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Russian apple cake with a whisky sauce

This is my favourite apple dessert now – it is divine hot out of the oven with that whisky sauce, and it is super easy to make, where you don’t even need to cook the apples in advance. The trickiest part is slicing up apples really. The idea behind the “Russian sharlotka” is filling the sliced apples with a thick batter, that gives the wonderful texture of a cakey top to soak up the sauce and the beautiful, melting apples below for sweet flavour.

Pictured: Russian apple cake with a whisky sauce

1 tbsp butter
800g, or 5 -6 granny smith apples
2 tbsp lemon juice
200g sugar
4 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
124g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
Icing sugar to serve
Whisky sauce-
100g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
200ml cream
2 tbsp whisky

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Grease a deep-sided 20cm springform tin with the butter.
Peel the apples, cut into quarters, cut out the cores, and thinly slice. Toss in a bowl with the lemon juice and 2 tbsp of the sugar and set aside – the lemon juice will keep the apples from browning from oxidisation- I also like to use a ceramic knife to help prevent this too as steel triggers oxidisation. Use a ceramic or glass bowl for this step too.
Pictured: Sliced apples
Beat the eggs with the remaining sugar and vanilla at high speed for 7 minutes, or until ribbons form on the surface when you lift the beater up. 
Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder and stir together to mix – then add to the batter, folding through gently until just mixed. It will be thick.
Place the apples in the base of the pan evenly – they do not need to be neatly arranged just evenly spread out. Pour the batter over the top, make sure it does not go above the rim – you could make one more small cake with more apple or other fruit in a small rameking if you have extra.
Bake on the middle rack for one hour, until the top is crisp and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then remove the pan sides and transfer the cake to a serving platter – dust with the icing sugar and serve warm or room temperature. Serve with the whisky sauce below and cream or crème fraiche.
Whisky sauce – combine all ingredients in a pan and gently bring to the boil, stirring until smooth, serve in a jug.
To note - I like to store the cake in the fridge but reheat each piece in the oven gently to warm up a little.
Serves 6 - 8