Apple Cake (Szarlotka)

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The main ingredients of a Polish apple cake is shortcrust pastry, apples and
cinnamon. You can also enhance the taste with an addition of dried fruit or apricot jam.


Crust and top:
3 cups flour
10.6 oz butter (300g)
5.3 oz powdered sugar (150g)
2 egg yolks

Apple filling:
2.2 lb sour apples (1kg)
1/2 – ¾ cup g sugar (100-150g)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla sugar (16g)
Juice from 1 lemon
1 spoon of bread crumbs
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top


Preheat the oven at 180°C – 355°F

Shortbread dough:
Knead the flour, butter, powdered sugar, pinch of salt, and yolks to smooth dough. Recommended using the hook attachment on most mixers, but you could as well use your hands.
Divide the dough into 2/5 and 3/5 parts.
Cover the dough with plastic foil and place it in a fridge for 30 minutes.
Take the bigger part (3/5) and roll out until ¼” or thinner on a silicone baking mat. If you don’t have one, use wrapping foil.
Move the dough onto buttered and flowered rectangular form (around 15 x 13 inches). Make sure to cover the sides of the form as well. Prick the dough with a fork, bake for 15 minutes at 180°C.

Apple filling:
Peel and core the apples, cut them into thin slices (you can also grate them, but then they need to be cooked longer to evaporate more juice) and pour lemon juice over them.
Heat up a frying pan. Spread the sugar on it and melt it to make caramel. Once it starts melting stay close to it since it burns immediately.
If you like you can add 100ml red wine.
Add the apples once you see the caramel turn golden-brown. Add the cinnamon and vanilla sugar.
Cook until most of the liquid evaporates and a rough apple sauce forms.

Prepare the apple cake:
Sprinkle breadcrumbs onto the baked bottom and then spread the apple filling.
Roll out the smaller part of the dough and flip it on top of the apples (This takes some practice; You may end up playing puzzle with the dough. It does not matter, since when it is baked, you need to sprinkle it with powdered sugar). Prick it with a fork.
Bake for around 30 minutes at 180°C – 355°F.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and immediately cut into square pieces because it is easier when the cake is hot. 
You can also avoid the flipping by cutting stripes from the second rolled-out dough. Make a diagonal grid with the stripes and bake as instructed above.



Comments (20)
  • shona court  - apple cake
    had this cake made for me by one of my Polish parents, absolutely delicious! now i've got the recipe am gonna have a go at making it myself. thanks for the recipe!
  • Iga  - Can be a way to a man's heart :)
    Am not very much into baking but since my boyfriend loves cakes, I surprised him by baking szarlotka and he went head over heels in love with it. Since then, he has coaxed me many times into baking it for him :)
  • Julian H  - cups and spoons
    please why do we still use cups and tea spoons? it is such an archaic method of cooking. if we all use grams and kilos the world would be such an easier place.
  • AP
    Yes-both parts should be kept in the fridge for about half hour. It is easier, when they are divided before.
  • ML  - 30 minutes?
    Should I keep both the big and small part of the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes?
  • Marta  - cups?
    Could someone translate this recipe into cups, tsp etc. Who has a scale these days and bothers? Aslo how big of a pan? Much appreciated.
  • AP
    Best is to use rectangular form- 15 x 13 inches. Recipe has been translated into cups as well. Enjoy! (:
  • Sue  - How much vanilla sugar?
    This recipe calls for 1 vanilla sugar. How much is one?
  • AP
    1 vanilla sugar mostly means 1 small pack which is 16 grams.If you live in US you can find it in local European stores, but sometimes Whole Foods or regular grocery store has it as well. Dr. Oetker is the most popular brand. 1 tsp. of regular vanilla concentrate extract is as good as vanilla sugar(: Sorry for confusion-the recipe has been modified. Thanks for visiting us!
  • ChefP  - Love this Szarlotka Recipe
    I have made this several times now. We love it.... I even made one for Christmas this year! Im making one today too.Yummy...
    Thanks for the post!
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