This beyond simple äppelkaka (Swedish apple cake) is a wonderful fika (coffee break) treat.
The Swedes love the combination of apple and cake. And äppelkaka really does come in a myriad of shapes, thicknesses and sizes here. There really is no right or wrong way to do apple cake in Sweden.
The apples on my tree are slowly thudding to the ground and they’re huge this year. That’s probably thanks to the ridiculously hot summer we’ve been having. I decided to make good use of them.
This particular äppelkaka is made in a rectangle pan because, well, I felt like it really. That’s just how this gal rolls. The same reason applies for why it is gluten free (which could easily be switched to regular flour, if you preferred).
The cake is fairly thin with a crispy outer edge and soft middle. The apples are drenched in cinnamon (that’s a love pairing right there, if ever I’ve known one) with a touch of brown sugar, which allows them a wonderful dark hue when baked.
The cake is finished off with a touch of the ubiquitous pearl sugar, one of Sweden’s favourite ways of completing a cake or bun. You’ll find it liberally sprinkled over many of my recipes such as Märtas Skurna Chokladkakor (Swedish Sliced Chocolate Cookies).
Put it all together and I kid you not, every mouthful is a sublime mixture of crunchy, soft, sweet and fruity.
Although the cake can absolutely be eaten on its own, it is easily transformed into a proper dessert by adding a rich sauce.
I recommend one of Sweden’s favourites: vaniljsås (vanilla sauce). It’s made by cooking egg yolks, sugar and cream together. That said a dollop of vanilla ice-cream (especially on top of a slightly warm cake) would also work like a charm.
- 1 large apple (thinly sliced)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ⅔ cup (150g) butter
- ½ cup (100g) brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 + ¼ cup (150g) gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
- sprinkling of pearl sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 175ºC (350ºF). Grease a rectangle or square springform pan (I used a 28cm x 20cm pan - size doesn't matter too much, you would just need to adjust the baking time).
Cut the apples into thin slices and add to a bowl along with the brown sugar and cinnamon. I use tons of cinnamon so feel free to reduce the amount stated here. Stir until well combined then put to one side.
For the cake: beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar then add the the wet ingredients and stir in. Add the milk and continue to mix until everything is evenly dispersed (the batter will be thick).
Pour into the greased pan and spread the batter out towards the corners. Place the prepared apples in a pretty pattern on top. Sprinkle with pearl sugar.
Bake for around 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm or allow to cool completely. Enjoy.