Did you know that Poland is the largest producer of apples in the European Union and the third-largest in the world? It’s no surprise that apples find their way into all kinds of Polish recipes savory and sweet. I made this Polish apple cake in an effort to use up a bowl of Granny Smith apples. The recipe only took two, but I would not mind making the ciasto jabłkowe again very soon.
The cake is moist as you might expect with an apple cake. It is fragrant with cinnamon and lemon zest complementing the apple. Like most Polish desserts, it’s not overly sweet. Although I was surprised to see a Polish food blogger recommend that you top with a salted caramel sauce.
I think it sounds terrific, and as long as we’re going crazy like that, why not top it all with some whiskey spiked whipped cream. I can assure you it’s also delicious plain.
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Baking your Polish Apple Cake
The recipe calls for an 8 to 10-inch springform pan. I was looking for a tidy way to share our cake with others, so I made 3 small cakes in 7-inch cake pans. I lined the bottom of the pan with parchment and had no trouble removing them from the pan. I didn’t set a timer, but my guess is that my small cakes baked for 35 minutes.
You could also make this in a 9 x 13-inch pan if you prefer, probably for 45 – 50 minutes. When in doubt, you’ll want to have an instant-read thermometer. It’s more accurate than a timer or the toothpick test. If you bake the cake to an internal temp of 195° – 205° (90° – 96° C).
Some refer to szarlotka as Polish apple cake, but in my book, szarlotka is much closer to an apple pie. This is truly a cake with the diced apples evenly mixed into a batter. It’s also truly delicious. The oatmeal and fruit add a nice bit of texture, but it’s still very light and lovely!
It’s just the thing for a bit of fall baking.
PS – this recipe is based on one from the Polish food blog Kwesita Smaku.
A moist Polish Apple Cake with raisins and a hint of cinnamon
- 1 pound Granny Smith apples (400g)
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/8 cups light brown sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup of oil (225 ml)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 7/8 cups flour (275g)
- 1/3 cup raisins (60g)
- 1/3 cup oatmeal (35g)
- Preheat oven to 325° F (160° C). Grease an 8 – 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Peel, core, and finely dice the apples, set aside.
- Add the eggs, brown sugar, and lemon zest to a mixer bowl. Beat for about 5 minutes. The eggs will be fluffy and the sugar will have dissolved. Continue beating and slowly add the oil in a very thin stream, add the honey.
- In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Stir in the raisins to coat them in the flour. Gently fold the flour mixture and the oatmeal into the beaten eggs. Then fold in the diced apples.
- Put the batter in the prepared pan. Bake about 90 minutes for an 8-inch springform pan, 60 minutes for a 10-inch springform pan, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the springform. Cool completely before slicing.
For a tasty change, you can substitute dried cranberries for the raisins.
Keywords: Polish apple cake