great. We accompanied it with whipped cream, so yummy!
    Having that said, the day after was much more delicious… so next time we’ll prepare it in advance :)

  412. Diane

    I made this for Thanksgiving. It was one of the ugliest cakes I’ve ever made – it was lopsided and I was almost embarrassed to serve it. Turned out to be delicious and everyone loved it.

  413. Jenny S.

    This cake sounds so delicious! I’m wondering if I could fold the apples into the batter and then put it in the pan so it the batter encloses all the apples?

  414. Harvey

    So, for some reason my only springform pan is a 10-inch model. I increased everything by a third, lowered the temperature slightly, and cooked it a bit longer. It’s one of the best and simplest deserts I’ve ever baked.

    Bonus, I had a little too much of the batter, but I put it in anyway. The extra formed a thin cookie-like layer on top that was quite good.

    Too bad half of this lovely dessert is gone already.

  415. I’m making this tonight for a dinner party… the hubs asked for apple cobbler and of course, I turned to you looking for inspiration. And, voila! Thanks as always for your fantastic food and genuine voice.

  416. pam

    oh…i just remembered how much i love this cake. it’s so perfectly simple after the decadence of the holidays. time to make it again. :-)

  417. Melissa

    I have made this recipe twice, and it’s a dessert-ish recipe that I don’t feel guilty eating. I made it this weekend, and my local market was actually OUT of granny smith apples. However, they had these golden crisp apples that I used and it was even better with those. I probably would have reduced the sugar a little, as they were a bit sweeter, but the golden crisps were perfect!

  418. Irina

    I’m making this again right now. The pie is in the oven and th aroma is heavenly. Thank you very much for sharing. Your pictures are amazing.

  419. Matthew

    I just found your site today. I was Googling Coffee Cheesecake and found your recipe for your cappuccino fudge cheesecake. I work at an apple orchard in Indiana, so I’ll have to try this one out…I love cheesecake (I just took a Raspberry Cheesecake out of the oven) so I’ll have to make your cappuccino fudge cheesecake too.

  420. My wife is from Russia and she makes this nearly every week. Sometimes she adds bananas and oranges to the recipe too. She also uses either Kefir or Sour Cream in her version of the recipe. It is very tasty and moist. She usually uses Gala apples or red delicious apples.

  421. cassandra

    Successfully veganized for my egg- and dairy-allergic daughter: substituting 1 cup vanilla soy yogurt for the eggs, and adding 1/4 veg oil, 2T potato starch and 2T baking soda/lemon. Mixed the batter with the apples before pouring them altogether into the pan and baked for 50 minutes–delicious.

  422. I made this the other day and it’s almost gone. Did mention that I live alone? I loved it so much that I had to blog about it! Since I’m lazy, I didn’t bother with peeling the apples and it still turned out great. I like to think it made it healthier as well and cannot be convinced otherwise. I’m considering trying it with asian pears at some point too. Thanks for the recipe!

  423. My friend just sent me your link for the Sharlotka! It looks fabulous! I absolutely Love Russian food. My husband and I spent time in the Russian Far East several years ago with a sister congregation of the church I was working at during that time. They were incredible people (we still stay in touch!) and the food- oy! Gulpsays (I have no idea how to spell that in English- the stuffed cabbages) and the wild-mushrooms-that-grow-under-birch-trees sauteed and served with mayo and sour cream. The smoked fish from Baikal, and the freshly made caviar..It’s a trip I will never forget. While I’m celiac, I think this would be an easy recipe to adapt- and those apples! I’m all over dessert any time of year!

  424. Heather

    I made this recipe a few months back and it turned out exactly like your pictures! In fact, I took a serious of pictures exactly like yours and the cake looks exactly the same at all stages of preparation/completion. I thought it was delicious as did my guests but felt it needed just a dash more spice to it. However, I’ve now read it’s better after it sits for a day or so and, as I was planning on making it Saturday for guests, I’ll make it Friday night instead and see how it compares. Thanks for the great recipe from a huge apple dessert fan!

  425. Mary Beth

    Made this for Easter brunch. A lovely dessert that reminds me of something called Ozark Pudding that I grew up with in Missouri. Just a touch of Snowville Creamery whipped cream (a local Ohio dairy) was all it needed.

  426. Annette

    Needed a simple dessert for the family tonight so searched for apples on your website. Your Apple Sharlotka was the winner. I love anything with apples and this turned out beautifully. I made it with gluten-free flour as I have 2 coeliacs in the house. We all loved it, delicious and so quick to make (I have the apple peeler/corer which made it easy) Definitely one to keep. My husband kept checking…are you sure it’s gluten free?

  427. WifeToAnAmazingCook

    This was simply delicious! I made it yesterday for my youngest daughter’s second birthday and it was a huge hit. I love how few and basic the ingredients are, yet when added together they exceed the sum of their parts. And a bonus that it reminds my husband of the Apple Cake his Polish neighbor made for him as a child (her’s was definitely more of cake, but used Granny Smith apples and just a few ingredients as well). Thanks for a great recipe and a trip down memory lane!

  428. Creating well-thought recipes can be a chore, but this one has indeed been made with a great effort. I was recommended this website by a friend. I am not sure whether this would be really interesting, but I’m sure this is really informative to share among my colleagues. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  429. Louise K.

    This recipe looks great & I plan to try it. I lost an apple tree last week in a wind storm and have loads of unripe (just turning red) Red Delicious apples, which I think would work in this. I have loads of apples to use up….Do you think this recipe would freeze well?
    I’m heartbroken…the tree was beautiful. We’re leaving it as it fell for a few weeks to see if the remaining apples will ripen up a bit.

  430. Lisa K.

    Just made it for my Russian husband and he said it was as good as his grandma’s Sharlotka (she used to make it for breakfast?? – that’s according to my husband – when he was a little boy growing up in Siberia). Thank you so much for the recipe!!!

  431. Shelly

    I made this cake today…it did not really brown in the 60 minutes I baked it, but I did not want to bake it any longer. I believe I had waaaaay to many apples for this recipe. I wish, instead of saying “6 large apples”, you would have told us how many cups of chopped apples to use. I had to switch from my springform tin to a cake tin that was 3 inches deep to hold all my apples. I have not tasted the cake yet, but it looks delicious, and I did not have any trouble removing it from the tin. Thank you so much for this recipe

  432. elise

    I made this for a get together and everyone loved it! I think I may try to add cinnamon to the batter next time, just putting it on top wasn’t enough for me, but then again I’m a cinnamon fiend!!

  433. Michelle

    Just made this for a family get together, it was a big hit! Light and tasty, I too will add more cinnamon next time. I also wasn’t sure how long to beat the batter…that would be great to know! I didn’t see “ribbons” so just beat it a couple of minutes at med high speed and it turned out great.

  434. Cathy

    I just made this tonight and it turned out amazing! I followed the recipe exactly and made sure to push the batter down in between the slices. It was ready in exactly 55 minutes and has a beautiful golden brown crust and top! It’s such a superb cake! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  435. Duska

    Hi, I am makin sharlotka (again) as we “speak” :)…. My kids love it and it is so simple to make. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  436. Kasia

    I love this recipe but have a question… I’ve made it 3 times now and though I love the simplicity and flavor, each time the bottom is quite mushy and soft. I ensure the temp of my oven is right on, use all the same ingredients…it rises but maybe not quite as high as pictured, it’s crispy and delicious except the bottom. The bottom is so mushy that it’s virtually impossible to flip over to remove the parchment and then once I attempt the flip back, it smashes down to about an inch in thickness….help! I want this to be my go to cake but simply can’t get it to come out like yours. Would love your feedback. Thanks!

  437. I just made two of these, one almost as written ( I added just a touch of molasses), and another one with a gluten free flour mix I’ve concocted. Both came out beautifully and now my house smells amazing! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  438. Suzanne

    Whipped this up for Sunday dinner when we had a surprise guest. Came out beautifully…love that it is not an overly sweet dessert. Lovely vanilla and apple…(sigh).

  439. Fredda

    This is the 4th apple cake recipe I’ve made in the past 2 weeks, in search of a Thanksgiving dessert. YAY!!!!! This is the ONE! My one question/comment is that the apples don’t seem to be cooked enough. There’s still a lot of crunch to them. I think I chopped them into the required size. Are they supposed to still have that crunch?

  440. I made this for a birthday and it cake out amazing! My family raved. It was really beautiful, just like your photos. I added some cardamom and cinnamon to the batter. I used 6 granny smiths and baked it in a 10″ springform pan. The apples caramelized and the scent was wonderful. It was kind of like a giant thick pancake. I love getting out my apple machine for recipes like this. It cores, peels, and slices the apples for me. The apple skin comes off in one long skinny ribbon, so I surrounded my cake with a swirl of beautiful green ribbons, with a little ribbon bunch in the center of the cake too. It was really pretty. The cake was easy to make too. Thanks for another great recipe. This one is a keeper.

  441. Fredda

    I made this for a big family Thanksgiving dinner. I’m always the one who brings a home baked dessert. Something really simple, like a bundt cake. It was such a hit that there wasn’t even one piece left for me to take home!!! I got rave reviews from some really picky people.
    I followed some other reviewers and mixed the apples into the batter. Much easier than the steps in the recipe (which I tried the week before as a trial run). Very time consuming but worth it. This is a GLORIOUS dessert. I even impressed myself!!

  442. Hi Deb, just wondering if I make this two days in advance for a potluck, will it hold up for two days? I’m going to a potluck on Saturday that’s out of town and needs something that can be easily transported as well, I’m hoping this is it!

  443. Natasha

    I am Russian. I’ve been making this cake since a little girl, first with my mother, then by myself. It was the simplest thing ever… Then for absolutely no reason it stopped coming out the way it used to be. I like the top soft and golden brown, and I don’t like when it’s crusty merengue-like. For years it always come out soft, and then I start getting crusty top often, and last few years it’s only that way. I saw your recipe with the wonderful pictures, saw that your cake is so perfect, that I decide to make it precisely following your instructions. It is crusty again! Do you have any suggestions? I already tried to change the temperature, to move the cake lower or higher in the oven, mix sugar and eggs more and less, but nothing helps. What am I doing wrong? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  444. deb

    Hi Natasha — Did you beat the eggs a lot or a little? I’m thinking in hindsight that it might be happening when people beat the eggs a lot, or if there is much less apples than batter.

  445. Natasha

    Hi Deb, this time I beat the eggs with sugar more as I followed your instructions, but usually i beat less just to get eggs and sugar together. The results are the same- crust on the top. May be I need to use courser flour or more of it? That’s very frustrating! For years it was foolproof recipe for me…. You cake looks absolutely perfect! When it comes to number of apples, I always use 3 large Granny Smith, but this time I followed your recipe and put 6. I didn’t peel them though, as I never do. But I don’t think it matters. BTW, when it is season, try with roman plums(small oval kind). It is actually better if they firm and may be little unripe. Cut them in half lengthwise and use the amount similar to 3 large apples. They turn beautiful red plum color as they cook and sharlotka is very delicious!

  446. Nivia

    Made it last night; it was so so delicious! Thank you for letting me try out all these Russian foods that I keep hearing about from my boyfriend without actually having to go to Russia. He kept claiming they did not have the same type of apples in the US that the Sharlotka is usually made out of, so I came to your blog; apparently the Granny Smith has the right amount of tartness! :) It tasted even better today. I only had a 7” spring-form pan, so I halved the recipe, but ended up with way more apples than batter; I saw later in the comments that I should have used 2/3 cup of flour/sugar for the 2 eggs that I used. Regardless, it was fantastic! Will definitely be making it again for the remaining apples I have sitting in my fridge! Thanks again.

  447. Nivia

    Also, have you ever made Syrniki (the farmer’s cheese fried pancake things?); I would love to see your take on it! I tried it a couple of times; the first time was nice, gooey middle and fried outside, but the second time was slightly harder/denser. Not sure how it is supposed to be, but I definitely preferred the first attempt! Perhaps my farmer’s cheese had dried out a bit… Cheers!

  448. I made this for Pi day today. It was delicious! Creamy inside, but cake-y on the outside! I was one apple short, so I added about a cup of berries from the freezer. That was a great choice and gave the sharlotka a little color. Two thumbs up!!

  449. Bebe W

    Hi, I just made this cake yesterday and it came out cakey on top but pudding-like at the bottom. Is this the correct texture for this recipe? This is my first time trying an Apple Sharlotka so i don’t know how it should taste like.

  450. DV

    Made this yesterday to rave reviews. Light, not sweet and quite delicious. I used an offset spatula to coax the batter down into the apples and it cooked beautifully. I dusted the cooled cake with powdered sugar and it looked beautiful. I might cut the apples thinner next time because they were crunchy after 55 minutes of baking but everyone else thought the cake was a huge hit.

  451. Natalia

    this looks like a lovely easy dessert, well presented and no doubt delicious;yet it can not be called a traditional Russian Sharlotka as mentioned by some natives of the Motherland.
    it certainly has always been a “ingredient-poor soviet days dessert” made in every kitchen all over the country and known/cherished by all of us who grew up eating it.
    Perhaps it SHOULD be labeled SOVIET sharlotka, but it is made with crust free white bread pieces (a.k.a baton) that has been soaked in milk/cream & egg mixture (very much like french toast) packed into a clay pot (a.k.a. gorshok) or any other earth-ware dish in alternate layers with chopped up apples that have been previously sprinkled (well piled really) with powdered sugar. lots of nutmeg and cinnamon of course. If you were lucky to have butter at home, you would shove piece by piece in all of the free/visible parts of that pot and then generously finish off the top of that concoction with you guessed it, MORE POWDERED SUGAR! then it went in moderately heated oven for about 40-45 min and you ate it all while it was still warm!

  452. Laetitia

    I made it today. It collapsed :-( So i have now a mix of apple with some pieces of cake. It is because the apple were too cooked? Or because the cake wasnt cold enough when i took it out of the oven?
    Well, at least, it taste amazing!

  453. Rachel

    I am in Sydney, Australia and discovered this website about a year ago – with much delight! This recipe has become a firm favourite bc it is so easy and always tastes delicious. My mother who is a superb home cook was so impressed she is now a fan too. she was very intrigued by the idea of pouring the batter over the fruit but a true convert now. My daughters are keen too, but not quite as enthused as they were by the caramel brownies!!

  454. Zhenya

    I just made this–I had to use twice as much of all ingredients except apples to fill the springform pan and coat apples. Not sure why–perhaps I put in apples than Deb, but my springform pan looks fairly standard. I halved the volume of would-be-sugar and instead used raw honey, gave it a flowery taste.
    Careful not to overbeat the eggs–if it is too thick, nearing very frothy or meringue, the batter will not drip into the crevices between apple slices.
    Exquisite dessert to the sight, smell, and taste–thanks so much for posting.

  455. Nikita

    So delicious! I had to bake an extra 15-20 minutes and I’d recommend this to people who’ve had soggy results, it’s remain moist but maintinas some strucutral integrity. Mmm, time for more cake.

  456. elaine

    just popped it in the oven with peaches and fresh picked blueberries… going to serve it with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce,, have also made it with cherries with a little almond flavoring, so delicious

  457. Joanne B

    I have made this four times in the past two weeks. And everyone loves it! It’s like an apple pie without the trouble. Thanks for this recipe!

  458. Tatiana

    I want to thank you for this wonderful recepie
    I am from Siberia 20 years ago. In my time sharlotka was little bit apples and a lot of flour, why my husband and my friends was sceptical when I made this first time.
    Right now when we are going to party everybody expect sharlotka from me )
    Most of my friends are Russian.

  459. Valerie

    Hello! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I got my apples from a local orchard and made it with gluten free flour and it turned out great. I was wondering if you really have to butter the parchment paper on the side that touches the apples?

  460. Lee Rosenthal

    This is wonderful. Two questions:

    Can white whole wheat flour be used for any or all of the flour?

    Can this be made and frozen, or will that hurt the texture?

    1. deb

      Lee — I haven’t made this with whole wheat flour, but I don’t recommend starting with a full swap. At most, swap 1/3 to 1/2 to see how it tastes before you swap in more in a future round if you feel it’s going in the right direction. I’ve never frozen this; I’d imagine that once defrosted, the apples would be a little softer but otherwise, I can’t see how it would be harmful.

  461. Lee Rosenthal

    Deb: Thank you. I am a big fan; I own your book and follow this site. One more question, please; can you make this with plums or pears rather than apples?

    Thanks!

  462. Robin D’Ursis

    you dont need my chiming in here..but I wanted you to know that Salat Olivier IS my birthday dinner for the last 35 years. We have to wait for ripe tomatoes and dill..but hey..its delicious.Im going to do your Apple Recipe tonight.Tis the season. If you get this..do you mind sharing your Salat Olivier recipe with me??

  463. Jan Connors

    I made this for dessert for company. It is delicious and everyone enjoyed it! It is time consuming to slice the apples, so I will use my mandoline next time. I agree with one reviewer that it could use less sugar, so will definitely reduce the sugar and add cinnamon to the egg mixture. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  464. JB

    I made this lovely recipe for apple sharlotka, which I found when looking for something appley and simple.

    You didn’t specify how long to beat, and I felt like the ribbons of batter (before adding the flour) weren’t thick enough–more like threads than ribbons. But I think I may have way overbeaten it. The resulting cake tastes great, but the top surface is a thick, VERY crispy layer. So crispy that it was very difficult to cut with a knife, and then to pierce with my fork. Do you think the overbeating of the batter was responsible for this?

  465. Anna

    I loved this recipe, but I think maybe next time I’ll half the sugar, it was a bit too sweet for my taste.

    Also, funny enough, the way sharlotka was made in my (Russian) family was similarly to bread pudding rather with a batter. Need to get details from my mom and try it now. Thanks for the inspiration.

  466. Anna

    Oh and P.S. it was a bit clunky to press the batter into the springform. Next time apples will go into the batter and will be poured into the form. Because of course there’ll be a next time. Many times!

  467. Dasha

    Tastes great, just like I remember from my childhood! I used slightly less sugar because I used 5 apples. The top is a somewhat crunchy and meringue-like but still very easy to slice through. The only adjustment I would make next time is to mix the batter into apples because most of apples stayed at the bottom and it was a little mushy. Kids gobbled it up anyway!

  468. Dan

    I made this in my bubbe’s guglehupf pan with great success, it added about 20 minutes to the baking time, but otherwise was wonderful. Her pan is the old glazed ceramic kind and I was worried about sticking, but no need to have worried, it came out beautifully impressive.

  469. Anne

    Was looking for recipes that could easily be adapted to GF and this really fit the bill. I used a combo of Mutsu and Granny Smith apples. It turned out perfectly! Looked just like the pics you posted and tasted heavenly. I served it with a warm caramel sauce (Ina Garten) on the side for those who wanted some extra sweetness, but I liked it plain. Thanks for the perfect recipe.

  470. Sarah

    I just made this for an after-Thanksgiving event, and it was a big hit. I was in a rush and didn’t have time to get 6 large Granny Smith apples, so I went with what I had: 6 small Honeycrisp apples. The smaller amount of apples meant that it didn’t have the beautiful, craggy top pictured, but since nobody I was serving it to had seen the picture that was okay!

    The cake came out with a crackly, crisp top; a delicate crumb inside; and apple pieces that were cooked but not mushy. I believe the word “delightful” was mentioned twice! I found that after a bunch of heavy Thanksgiving food, this cake with its light sweetness was the perfect touch of dessert. A couple of people also mentioned that it’s a perfect cake to accompany coffee :).

  471. Shelle

    Made this last year and loved it. Trying it again this year only using GF flour for my uncles sake. Praying it turns out fabulous like last year!!

  472. Shelle

    GF worked out. It sank a little and the top was hard but my family devoured it and I had requests to make it for more family events!

  473. Claire

    I made this yesterday evening, for dessert, and served it with lightly sweetened whipped cream! It was delicious, except that so was everything else everyone cooked. So we’ll try the left-overs today, I bet they’ll be just as good.

  474. Lisa

    Made Sharlotka for my husband for Valentines. One of the fondest memories from his childhood in Russia was going to his grandma’s house on Sunday and the smell of a freshly baked Sharlotka. He says his grandma served it plain, accompanied by black tea. This was my 3rd time making Sharlotka, and each time it gets easier and better. What a great, healthy alternative to an apple pie, thank you Smitten Kitchen!

  475. Susan

    I would like to reduce/remove the sugar in the recipe because my family does not like it to be that sweet. Do you recommend adding more flour? Also, when I bake the cake, it stays somewhat gooey in texture, and less like a sponge cake like in your picture. Any recommendations?

  476. deb

    Yes, you can reduce it (although the cake is really not sweet, I promise). No need to adjust any other ingredients. Re, gooeyness, it might have more to do with the apples — perhaps they’re more juicy? You can always keep it in the oven a few minutes longer, just in case.

  477. Lizzy

    I attempted to make this two nights ago. I followed the directions, baked it for the time suggested, let it cool (it looked beautiful, btw), and when I went to cut into it it was completely raw. Not like a little gummy, but liquid batter actually pouring out of the cake as it collapsed on my counter. I had tested the cake before pulling it from the oven and the tester had come out clean, so I was confused by the raw batter deluge. However, not one to be beaten by recipes, I attempted the recipe again the following night. I cooked it for 20+ minutes past the suggested time thinking maybe my oven is off temperature and baking time-wise, and while it was not runny when I cut it, it was very crispy (almost meringue-y and dry) at the top and very gummy and still raw at the bottom. Not sure what I did wrong, but apparently me and this recipe are just destined to be mortal enemies.

  478. Annie

    Stumbled on to this recipe looking for something else – will be making tonight! In answer to the previously posted question – What to do with the apple peels? Why make Apple Peel Rum, of course – found the recipe online one day when I had an abundance of apple peels from making applesauce and hated the thought of wasting them. Found it on Food 52 – the recipe was actually for apple peel bourbon but I had rum on hand and it really worked. Make it any time you have apple peels, drink it over ice with ginger ale and a squeeze of lime or in warm mulled cider. My oh my!

  479. AILUY

    Hi, just stumbled across this recipe. It sound so delicious that I feel it MUST be tonight’s/tomorrows desert. The only issue is that I do not have a springform pan. Can this possibly be made in a different pan? Thank you