Polish Apple Cake (Jabłecznik) Recipe

Apple Cake With Meringue

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  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Refrigerate dough: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 Cake (12 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
304 Calories
12g Fat
44g Carbs
6g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 Cake (12 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 304
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 412mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 6g
Calcium 99mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Polish apple cake or jabłecznik (yah-BWETCH-neek) is from Gwizdały village in the Mazovia region, one of the stops on my tour with Poland Culinary Vacations.

The recipe calls for a shortbread crust, cooked apples and a meringue and shortbread topping.The dough must be refrigerated for 1 hour before patting it into a 13x9-inch pan, so plan accordingly.


  • For the Dough:
  • 1/2 pound all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 ounces butter (1 stick, cold)
  • 5 large egg yolks (room-temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • For the Filling:
  • 6 large apples (tart, peeled and cored)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the Meringue Topping:
  • 5 large egg whites (room-temperature)
  • 10 tablespoons sugar

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 pound all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder.

  2. Cut in 4 ounces cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  3. Mix in 5 large room-temperature egg yolks and 1 cup sugar just until well combined. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make the Filling

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan and set aside.

  2. Coarsely grate 6 large tart peeled and cored apples and cook them in a large saucepan with 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a little water until tender and liquid has evaporated. Cool to room temperature.

Assemble the Cake for Baking

  1. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out 2/3. Return the remaining 1/3 of dough to the refrigerator to be used for the topping. Fit the rolled-out dough into the bottom and part way up the sides of the prepared 13x9-inch pan.

  2. Place room-temperature cooked apples onto pastry crust, spreading into an even layer.

Make the Meringue

  1. In a grease-free medium bowl, whip the 5 rooom-temperature egg whites until stiff. Gradually add 10 tablespoons of sugar, whipping constantly until stiff and glossy. Spread evenly over apples.

  2. Remove reserved 1/3 dough from refrigerator and coarsely grate over meringue. Bake 40 minutes or until golden. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature before serving.

Apple Cake Is a National Dessert in Poland

Polish apple cake - placek z jabłka (literally "flat cake with apples") - and Polish cheesecake - sernik - are two of the most frequently seen desserts at Polish tables. There are hundreds of recipes for both. The Polish version of apple pie is known as szarlotka and is reserved for fancier occasions.

Recipe Variation

  • If you like, try this dough and topping with plums, peaches or nectarines. The result is just as tasty and you won't have to cook these fruits first.