Polish Apple Cake {Jabłecznik}

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Warm and tangy apple filling surrounded by a soft and flaky lemony crust. How do you say no to this? You don’t. 

My dad (a child of 6) said that his mom would make two full size cake pans of this delight around the holidays and one would be gone before it could cool. Second one would have to be put away, so they have some for actual holiday to enjoy. More than once she’d find the second pan half-eaten and I don’t blame them!

There were many wild apple trees growing in the open field behind the house, so baking this sweet dessert was an easy choice. Often, during the “apple season” babcia would task the kids to bring a basket full of apples home. She’s peel, core the apples, shred and then finally cook the sweet fruit. Jars of spiced apples would line the shelves of the basement pantry and help to cut down on the baking time in the future. 

Soon, the smell of cinnamon and sweet dough would fill the house and bring them all running for fresh jabłecznik.

Polish Apple Cake {Jabłecznik}

  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cook Time: 45-50 min


  • Crust:
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 yolk (reserve the egg white)
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 14 tbs (2 sticks minus 2 tbs) / 200 g of butter
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Filling:
  • 10 (about 1 lb) tart apples (I like Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon


  1. To prepare the crust: Whip the egg + egg yolk with sugar. Add flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Cold butter cut into smaller cubes and also add to the mixture. Mix and kneed until just combined with a help of a utensil. If you see lumps of butter in it, leave it. Butter will make the crust flaky.

  2. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  3. To make the filling: Peel and core the apples. Shred on the largest grater, and add to a deep flying pan. Add sugar, zest and lemon juice and cook until all juice evaporates (about 30 min). Set aside to cool.

  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400F.

  5. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x9in baking dish with butter.

  6. Cut the dough in half … and (I hate rolling cold dough out) here is a trick…take the greater and grate the dough straight into the baking dish. Distribute evenly on the bottom and all the way up the sides. Scoop the cool filling onto the bottom of the curst and do the same with the remaining half of the dough onto the top of the filling. Pat down gently.

  7. Whisk the egg white with a tsp of water with a fork, and brush onto the top of the crust.

  8. Bake for 45-50 min or until crust is golden brown.

Enjoy before it’s all gone! This may just replace your favorite apple pie next dinner party 🙂




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  1. I just wanted to say thank-you. My husband if Polish, and I try to make him food from his home land. You have a wonderful variety of recipes here, and I am so excited to try them out!
    Thanks again,

    1. Bette! Thanks for checking in! I’m curious if you’ll like Polish food. Let me know what your husband thought after trying some. Anna

  2. I used agave syrup instead of sugar in the same quantities and recommend putting the dough in the freezer rather than just the fridge for 1 hour to make it easier to grate, otherwise delicious.

  3. After you grate the dough, do you really pressure down or simply make an even later and leave it as sort of loose bits? So interesting, I’ve never seen this method before!

  4. Hi Anna
    I am in a process of making the pie but I am confused about quantity of the apples. Your recipe says to use about 10 apples which you say is about 1 pound but normally 2-4 apples make a 1 pound ?
    Can you please advice ?
    Thank you

  5. Enjoyed this video very much. Lucky me,I love apple cake and first tried the Polish version when I married into a (ex.) Polish family.
    Although some may suggest that videos could be shorter, I don’t mind in the least..it’s rather calming for me. However, and please do not take offense …what I do find distracting, is the commentary in your back ground. I feel it not necessary for a “phantom” 2nd. party to engage in the chefs demo. Perhaps if they were not the camera person and participated beside you, that might be the exception.
    Thank you for all you do. It’s easy to feel the passion you exude in your art.
    Your Babica would be proud.
    God Bless.

  6. I thought this was great and the video was entertaining enough that I watched it twice. ‘Must be the first husband in the history of the world that likes to hear his wife talk…this one’s taken ladies’. That’s classic! I wanted to know if it’s 350 F (356 ish, I think is the 180 C conversion) or 400 F like in the written recipe? I missed that part when I was laughing at the commentary the first time and just did the 400F.

  7. Thank you for this recipe. This is one of my favorites that my mom used to make. Made it for Christmas, it was a huge hit

  8. Thank you for this recipe! We really enjoyed making and eating this dish.
    I noticed the recipe doesn’t say when to add the Cinnamon. I found it in the video though. 🙂
    Happy new year!!

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