Swedish Apple Cake (Äppelkaka)


After visiting Hardangerfjord, “the orchard of Norway,” last week I was not so mysteriously in the mood for apples. Of course it’s not yet apple season here in Norway, but luckily we can still buy apples at the supermarket. So I decided to make äppelkaka, a deliciously fluffy Swedish vanilla sponge cake topped with sliced apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

Swedish apple cake is quite similar to Norwegian apple cake (I’ve shared my Norwegian apple cake recipe here), however it’s typically a lighter sponge cake with more milk in the batter. To be honest I prefer Swedish apple cake, but if you tell anyone here in Norway I said that I will deny it. Of course it helps when I’m making my äppelkaka with Norwegian apples!

slice of Swedish apple cake on a plate

Instead of mixing the apples into the batter, when making Swedish apple cake we simply arrange sliced apples on the top of the cake, letting them sink into the batter on their own. This gives a beautiful apple design on top of the cake, and a light and fluffy sponge cake below the apples. I love the contrast between the vanilla cake and cinnamon sugar coated apples.

Äppelkaka Swedish apple cake


After whisking the eggs and sugar together, I sift in the flour and other dry ingredients. Using a sifter or strainer makes it easier to avoid lumps in the batter. If you’re using vanilla extract instead of vanilla sugar, add it with the wet ingredients.

Then I melt the butter in a small bowl, add the milk and then add the mixture to the cake batter, stirring until smooth.

Grease the sides of the cake form well and line the bottom with baking paper so the cake doesn’t stick.

Swedish apple cake batter in spring form pan

I peel and slice the apples into medium thick slices. If they’re too thin they can turn to mush when they bake. I then arrange them in circles around the top of the cake batter. The cake batter is thin enough that the apples will sink a bit into the cake on their own. You can arrange them however you think is pretty. I try to fit as many apple slices as possible!

If you want a sweeter cake you can sprinkle more brown sugar on top. I sprinkle the brown sugar with my fingers to break up the clumps.

Swedish apple cake before baked

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until the cake is firm and a toothpick comes out of the center clean. If anything I err on the side of under baking this cake instead of over baking it, as I’d rather the center be a tiny bit gooey instead of the cake getting dry from baking too long.

Wait for the cake to cool a bit before carefully removing it from the spring form. You may need to cut around the edges so that they don’t stick to the form when removing it.


Swedish apple cake tastes wonderful both warm and cold! It keeps quite well in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container (or wrapped in plastic).

slice of Äppelkaka on a plate

You can switch the recipe from US measurements to metric by clicking from “US Customary” to “Metric” under Ingredients.

slice of Swedish apple cake on a plate

Swedish Apple Cake (Äppelkaka)

Äppelkaka is a fluffy vanilla sponge cake topped with sliced apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Scandinavian, Swedish
Keyword: apple, cake, cinnamon
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Author: Silvia


  • 10 inch (25 cm) spring form


  • 3-4 apples
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 7 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease the sides of the spring form and line the bottom with baking paper.
  • Peel and core the apples and cut them into medium slices.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar together. Sift in the flour, baking powder and vanilla and stir until you have a smooth batter.
  • Melt the butter and stir in the milk. Add this milk mixture to the cake batter, stirring until smooth.
  • Spread the cake batter evenly in the spring from and arrange the apple slices on top in circles, letting them sink into the batter on their own. Sprinkle the top with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes until the cake is firm. You can test the center with a toothpick – no batter should stick to the toothpick when the cake is done.
  • Let the cake cool before removing it from the spring form to serve.


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