Thank the Poles or the Russians (there’s some debate on the origin of this dessert), because this might be the easiest cake in the world. Slap some chopped apples into batter and you’ve got a cake that’s 90% apple and 110% delicious. For reference, szarlotka is pronounced “sharlotka.”
I tried to make some salted caramel to drizzle on top of this, but sadly that experiment didn’t work out – my butter and sugar separated and I was never able to recover. Some other time I’ll get that right and share the recipe. Regardless, the final szarlotka as adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe was glorious. And seriously, it’s too easy for you not to try.
The trick with this is getting the batter to distribute through the apples – as you can see, mine didn’t and I think it’s because there just wasn’t enough batter in the original recipe. What I made still tasted amazing, but in the below I’ve double the amount of batter and changed the directions to ensure that your apples will be encased in cake.
Prep time: 15-20 minutes (mostly peeling and slicing apples)
Cook time: 55-60 minutes
- Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
- 6 large, tart apples, such as Granny Smiths
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250 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. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture is thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs. Beat in the vanilla, then stir in the flour with a spoon until just combined (the batter will be very thick). Pour half into the prepared pan.
- Peel, halve and core your apples, then chop them into medium-sized chunks. (I cut each quarter into four “strips” then sliced them into thirds in the other direction.) Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan, pressing them down into the batter.
- Pour the second half of the batter over the apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples. Press down with your spoon to encourage it to seep down through the apples to meet the batter at the bottom. The top should be level.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. Dust generously with powdered sugar and lightly with ground cinnamon.
- Serve warm or cooled.
Did you like this recipe? Like Aching for a Baking on Facebook to get others like it in your news feed!