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Brown Sugar Apple Sharlotka Recipe

This brown sugar apple sharlotka recipe is also known as a Russian sponge cake. Easy to make, this is a comforting dessert with a crackly top!

apple sharlotka recipe

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. 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 too 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!

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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 caramel qualities. 

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 apple sharlotka recipe. Enjoy!

apple sharlotka recipe

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

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Apple Brown Sugar Sharlotka

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  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert


This apple dessert is known as a Russian apple sponge cake. With ts crisp and crackly top, this version is loaded with apples.


Units Scale

4 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)

1 1/2 t fresh lemon juice

1/4 c granulated 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 room temperature large eggs

1/2 t almond or vanilla extract

Butter or canola oil for greasing pan

Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 with rack in middle position.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 6″ springform pan.

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

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

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

Spread the apples in the prepared pan and pour the batter over the apples. Let stand for 5 minutes so the batter sinks in a bit.

Bake for about an hour or until it is golden and crisp on top and a tester inserted comes out clean. Transfeer pan to a rack and let rest for 15 minutes. Now remove sides and transfer to a platter. Dust with powdered sugar.




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Wednesday 19th of November 2014

Beautiful cake! Looks delicious!


Friday 17th of October 2014

I follow on Pinterest.


Friday 17th of October 2014

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

Cheri Savory Spoon

Thursday 16th of October 2014

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


Thursday 16th of October 2014

Damn delicious and comforting apple cake!!!