I made apple cake (Russian people and Deb call it sharlotka) last night, and I have shitty iPhone photos to prove it! My family uses almost exactly the same ingredient list as Deb, but our preparation is a little less fussy. This cake needs no butter, or milk to taste absolutely amazing. I have no idea how it pulls it off. But I'm pretty sure you need it in your life also.
Apple Cake (Sharlotka)
5-6 medium sized apples
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (my addition. sorry, mama!)
1 1/2 cups flour
cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9x9 square pan. I think a round cake pan should work too.
No need to peel the apples! Just core and thinly slice. (I used a mandolin after coring which made it about a 4-minute job. I use this one and only with one of these on.) Put the sliced apples in a large bowl and add sugar. Mix with a spatula to distribute the sugar. Leave it on the counter for ~10 min while you wait for apples to release some juice.
Add the baking soda, eggs (straight from the shell, no need to beat separately), and salt. Mix gently. Now start adding the flour. Do this gradually because depending on how juicy of an apple you used, you might need less than 1 1/2 cups. (It's not the end of the world if you just dump all 1 1/2 cups. Just make sure to incorporate all of the flour into the batter.) Add the spices, if using.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with 1-2 tbsp sugar (if you're into the crunchy sugary topping thing) and bake 40-50 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
It's a tasty one! Though you might not be able to glean that from the photos.
Oh, and what do you know! I've blogged about this cake before (which seems like forever ago).