Food in Russia: what's hot in a cold country

Sharlotka: 4-Ingredient Russian Cake

Privet, friends.

It’s been quite long since my last post… good for me, because I seem to finally find what I want to blog about. And some post topics as well.

Today I want to share one very simple recipe. Pretty much anyone can do it. It’s easy, quick, and cheap, it even may be called “healthy” (it doesn’t contain any fats except those from egg yolks). Because of all that reasons it became quite trendy in Russia. Especially in the fall, when it’s an apple harvest.

We call it “sharlotka” that means Charlotte Cake. As you will see in my other posts, some names Russian give to dishes sounds like other dishes names, yet they have absolutely nothing in common. As far as I know, traditional Charlotte dessert comes from France and is made of bread (or biscuits) layered with fruit or berry filling, with custard or cream. In Russia it’s a sponge cake made with apples in its classic version.

As opposed to other popular recipes in any culture, this one has quite precise proportions. First, because it has only a few ingredients. Second, because this dough may not come well if you change them. I took this recipe from very popular Russian food blogger Irina Chadeeva (here in her Russian blog).


Trust me on coffee here!

For 1 medium cake you’ll need:

4 eggs

4 tbsp. each white flour and sugar (both heaped)

4 apples (apples for cooking or mildly sour apples are the best choice)

That’s all, right. You don’t need soda or baking powder – eggs will do their work!

  1. Preheat your oven to 180-200 degrees C.
  2. Separate egg whites and put them in one bowl, and egg yolks to another.
  3. Cut apple in halves, remove cores. If you like, peel them, and then chop.
  4. Add 3 tbsp. sugar to yolks and mix well. Add flour and mix again.
  5. Add 1 remaining tbsp. sugar to egg whites and beat them with electric mixer until soft peaks.
  6. Combine two mixes carefully so whipped egg whites don’t sink.
  7. Grease form slightly with whatever you use (butter, oil, spray). Put most of apple chunks there and cover with greatest part of dough. Add remaining apples, then remaining dough.
  8. Put it in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Note: if you want a smaller cake, divide everything by two. The piece on the photo above is a quarter of this smaller one.

Some thoughts on serving.

Of course, in Russia it’s served mostly as a sweet treat with tea. However, I personally prefer coffee. Give it a try. I recently found that if you drink coffee after eating apple (or combine those two any other way) they pair amazingly well, and coffee gets nice apple-y aftertaste.

You can sprinkle this cake with confectioner’s sugar after baking. Or serve it with ice-cream, if you want to get fancy. Some jam works well too. I recommend cranberry or lingonberry jam, they both make a great combo with apples.


3 comments on “Sharlotka: 4-Ingredient Russian Cake

  1. Pingback: Sweet & Sour, Russian Style | healthyhappyhelping

  2. kate
    November 7, 2016

    I made this yesterday and had it with a dark cup of coffee this morning. perfection!

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2013 by in Russian Recipes and tagged , .
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