Apple coffee cake (Sharlotka)
I was looking near and far for the perfect apple cake recipe; we call it Sharlotka in my country. It is very popular back home, and I’ve tried a few of the recipes before, but still thought they all were missing something. So I decided to look through several recipes and figure out the combination of ingredients that I like.
When it comes to apples, it’s best to choose the ones that are a little sour, like Granny Smith, but you can also use whatever you have on hand in your kitchen. I used young Gala apples here. I didn’t even bother to peel them, as the peel was very tender, but in general it is better to peel the apples. You can slice them or cube them.
I added well-drained cottage cheese, but you can use farmers cheese instead, or omit it altogether. Sometimes I bake this cake with, and sometimes without it, depending on what I crave that particular day. The first photo above is a piece of this apple cake without cheese (and with cranberries just on top), the second photo – with cheese, and two layers of cranberries. As you see, there are several variations, and you are free to choose whatever you like!
Well, now the recipe!
5-7 small apples
2 tsp lemon juice
1 C all-purpose flour
2/3 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 C whole milk plain organic yogurt
3 large eggs
2/3 C well-drained cottage cheese (or farmers cheese), optional
1/4 C coconut oil, at room temperature
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 C dried cranberries (or raisins), optional
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 355 degrees F. Line your baking dish with parchment paper (mine is about 9 1/2 inches in diameter) and spray it with cooking spray.
Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.
Slice apples (although this apple slicer was pretty handy, I had to cut almost each slice in half as they were too thick).
Mix apples with lemon juice to prevent them from oxidizing, add lemon zest, and set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer beat the eggs a little, then slowly start adding the sugar and continue to beat until it becomes light, foamy, and almost doubled in size.
Add yogurt, vanilla, and coconut oil, and carefully fold it into the egg-and-sugar mixture using a rubber spatula.
Sift flour into the mixture and gently fold it in.
Arrange half of the apples on top.
Place cottage cheese (if using) on top of apples, sprinkle with half of the cranberries.
Pour the rest of the dough on top of the apples.
Arrange the rest of the apples, add cinnamon and the other half of the cranberries.
Press very gently on the apples, so they sink into the batter a little.
Bake in an oven preheated to 355 degrees for 50 minutes (check after 40 minutes, as ovens vary).
Let sit for about 10 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!