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)
  • Alicja  - Sugar
    Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    Hi Alicja,
    powdered, in other words-confectioner's sugar. Caster is not as fine as powdered one.
  • Alicja  - quick question
    Hi, sorry by powdered sugar, do you mean caster sugar?

  • Anonymous
    Hi Edwardine, the butter needs to be at room temperature.
  • Edwardine  - Szarlotka
    Do u melt the butter
  • Ewa
  • Monica
    Easy and delicious. Everyone loved this. Thanks.
  • AP  - Re: Magda and puzzling it all togehter (:
    Hi Magda- sorry to hear you had trouble putting it together. Did you leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes? That allows you to roll it out into larger pieces (usually two or three). If that’s what happened then nothing went wrong-that is just the way you do it. Once puzzles are ready, you do manually build it in. Not the easiest, but the cake always turns out great. Hope yours did as well and you already enjoying it with a cold scoop of ice-cream. Have a Happy Wigilia. (: AP.
  • Magda Thompson  - Pastry disaster
    Help practising this cake for Wigilia the pastry is a nightmare as wont roll out without falling apart so having to manually build it into the cake tin any ideas anyone??
    Thanks Magda
  • 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!
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