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Norwegian apple cake

Sat, 9 October, 2021

Norwegian apple cake, eplekake, is a lovely buttery sponge base topped with apple slices. Perfect served warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

norwegian apple cake

Eat the seasons

Seasonality is nature’s way of telling you what to eat throughout the year. You won’t get bored of one particular produce if it is only available for a spell of time.

How much lovelier are first English strawberries ripening in May than the fruit imported with a horrendous carbon footprint in the middle of winter? Asparagus is so gorgeous because you never get enough in its short season – before you know it, it gets spindly and reedy which means it’s coming to an end.

And game, apart from being the most humanely sourced meat, smells and tastes of autumn forests and bonfires.


Bake the seasons

I love the fact that you can measure the passage of time in the year by seasonal foods. Even in baking, which you would not normally think of as very seasonal, there is a right time for all kinds of cakes.

Winter (Christmas aside!) makes you bake caked filled with dried fruit, nuts and jams. Spiced cakes, yeasted buns, rich and comforting ginger cakes, and of course lots of chocolate.

Spring brings a lighter pastry selection and desserts with forced rhubarb, refreshing lemon and lots of meringues. Cheesecakes, pavlovas and muffins are my spring favourites.

Then throughout the summer we can gorge ourselves and fill our cakes with berries and stone fruit. From strawberries through to plums, I bake my crumble cakes and buttery sponges with what’s best and cheapest in the weekly fruit market. And if it’s too hot to bake, I make berry ice cream and frozen yoghurts.

And then comes autumn: the time for apple cakes, apple pies, apple strudels and apple tarts.

norwegian sponge cake with apples and cinnamon

What apples are best for baking?

There is a distinction in the UK, which I don’t think exists elsewhere, of apples into cooking and eating. Bramleys are the variety traditionally used in baking but I honestly think the division is superficial.

Perhaps indeed Bramleys are not as nice as other types of apples to sink your teeth in, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use so called ‘eating’ varieties for baking, if they come cheap enough.

This time I used Russets in my cake but Cox and Granny Smith are lovely too. The best apples for cake should be tart and not very hard, but otherwise it’s like with wine in cooking: pour in what you’d be happy to drink.

russet apples

How to make Norwegian apple cake?

The batter is straightforward to make, though it helps if you have an electric mixer. Butter is creamed with sugar, then eggs, then it all curdles until the flour comes in – standard stuff.

But the key thing, once the batter is smoothly spread over the bottom of a large cake tin or a tart dish, is to pack as many apple slices as you can. They mysteriously shrink and shrivel whilst baking.

And the topping is – well, it’s the topping on the cake! Brown sugar, almond flakes, more cinnamon than you’d think appropriate and dots of cold butter turn into a lovely coating over the apples. I promise it is a testing wait for the cake to cool down!

Serve it with ice cream, clotted cream, crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt – the latter two my personal preference.

Recipe by Nevada Berg and Florence Fabricant of New York Times Cooking, but I cross-checked its credentials with authentic Norwegian ones. Verified successfully!

eplekake, norwegian apple cake

More apple cake recipes

The simplest, genius cake of its kind: mix and bake, no mixer needed – brown apple cake.

And the old-fashioned apple cake is pretty easy too, plus it has the brown sugar frosting which is to die for.

We could not possibly forget about the ultimate classic from North America: gorgeous apple pie!

apple sponge cake from Norway

More Norwegian recipes

They know how to bake in Norway, that’s for sure! Boller are raisin buns with cardamom flavour and a shiny glaze. Delicious!

For your next Christmas bake, try julekake. That Scandinavian relative of panettone is ten times easier and almost as tasty.

Norwegian apple cake

Servings: 12Time: 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 4-6 tart apples, Russet or Granny Smith
  • 255g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 112 tsp. baking powder
  • 170g (112 sticks) salted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
  • 200g (scant cup) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 120ml (12 cup) milk
  • For the topping:
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 32g (13 cup) flaked almonds
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 55g (12 stick) cold salted butter


1. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Slice them 2cm/12 inch thick and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C no fan if possible/ 350 F/gas 4. Lightly butter and flour a large round 25cm cake tin or a tart or flan dish similar size.

3. Stir the baking powder into the flour in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Beat the butter with caster sugar with an electric or in a standing mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one. The mixture will curdle but ignore it.

5. At low speed mix in the flour in 3 additions alternating with the milk. Mix until just combined.

norwegian apple cake batter

6. Scrape the batter to the prepared tin or dish and smooth the surface. Arrange the apple pieces in a concentric circle, packing them in tightly. Sprinkle the apples with the brown sugar, scatter the almond flakes and shower with cinnamon. Dice the cold butter and dot evenly over the top. If using a shallow flan dish, place it on a baking tray to catch any juice leaking.

assembling norwegian apple cake

7. Bake the cake for 50 - 60 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

8. Cool in the tin on a wire rack and serve warm or cold, with crème fraiche or ice cream.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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