Apple Brown Sugar Sharlotka

October is here and to me that means apples and pumpkins and lots of leaves to rake! I’ve already filled my freezer with tons of applesauce and my fridge is filled with grape, plum and raspberry jams. I still have to make the last of my oregano and basil into pesto and then I might be ready for the chill of winter. But I’m skipping ahead, aren’t I?

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. It allows me to transition not only physically, but mentally, from a time of relative relaxation (think deck sitting in summer) to an urgent, more demanding season. I only have to look at the squirrels to know what they are thinking about. The glory of fall, I believe, is that it allows us to appreciate what is behind us and lets us have some time to get ready for all we still have yet to do.

Enter the apple. Whole Foods want us to think apples. After a bumper crop of apples, and crab apples, it has been hard to get them out of my mind. We’ve had to rake them from our front yard to keep our yard from smelling like a still. This however brings every squirrel and rabbit in the neighborhood, right to our front door. I’m not sure if they get dizzy from eating these apples, but I can tell you that they leave way to many for me to pick up. I finally had to tell Manservant to stop sorting the good apples from the bad, because the freezer was full!


But back to Whole Foods. Yesterday on a rainy, cold, gray day, I ventured out and filled my senses in their produce department. Apples of various varieties from Ela Family Farms, a local grower that produces Jonathans, Galas and Honeycrisps, quickly caught my eye. Other apples of many varieties were also available and all looked so resplendent in shades of green and red, and even yellow. My guess is that each state in the country has their own regional varieties and it would be fun to hear what you can find that I can’t. Besides all the fresh apples, Whole Foods has a wide array of apple recipes and apple products including their apple pies, caramel apples, apple soap, maple, apple and bacon pizza (YUM!), apple soup and others too numerous to mention!

The timing of this all coincided with my receiving the latest Food and Wine issue that features a sharlotka on the last page of the magazine. I had never made one before and loved the idea that a cake could have no butter. Who would have thought? Now the picture I took looks nothing like the one in the magazine, but I’ll wager it tastes better!
I chose to substitute in brown sugar because, not only do I love the taste, I also love its caramelly qualities. Caramelly is a word, right? If not, it should be!

After tasting a bite, Manservant said that it tastes like a professional made it. Well, I’ve spent over thirty some years in the kitchen cooking and baking and cleaning, so I feel that qualifies me as a professional. I have no clue what he meant by this!  This cake does have a meringue like top with a crisp bite to it, so maybe that’s what made him think this. It is filled with lightly sweetened, tender apples, that contain a hint of cinnamon. You will think fall when you make this. You will smell fall when you bake this. You will taste fall when you eat this. Enjoy!


Whole Foods is giving away 1 $25 gift card to help fill your basket.  This is a sponsored post by Whole Foods but all opinions expressed are mine, baby. All mine. This giveaway is easy to enter as long as you live in the US. Giveaway closes on October 31st, 2014. Subscribe if you don’t want to miss the announcement of the winner or tune in on November 3rd  to see if you won!  The winner will be chosen by a Random Number Generator! So now, to enter: (dahdah, dah, dah, de DAH!) Enter once by leaving me a comment and telling me what your favorite apple or apple recipe is. Enter twice by subscribing to This is How I Cook. Enter again by following me on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. 

Apple, Brown Sugar Sharlotka (adapted from Food and Wine)
Time to Make: 30 minutes
Time to Bake: 60 minutes
Makes: 1 6″ cake to serve 6 people who are watching their diet!

4 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced (I used a mandoline, but you can slice them thin)
1 1/2 t fresh lemon juice
1/4 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c plus 1 T flour
1/4 t cinnamon
A few shavings of nutmeg
Pinch of Kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 t almond or vanilla extract
Butter for greasing pan
Powdered Sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottom and sides of a 6″ springform pan with butter.

In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and 1 T of sugar and let stand for about 15 minutes.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl.

In an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the extract, and the remaining sugar at medium high speed, for about 8-10 minutes, until thick and pale yellow, when the beaters are raised.This should form a thick ribbon falling from the beaters. Gently fold in the dry ingredients.

Spread the apples in the prepared springform pan and pour batter over evenly. Let stand for five minutes to allow the batter to sink in a bit.

Bake for about an hour, until it is golden and crisp on top and a cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove sides and transfer to a platter. Dust with sugar. Serve and feel like a professional!

Other Apple Recipes:
German Apple Pancake
Fresh Cranberry and Apple Salad
Halvah Stuffed Baked Apples


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  • Simona
    November 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Beautiful cake! Looks delicious!

  • Elle
    October 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I follow on Pinterest.

  • Elle
    October 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I love homemade apple pie with a crumble on top.
    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    October 16, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Abbie, wow! your sharlotka looks so much better than mine, love that you added brown sugar, bet this was delicious!

  • dentistvschef
    October 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Damn delicious and comforting apple cake!!!

  • DeniseL
    October 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Follow you on Pinterest as deniseleb!
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

  • Heavensangel2387
    October 16, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Following you on Pinterest (heavensangel238)
    faithrains2387 (At) Yahoo (dot) com

  • Heavensangel2387
    October 16, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Subscribed via email to your blog!
    Faithrains2387 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Heavensangel2387
    October 16, 2014 at 4:03 am

    My favorite apple is a granny smith apple!
    Faithrains2387 (At) Yahoo (dot) com

  • Daniela Grimburg
    October 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    There s nothing better than fruits and veggies from your own garden, maybe it's only psychological but it tastes so much better.
    The apples look beautiful, so does the Sharlotka.

  • shannon weber
    October 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    that looks amazing, Abbe! I thought i was appled out due to some apple picking (and coming home with like 30 lbs of apples), but as it turns out, i'm not. Not after seeing this. 🙂

  • Sharon D
    October 15, 2014 at 3:37 am

    This looks beautiful, Abbe. Ooo, I would so love to get a taste!
    Raking leaves was one of the chores I never looked forward to… 😛

    October 15, 2014 at 3:32 am

    If a word means something, then "caramelly is indeed a word because I knew exactly what you meant. This cake sounds delicious, Abbe, hitting all the right notes for this time of year.
    Zia had a large crab apple tree just beyond the back of her home. As beautiful as it was every Spring, the mess it became as Summer wore on — crab apples rotting everywhere and with them countless flies and wasps — her son cut it down last Fall. As empty as that area was in Spring, it was so much nicer the rest of the year.
    As for the contest, I'm following you everywhere — in a good way and not at all stalker-ish. 🙂

  • Holly @
    October 15, 2014 at 2:18 am

    I can never have enough apple desserts and this one is a beauty!!

  • Juliana
    October 15, 2014 at 2:18 am

    This is such a nice and delicious apple desserts…I sure would like a slice of this cake.
    Hope you are having a great week Abbe 😀

  • [email protected]
    October 14, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    There is no Whole Foods nearby, so I'm not entering the giveaway, but this looks SO good – thanks for a great recipe!

  • Ali
    October 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I am a subscriber to your posts!

  • Ali
    October 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I follow you on twitter! @sockmonkeydiva

  • Ali
    October 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    My favorite apple recipe is a good old fashioned Apple Crisp!

  • Winnie
    October 14, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Beautiful and most delicious looking cake!
    My family can't never get enough of apple-cake and I'm sure this one would be a hit on our table 🙂

  • Karen @Baking In A Tornado
    October 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Such a beautiful cake. I love all things apple. And I especially love how the whole house smells when I'm cooking and baking with them. Can't wait to try this for my family.

  • Rose-Marie
    October 14, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    My favorite apple recipe is Sour Cream Apple Cake. It is rich and so good in the fall!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    October 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    This does look delicious (and professional) with that crackly crust! I love apple desserts and one of my favorites is a baked apple dumpling stuffed with fruit and nuts.

  • Sue/the view from great island
    October 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Love this cake, and that crust sounds sooooo good! I'm a huge fan of apple butter, and I think that's my favorite thing to do with apples every fall.

  • Angie Schneider
    October 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    A gooey sweet apple filling and crisp topping..a lovely cake for a Fall afternoon tea break.

  • Daraya Johnson
    October 13, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    I follow you via Pinterest (!

  • DeniseL
    October 14, 2014 at 3:09 am

    I'm an email subscriber too – [email protected]

  • DeniseL
    October 14, 2014 at 3:08 am

    My favorite apple recipe is a Dutch Apple pie with a touch of lemon zest in the crumb and a pinch of cayenne in the filling. De-lish!

  • JC
    October 14, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Follow on Pinterest.

  • JC
    October 14, 2014 at 2:48 am

    I subscribe to This is How I Cook.

  • JC
    October 14, 2014 at 2:48 am

    My favorite is country apple fritter bread.

  • Anna and Liz Recipes
    October 14, 2014 at 12:55 am

    You are a professional- and don't forget that, lol…. anyway this apple Shalotka looks delish! My favorite apple dessert is an great apple crisp with vanilla ice cream on top. YUM!

  • Liz Berg
    October 14, 2014 at 12:34 am

    How did I miss this recipe in Food and Wine? It looks terrific as I love ALL apple desserts. Maybe if I make this I will forget about the hectic season ahead, right?

  • Kitchen Riffs
    October 14, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Fall is my favorite season, too. Partially because I begin craving heartier foods that take more kitchen time to prepare (and when one is in a hurry, too much kitchen time is a bother; but in general it's a lot of fun, and I enjoy it). This does look like a professional made it! Whatever that means. 😉 Frankly, all of us who've cooked for 30+ years probably do quite a few dishes better than a lot of "professionals." 😉

  • Bam's Kitchen
    October 14, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Your apple brown sugar sharlotka looks absolutely stunning and love those layers. Please get the kettle going I will be right over to join you!