Russian Apple Cake with Sour Cream: a soft and tender 5-layer cake filled with a sweet and tart apple & sour cream frosting! If you love moist, fork-tender, melt-in-your-mouth cakes & apple desserts, this one’s for you!
Russian Apple Cake with Sour Cream
Hello!! Today I’m here to share with you guys this delicious Russian Apple Cake recipe!
No, ⏤ it’s not Apple Sharlotka (the super popular upside-down apple cake from Russia), this one is an ultra soft layered apple cake with a velvety apple & sour cream frosting!
If you love melt-in-your-mouth cakes & apple desserts, you *HAVE* to try this one! It’s very easy to make & a great baking project for the weekend (don’t let those 5 layers scare you).
Why you’ll love Russian Apple Cake:
- It’s soft & fork-tender!
- Super moist.
- Sweet & tart!
- Easy but fun to make.
- Filled with a delicious apple & sour cream frosting!
- It’s unique ⏤ take a well-deserved break from apple pie!
How do you make Russian Apple Cake?
As usual, the full recipe + instructions will be in the recipe card down below but this is what to expect :).
Since this cake is a bit different from regular “Western cakes”, I’ll also provide step-by-step pictures & more details in the following paragraphs!
- Cook the apples in a skillet over medium heat! Add some water, lemon juice, cinnamon & sugar, then simmer until soft!
- Make the apple frosting: puree the apples until smooth, then add in the vanilla sugar, sour cream, and butter and mix! Chill your apple frosting in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the cake dough: add the flour, baking powder, butter, and sugar to a food processor, then pulse until crumbly. In a separate bowl cream the egg and sugar together, and add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Mix until a dough starts forming. Knead or mix the dough until soft, then wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator to chill!
- Bake the cake layers: divide the dough into 5 equal pieces, roll out each piece into a disc, poke it with a fork and bake, then use a knife to trim the edges off each layer. Save the trimmings, bake them until toasted and grind them into crumbs for later use!
- Assemble the cake: place the first layer on a serving plate, then spoon some of the apple frosting onto the cake and use a spatula to spread it evenly, repeat this process ending the last layer with apple frosting! Press the sides with the reserved cake crumbs. Chill the cake, slice and serve!
How to make the Apple Frosting
The apple flavor is *ALL* in the frosting and this frosting is actually kinda similar to apple butter. So think of apple butter and then add sour cream to it ⏤ sweet, tart & velvety, *SO* good, right?!
To make the apple frosting, peel and dice your apples, add them to a large skillet with the water and simmer, then add in some lemon juice (to keep them from turning brown), sugar, and cinnamon, cover the skillet with a lid & cook for 15-20 minutes or until soft!
Using a food processor or an immersion blender, puree the apples until smooth, then add in the vanilla sugar, butter, and sour cream and mix until smooth! Taste test! This is your apple frosting! Feel free to add more sugar for a sweeter frosting or a few drops of lemon for a tarter frosting!
This frosting is just SO good!!! And I love how you can easily customize it to your own taste by adding more sugar or lemon juice! Don’t forget to chill it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours!
Meanwhile, make the cake layers!
How to make the cake layers
Let’s talk cake layers! This cake is pretty similar to other Russian classics like Medovik or Napoleon tort, this means you’ll make a cake *DOUGH* instead of a cake batter lol!
Making the cake layers is very simple & fun! All you need is (sifted) flour, butter and baking powder. Add your ingredients to a food processor and pulse until a coarse crumb mixture starts to form. Transfer the ingredients to a medium bowl and set aside. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter, a fork, or a grater to do this!
In a small bowl, cream the egg and sugar together! Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a dough starts forming! Knead the dough until soft, then form it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
Divide the chilled dough into 5 equal pieces, use a floured rolling pin to roll out each piece into a disc, poke each disc with a fork to keep it from puffing up in the oven, then bake each layer until golden!
Don’t worry about getting the edges to look pretty because we’ll trim them off and use the trimmings to decorate the sides of the cake!
Using a knife, trim each baked layer into a smaller disc, save the trimmings, bake them until toasted and then use a food processor to grind them into fine crumbs!
How to assemble the cake
Assemble the cake on your favorite flat serving plate or cake stand. Simply place the first cake layer in the center of your plate, then spoon some of the apple frosting onto the center of the cake and use an off-set spatula to spread it evenly!
Alternate layers of cake and frosting ending with a frosting layer! Use a spatula (or your hands) to press the sides of the cake with your reserved crumbs. Chill the finished cake for 3-4 hours or overnight, slice & enjoy!
If you want to decorate the top of your cake, here’s what I used to decorate mine: extra sour cream, sliced apples, cinnamon sticks & walnuts! I like to keep things simple (and easy lol)!
Here she is!!!
HAPPY COOKING LOVES!! I hope you’ll love my Russian Apple Cake With Sour Cream as much as I do!
PS: Please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating ⭐️ if you make it! I LOVE hearing from you! 💘
MORE RUSSIAN DESSERTS YOU’LL LOVE:
- Russian Chocolate Salami Dessert (Shokoladnaya Kolbasa)
- Russian Chocolate Cake Truffles (Shokoladnaya Kartoshka)
- Russian Oladi Recipe With Apples (Russian Pancakes)
- Russian Jam Filled Cookies
Russian Apple Cake with Sour Cream
For the Apple Frosting
- 18 oz (510 g) apples peeled, cored and diced (about 3-4 large apples)
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) water
- 1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp (13 g) vanilla sugar
- 3/4 cups (180 g) sour cream room temperature
- 1/2 stick (55 g) unsalted butter softened
For the Cake Layers
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 stick + 2 tbsp (140 g) unsalted butter cold, diced
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
- Cook the apples. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the diced apples, lemon juice, and water. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add in the sugar and cinnamon and mix. Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the apples have softened. Turn off the heat and allow the apples to cool down a bit before moving onto the next step.
- Make the apple frosting. Using a food processor or an immersion blender, puree the cooked apples until completely smooth. Transfer the pureed apples to a medium bowl, add in the vanilla sugar, sour cream, and butter. Mix until completely smooth. If you get a few lumps in the frosting you can use a food processor or an immersion blender to get rid of them! Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Make the cake layers. Meanwhile, make the cake layers. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, cold butter, and sugar to a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the egg and sugar together until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until a dough starts forming. Knead or mix the dough until combined and smooth, form it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- Bake the cake layers. Preheat the oven to 395 F (200 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the chilled dough into 5 equal pieces. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out each piece into an 8-inch disc (it will be very thin), don't worry about getting the edges to look pretty, you'll trim them off later! Poke each layer with a fork to keep it from puffing up in the oven. Bake each layer for 6-7 minutes or until golden.
- Trim the cake layers. Use a knife to trim each baked layer into a 7-inch disc. I like to use a 7-inch plate or bowl as a guide. Save the trimmings, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them at 395 F (200 C) until brown and toasted (5-10 minutes). Using a food processor, grind the trimmings into fine crumbs and set them aside.
- Assemble the cake. To assemble the cake, place the first layer onto your favorite cake stand or flat serving plate, then spoon 2-3 tbsp of apple frosting onto the center of the cake layer and use an off-set spatula or a butter knife to spread the frosting evenly. Alternate cake layers and frosting ending with a frosting layer. Use any leftover frosting to smooth out the sides of your cake, then press the sides of the cake with the reserved crumbs (you can use the back of a spoon, a spatula, or your hands to do this).
- Chill the cake for 3-4 hours or overnight before slicing & serving! Enjoy! Keep any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.