Swedish Apple Cake (adaptable)












This recipe for Swedish apple cake was first published in August 2018 on my original blog, The Culinary Jumble. The recipe has been amended to include spelt flour, and the images have been updated.

The Swedes love the combination of apple and cake. And äppelkaka really does come in a myriad of shapes, thicknesses and sizes here. There really is no right or wrong way to do apple cake in Sweden.

The apples on my tree are slowly thudding to the ground and they’re huge this year. That’s probably thanks to the ridiculously hot summer we’ve been having. I decided to make good use of them.

This apple cake was made using a rectangle pan, although you could easily use a round pan instead. The original recipe called for gluten free flour, but you can swap this for regular or spelt flour, if you prefer.

The cake is fairly thin with a crispy outer edge and soft middle. The apples are drenched in cinnamon (that’s a love pairing right there, if ever I’ve known one). Then there’s a touch of brown sugar, which allows them a wonderful dark hue when baked.


picture of a square of apple cake on a white plate


Put it all together and I kid you not, every mouthful is a sublime mixture of crunchy, soft, sweet and fruity.

The cake is delicious on its own. However, it is easily transformed into a proper dessert by adding a rich vanilla sauce or a dollop of ice-cream. Or both. 


Swedish recipes using pearl sugar

The cake has a healthy sprinkling of pearl sugar. A cupboard staple here in Sweden, it is tiny sugar crystals that give your baked goods a surprisingly delicious crunch. They don’t melt, and so remain crunchy, even after baking. You can even make your own pearl sugar which is something I must get around to trying. You’ll find it liberally sprinkled over many of my Swedish recipes such as:


Märtas skurna chokladkakor (Swedish sliced chocolate cookies)

Cinnamon buns

Chokladbollar (chocolate balls)

Cinnamon bun sugar cake



Swedish Apple Cake (adaptable)



  • 1 large apple (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  • 150g (½ cup + 3 tbsp) butter
  • 100g (½ cup) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs (medium)
  • 150g (1¼ cups) flour (see note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (see note 2)
  • sprinkling of pearl sugar (optional)



  • Pre-heat the oven to 175ºC (350ºF).
  • Grease a rectangle or square springform pan (I used a 28cm x 20cm pan / 11" x 7¾"). Size doesn't matter too much, but you will need to adjust the baking time accordingly).
  • Cut the apples into thin slices and add to a bowl along with the brown sugar and cinnamon. I use tonnes of cinnamon so feel free to reduce the amount stated here. Stir until well combined then put to one side.


  • Beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar then add to the wet ingredients and stir in.
  • Add the milk and continue to mix until everything is evenly dispersed (the batter will be thick).
  • Pour into the greased pan and spread the batter out towards the corners.
  • Place the prepared apples in a pretty pattern on top. Sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  • Bake for around 30-35 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm or allow to cool completely. Enjoy!


  1. I used a ready blended gluten free flour mix. I wouldn't recommend using something like almond or coconut flour by itself as a replacement. You can substitute the gluten flour for regular or spelt flour. Naturally, the texture of the cake may vary slightly depending on the flour used. 
  2. If you don't have access to vanilla sugar, just replace with the same amount of vanilla extract (and add in at the same time as the eggs).
I have converted grams to cups/ounces/tablespoons using online converters. Although I have no reason to believe they are inaccurate, please be aware that I have not made the recipe with imperial measurements.
In addition, many ingredients are different in Europe compared to North America. I do all I can to offer possible alternatives and to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone. However, results cannot always be guaranteed if you have not used the same ingredients, measurements or methods as me.
Lastly, I do everything I can to ensure that my recipes (and instructions) are accurate and easy to follow. However, I am human, and don't always get it right. If you notice anything strange, a mistake, or even a typo, please let me know in the comments. 




Swedish Apple Cake (adaptable)Swedish Apple Cake (adaptable)

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