The Washington Post

Apple Sharlotka

Apple Sharlotka 8.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Washington Post

Oct 21, 2020

This simple, forgiving, one-bowl apple cake comes together quickly and has been a staple in many Russian families for decades. It uses no butter or oil and requires ingredients easily found in most pantries. You can add or swap spices to suit your preference, and while the cake is traditionally served with powdered sugar, a dollop of fresh whipped cream wouldn't be out of place, either.

Storage Notes: Leftover sharlotka may be stored, loosely covered with a tea towel, for up to 2 days. It is best the day it's made.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes one 9-inch cake

  • Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
  • 3 large tart, firm apples, such as Granny Smith or Suncrisp (about 680 grams/1 pound 8 ounces)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for serving


Position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch springform pan, line it with a parchment paper circle, and lightly butter or spray the circle.

Peel, quarter and core the apples. Slice each quarter across into 1/4-inch thick pieces.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and salt on medium-high speed (high speed for handheld mixer) until thick and ribbony, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract and cinnamon.

Using a fine-mesh sieve, gradually sift a third of the flour into the egg mixture, then gently fold with a spatula until just combined and no flour streaks remain. Repeat twice with the remaining flour. The batter will be very thick.

Place half the apples in an even, compact layer on the bottom of the pan. Cover with half the batter and use an offset spatula to spread the batter evenly over the apples. Repeat with the remaining apples and batter. Gently rap the pan a few times against the counter to get rid of air bubbles, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out free of batter and the top of sharlotka is golden brown.

Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then gently run a butter knife around the perimeter of the cake to loosen and carefully remove the sides of the pan. Using a fish spatula, gently transfer the cake to a serving platter and let cool completely.

When ready to serve, dust sharlotka with the powdered sugar and cut into slices.

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Recipe Source

From Olga Massov.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 227

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 2g 3%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 70mg 23%

Sodium: 98mg 4%

Total Carbohydrates: 48g 16%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 33g

Protein: 4g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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