A sharlotka is a great Russian classic. Simple enough that it requires no actual recipe and is filled with any fruits and tons of flavors. This sharlotka is a simple almond and peach cake loaded with fresh juicy peaches and crunchy almonds. Perfect as the last minute dessert when unexpected guests arrive.
In the blink of an eye, the warm Chicago summers I was looking forward to through all of the polar winters, has almost passed us by. And I am sad.
Yes I know, fall is full of vibrant colors and warm soups and football Sundays…but summers are glorious.
Summers are full of lazy pool days, late evening BBQ’s, last minute trips to the lake, outdoor picnics, zoo trips….and the list goes on and on and on…
Another one of those typical summer things is peaches. Golden, ripe and juicy peaches.
Even a bit bruised and beat up they are still gorgeously picturesque.
And the perfect summer peach only exists in the summers (duh).
So before my stash of summer peaches went bad I decided to whip something up.
Enter the sharlotka.
What’s a sharlotka? Well it is the easiest darn cake you will ever whip up! EVER. And it’s gorgeous.
Sharlotka is a Russian cake that is a go-to for Russian grandmothers and mothers alike.
If you had last minute guests dropping by for piping cups of tea (which is a popular occurrence with us Russians) you would whip this up in minutes and have it ready for your guests to munch on alongside their overly filled cups of tea.
Sharlotka, is also my daughter Charlie’s (Charlotte) nickname in Russian. And this dessert makes me think of her. Deliciously sweet and tart at the very same time. The perfect combination to any dessert and to drive any parent crazy 🙂
This is also a Sharlotka 🙂
Such a fancy name as Charlotte makes you think that this is some sort of fancy French dessert.
Which I thought it was. Because there is a fancy and rather complicated, not to mention tedious dessert named Charlotte that I was forced to make in my cakes class in culinary school.
It involved baking homemade lady fingers, slicing apples paper thin, making mousses, gelatins…it was such a royal pain in the arse! Sure it was pretty…but it took 3 hours! Who has time for that!?!
Not me guys…not me.
This is not a Charlotte! This is a sharlotka. This involves one bowl and about 10 minutes of prep time.
…back to our peaches. And actually a few plums as well.
While typically, a sharlotka is made with apples, it can be made with any fruit whatsoever and I chose our glorious summer stone fruit.
So we begin simply by preheating the oven to 350-degrees. And parchmenting (no that’s not a word but it works) and buttering a 9-inch spring foam pan.
I like to place the bottom of the springfoam on top of my parchment paper.
And then I wrap the parchment around the pan and cut around it.
Then go ahead and place the parchment covered bottom into the springpan and butter it up.
Set aside your pan and go ahead and peel and slice your fruit. It doesn’t have to be super pretty.
Place your fruit into the buttered springpan. Now add in your slivered almonds and toss everything lightly so it’s nice mixed.
Oh and don’t forget those yummy little craisens (dry cranberries). They add a super nice burst of tartness to the sharlotka! And I like to add in about 2 tbsp of fresh squeezed orange juice and some orange zest to the mix as well. Toss, toss, toss!
The next part you can do by hand with a whisk or in a mixer. I chose the mixer because I get enough of an arm workout at the gym.
In a bowl, add sugar and eggs. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the eggs and sugar until it gets to the ribbon stage…(about 3 minutes on high)
The ribbon stage means it’s light and yellow and the batter drips like a ribbon when is left to drip…see like this.
Then add in flour and vanilla and allow to mix until everything is just mixed. Then pour over your peaches and plums.
Now we are ready for the oven…
And in about 50 minutes, it will come out of the oven looking like this…
Remove from the springpan (you can keep the bottom of the springpan) and let it rest until cooled.
Once cooled remove springpan bottom and parchment paper.
I was recently taught a new way of slicing cakes and I am going to be so very generous and share it with you 🙂 PLEASE NOTE…I AM AN IDIOT. I should have first flipped OVER the cake so the stickier fruit side was at the top before cutting it.
The cake should be this side up. That’s the side that was covered up by the parchment paper.
First mark with a knife where you will be slicing. Then take a large piece of floss and go across through the cake. It is VERY important that the cake be completely cool prior to slicing. Or else it will get a bit messy.
Please note: This cake has most of the fruit served at the top because I did not mix the fruit into the batter. Traditionally, the fruit is mixed into the cake. If that is the result you are looking for, simply mix the fruit into the batter delicately with a spatula after the flour is combined.
- 6-7 medium fruit such as peaches, plums or of course apples.
- ½ a cup of slivered almonds
- ¼ cup craisens
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Butter for greasing pan
- Powdered sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
- Butter and parchment a 9-inch spring foam pan.
- Set aside your pan and go ahead and peel and slice your fruit. It doesn't have to be super pretty.
- Place your fruit into the buttered springpan. Add in your slivered almonds and toss everything lightly so it's nice mixed.
- Add craisens (dry cranberries).
- And I like to add in about 2 tbsp of fresh squeezed orange juice and 1 tbsp orange zest to the mix as well. Toss, toss, toss!
- The next part you can do by hand with a whisk or in a mixer.
- In a bowl, add sugar and eggs.
- Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the eggs and sugar until it gets to the ribbon stage...(about 3 minutes on high)
- Then add in flour, baking powder and vanilla and allow to mix until everything is just mixed. Then pour over your peaches and plums.
- Now we are ready for the oven...
- And in about 50 minutes, it will come out of the oven looking like this...
- Remove from the springpan (you can keep the bottom of the springpan) and let it rest until cooled.
- Once cooled remove springpan bottom and parchment paper.
- First mark cake with a knife where you will be slicing. Then take a large piece of floss and go across through the cake. It is VERY important that the cake be completely cool prior to slicing. Or else it will get a bit messy. Do so for each mark made in the cake by the knife.
- Now sprinkle with powdered sugar and give yourself a slice!