Szarlotka (Polish apple cake)

This Polish version of an apple cake tastes best when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice.


Szarlotka (Polish apple cake)

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: advanced
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For the dough
  • 450 g / 16 oz plain wheat flour + a little more if the dough is too sticky and for dusting
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 250 g / 8.8 oz of fine sugar
  • 2 tsps of vanilla sugar
  • 250 g / 8.8 oz of cold butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 4 eggs
For the filling
  • 2 kg / 4.41 lb of apples
  • about 6 spoons of fine sugar
  • 2 tsps of vanilla sugar
  • 10 g / 0.4 oz of raisins
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon


  1. Peel the apples and cut them into small cubes. Put the apple pieces in a pot (you don’t need to add any water), add sugar and vanilla sugar, and cook on a small heat. Add raisins and cinnamon and continue cooking until the apples are soft but don’t fall apart.
  2. Sift the flour together with the baking powder onto a work surface, add 3/4 of the sugar, vanilla sugar and butter. With your fingers rub the butter with the flour through your fingers until you have a very crumbly mixture. Add 3 yolks (set the egg whites aside) and 1 whole egg. Knead all the ingredients into a smooth dough and divide into 2 parts. Flatten each part into a thick square, sprinkle with flour and wrap in clear foil. Put in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3.  Roll out one part of the dough and place it in a rectangular baking tray (20x30cm / 8x11inch), lined with baking parchment. Put the baking tray in a fridge. In the meantime whip the 3 egg whites until stiff, then gradually add the rest 1/4 of sugar, constantly beating until the mass is stiff and shiny.
  4. Preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F.  Spread the apple filling in the baking pan and cover with the whipped egg whites. Roll out the other part of the dough and place it on top.
  5. Put in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour (if, while baking, the crust gets too brown put a piece of aluminum foil on top).
  6. Remove from oven and let the cake cool down. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.




  1. Looks delicious, Anna! I am not acquainted with vanilla sugar or perhaps our local stores do not carry it. Any substitutions your would suggest?

    • Hi Joanne, vanilla sugar is often used in European desserts and it’s rather hard to find in American stores. Try to substitute it with a few drops of vanilla extract. I usually have my vanilla sugar sent or brought from Germany or I make it myself. I will make a post soon about how to make your own vanilla sugar. Take care!

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