An apple charlotte sounds really elegant and it can, in fact, be something more stylized. It’s usually molded, meaning it’s prepared in a round mold, sometimes even in a specific Charlotte pan. In a more formal setting, like at a restaurant, you’ll likely experience a more elaborate version of an apple charlotte. Don’t let the elegance of the dish deter you from making it at home! Our version is simple yet still captures the essence of an apple charlotte that we desire: sweetness and deliciousness.
No fancy baking vessels are needed, but a springform pan is handy. If you don’t have one, use a standard 9-inch round pan and follow the same process. As for the apples, you’re not required to use Granny Smiths. We’ve found that Braeburns, Jonagolds, or Honeycrisps are equally as delicious. Granny Smiths are a tart apple but are durable enough for baking, and that initial tartness softens a bit as it bakes. Most folks would agree that baking apples with cinnamon is a must, and we’ve not neglected that detail here, taking it a step further by adding a pinch of ground ginger too. And the brown sugar adds just a hint of that wonderfully rich molasses flavor to the batter.
Warm from the oven, an apple charlotte smells absolutely heavenly. But it needs time to cool in order to remove it safely from the pan. Once cooled, you’ve got some options for decorating, although the apple charlotte as-is would be enough to impress anyone. Top yours with a generous dusting of powdered sugar, or make a fresh batch of whipped cream (yum!). Of course, a scoop of vanilla ice cream is always an option too (wink), the creamy-sweet coolness of ice cream or whipped cream will pair beautifully with the apples. Our version of an apple charlotte might be a little less fancy but it’s no less delicious!
Serves 6-8 1 hour 10 minutes
- 5-6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Optional: powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9-inch round springform pan with cooking spray and line bottom with parchment paper.
- Toss apples with fresh lemon juice and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs with brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add vanilla extract and continue mixing until until just blended.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Pour ⅓ of batter into springform pan. Add apples and fill pan with remaining batter. Top of batter should be even to the top of the apples.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the springform pan for 10-15 minutes. Flip onto a flat surface and release the springform pan. Take off the parchment paper and flip the apple charlotte onto a serving tray.
- Optional: dust top of cake with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.