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Polish Gluten Free Apple Cake Recipe- Szarlotka Bezglutenowa

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Did you know that apples make up 80 percent of the fruit production in Poland every year? Polish apples are sweet and packed with flavor. During the apple season, you will find that these are easily available throughout the country and are one of the cheapest fruits you can find. At this time of the year, you will find that the Poles pull out all their apple recipes because nothing tastes better than apples in everything!

One of the popular recipes is the Polish apple cake. The recipe has gluten in it so not everyone can enjoy it. This Polish gluten free apple cake on the other hand is designed for anyone who can’t eat gluten and still wants a bite of a delicious apple cake. 

Why Bake With Apples?

Apples are one of the easiest fruits to cook with. They do not release a lot of fluid when cooked or baked which means that they do not interfere with the dough consistency. They add a bit of fleshy flavor to the stuffing which feels amazing when you bite into a cake. Apples also add a great deal of sweetness to the recipe. This way you can also titer how much sugar you want to add to the dough.

In addition to all of these reasons, apples are a superfood. They are packed with fiber which helps in bowel health, Vitamin C which is great for immunity, and lots of antioxidants. This is probably how the saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ originated!

Polish Gluten Free Apple Cake Recipe- Szarlotka Bezglutenowa

Part I  – Beat The Butter With Sugar

Use a large mixing bowl. Add in 200 gms of butter and ½ cup of sugar. Beat the ingredients together. The butter will take on a whitish color when the sugar combines with it well.

Part II – Add The Remaining Ingredients

Add in 4 cups of gluten free flour, 2 eggs and 1 tsp of gluten free baking powder. Knead the ingredients together.

Part III – Divide The Dough Into 2 Pieces

Part IV – Line A Cake Pan With Parchment Paper

For this recipe use a 9×13” cake pan. Line it with parchment paper. This will ensure that the cake does not stick to the sides of the pan. When the cake is ready, all you need to do is gently tug at the parchment paper and the cake will come loose. 

Part V – Place One Part Of The Dough Into The Pan

Now take one part of the divided dough and place it in the cake pan. Spread it out on the base. You can use a pizza roller to do this. I generally just use my hands. Make sure that the dough is spread out evenly.

Part VI – Place The Second Part Of The Dough In The Freezer.

Wrap the remaining dough in a cling wrap or plastic. Place it inside the freezer. This will prevent the dough from drying out and it will be easy to handle when you remove it out again.

Make The Apple Layer

Part I – Peel And Grate The Apples

You will need 2 lbs. (900 gms.) of apples for this part of the recipe. Wash and peel the apples. Grate the apples. Make sure not to grate the core.

Grated apples with cinnamon for Polish gluten free apple cinnamon cake.
Grated apples with cinnamon for Polish gluten free apple cinnamon cake.

Part II – Mix The Apples With Cinnamon

Add 1 tbsp. of cinnamon powder and 1 tbsp. of potato starch to the grated apples. Mix the ingredients well.

Make The Pudding Layer

Part I – Pour 3 cups Of Milk Into A Pot

Pour 3 cups of milk into a pot. Note that the recipe calls for 4 cups of milk but we use only 3 cups at this stage. One cup of milk will be used to dissolve the pudding mix in a later step.

Part II – Add 6 Tbsps. Of Sugar And Mix

Part III – Bring To An Almost Boil

Place the pot on a stove and let the milk heat up. Bring the milk to an almost boil. 

Part IV – Mix The Pudding Mix With 1 Cup of Milk

While the milk is heating, mix 3 packages of vanilla pudding mix with 1 cup of milk. Gently stir the pudding mix such that there are no lumps in the mixture.

Part V – Add The Pudding Mix Just Before The Milk Boils

Add in the pudding mix to the milk in the pot. Do this just before the milk starts to boil. Stir the mixture constantly to avoid lumps from forming. This will also ensure that the texture of the pudding is creamy and smooth. Keep it on the stove till the mixture reaches the consistency of a pudding. 

Assemble And Bake The Cake

Part I – Preheat The Oven To 340°F (170°C)

Preheating the oven before baking is the key to making a great cake. This ensures that the oven is just the right temperature for the cake to rise beautifully. If it is too hot, the top or bottom of the cake will burn without the cake cooking inside. If it is too cold, the cake will not rise and you will not get the fluffy texture.

Part II – Spread The Grated Apples Onto The Dough

Spread the grated apples over the dough. Do not press but layer it on the top. This will form the second layer of the Polish gluten free apple cake.

Polish gluten free apple cake
Place a layer of the grated apple on the dough

Part III – Cover With Pudding

After you have layered in the apples, spread a layer of the pudding on the top. 

Pudding layer in the Polish gluten free apple cake
Layer the pudding on top of the apple cinnamon layer.

Part IV – Grate The Frozen Dough On Top Of The Pudding

The final layer is made by grating the frozen dough on top of the pudding. This will give the top of the Polish gluten free apple cake a crumbly texture.

Grated dough on top of the Polish gluten free apple cake
Grated dough on top of the Polish gluten free apple cake.

Part V – Bake For 50 Minutes

Baking the Polish gluten free apple cake.
Baking the Polish gluten free apple cake.

FAQ About Polish Gluten Free Apple Cake

I don’t Have Pudding Mix. What Can I Use Instead?

If you don’t have pudding mix, you can try my homemade recipe for budyn. You can also replace the pudding mix with either 10-12 tbsps. of potato or cornstarch powder and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.

Why Do You Freeze The Second Part Of The Dough?

The second part of the dough is frozen so that you can grate it on top of the cake. This gives you finer shreds than if you had to try and crumble nonfrozen dough. The shreds of dough give the top of the cake an interesting texture when it is baked. It is like a crumble but not quite the same either. It also looks really nice too!

Can You Use Plant-Based Milk In This Recipe?

Yes. You can replace the milk in the pudding layer with a plant-based milk of your choice.

Are There Any Other Polish Apple Cakes / Desserts That You Would Recommend?

Apples are used widely in Polish cuisine. Here are some popular recipes that you really should try.

Yield: 16 portions

Polish Gluten Free Apple Cake Recipe- Szarlotka Bezglutenowa

Polish Gluten Free Apple Cake Recipe- Szarlotka Bezglutenowa
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes



  • 4 cups (480g) of gluten-free flour
  • 7 oz / 200g of butter
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of gluten-free baking powder

Apple Layer

  • 2 lbs (900g) of apples
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp of potato or corn starch

Pudding Layer

  • 4 cups of milk or plant-based milk
  • 3 packages of vanilla pudding mix (budyn)
  • 6 tbsps of sugar


Make The Dough

  1. Beat butter with sugar.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients for the dough and knead.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
  4. Line the 9x13" cake pan with parchment paper.
  5. Place one part of the dough into the cake pan. I do it using my hands, then i use a pizza roller to roll it out inside the pan.
  6. Place the second part of the dough inside the freezer (you may wrap it in the plastic before).

Make The Apple Layer

  1. Peel and grate the apples (without the inside part with the seeds).
  2. Mix the apples with cinnamon powder and potato starch.

Make The Pudding Layer

  1. Pour 3 cups of milk into the pot.
  2. Add sugar and mix.
  3. Bring to almost-boil.
  4. In the meantime, mix pudding mix with 1 cup of milk.
  5. When the milk nearly boils, add the pudding mixture and mix until you get the consistency of pudding.

Assemble And Bake The Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C).
  2. Spread grated apples onto the dough.
  3. Cover with the pudding.
  4. Grate the frozen dough onto the pudding.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes.


The pudding mix can be replaced with 10-12 tbsps of potato and corn starch and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 424mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 4g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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