Æblekage (Danish apple cake)
Updated: Jul 16, 2021
So, it’s March and the weather is getting warmer and warmer and what comes to my mind for a great dessert when I don’t want to turn my oven on? Well, it would be this traditional and delicious dessert.
History of Æblekage: We are not sure that this recipe is originally from Denmark. However, it has been around for a very long time and it very popular in Denmark and the Nordic countries in general.
Æblekage when translated to English means apple cake, it is not really a cake though as there is no baking involved. Its actually more like a trifle but minus the cake and custard. And this is also typically served in the afternoon with coffee, and it does solidify when left in the fridge.
The key to a great apple cake is to use a diverse variety of apples for a mix of textures and flavors: sweet, tart, crisp, and soft. To get the best bang for your apple cake buck, try mixing Honeycrisp and Granny Smith if you prefer your cake more tart, or for a sweeter experience, go with Gala or Fuji.
There are many options for the layers in this dessert, one of the options is to use a small Danish sugar cake called a makron, which is very similar to macaroons. or crushed breadcrumbs or even toasted oats.
Next the cream!
Danes and dairy--that is an article all of its own. I will just say that a quality whipping cream will be noticed and commented on, almost as much as the coffee (again a article all on its own:) )
Piskefløde is whipping cream and comes in a red carton (38% fat). I have not been able to find anything with a fat % as high as the Danish whipping cream.
What percentage is heavy cream in Canada?
Whipping cream is about 32% to 36% in milk fat content. Cream with 36% or higher is called heavy cream. This percentage of fat is not a mandated standard; much less than this and the cream simply will not whip.
It does effect the creaminess, a 36% is a very close contender for the Danish heavy cream. It is just best not to skimp especially if serving Danes, I have learned they will always tell you.
Recipes evolve and change with time and taste nothing ever stands still. I am in enough Danish Facebook groups to know that there is no one way of doing recipes, each family had and has their own way of doing things. I also have a cheat’s version where I crush up oat biscuits and serve in individual glasses which is my spin on it. The below is very much a Danish recipe. Personally, the chef in me has a tendency to add my own personal flare and flavour after learning a traditional recipe giving it a Canadian fusion, like a lot of our visitors.
In researching this recipe there are literally hundreds of variations in Denmark alone. It is truly a beloved favourite among the Danish culture. The first time I had this delightful dessert was in Toronto at the Lutheran Church with our bedstemor, I had a lot of questions and, in true Danish style, I got a lot of answers. For some it is about the apples, some the crumble and you guessed it some it is the cream and layers thickness, quantity.
For myself, it is the full picture. I love the sweetness of the apples in this dessert I do not like crunch in my apple, the spice of the cinnamon and cardamom (of course) the crumbs I like to have a texture of crunch no matter the choice of crumble, and the adding of toasted hazelnuts or almonds adds to the crunch and flavour. I do like the crunch of the cookies too. It is a timeless dessert that is high in the memories factor for all who visit, no matter if its due to a memory of past or the creation of new memories it has that effect on everyone.
The below recipe makes enough for about 6 – 8 servings as personally I like to have enough dessert for the next day (and it’s so good), but you could always half the quantity. I know breadcrumbs is the traditional way as some people say but I like the oats personally. But if you like breadcrumbs then use breadcrumbs all, ways are great there’s no right or wrong way.
Æblekage (danish apple cake) Recipe
500 g of Granny Smith apples
500 g of dessert apples
3 tbsp of granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
50g unsalted butter
200 g of rolled oats
125 g of granulated sugar
300 ml of whipping cream
Recipe serves about 6-8
Fill a large pan with water
Peel core and finely slice apples and drop into water let boil for about 10 min
Drain water but leave about a tbsp of water in the pot with 3 tbsp of sugar and vanilla. Then put the lid on and let simmer till the apples are nice and tender for about 10 min on medium low heat
Transfer apple sauce into a bowl and allow to cool
In a large frying pan melt butter over medium low heat then add 125 g of granulated sugar storing with a wooden spoon, not letting the sugar burn
Once sugar has turned into a caramel with butter (this will take a few minutes) stir in the oats until they are golden and toasted. (Be careful not to burn).
Allow too completely cool
Put 300 ml of whipping cream in a mixing bowl and add tbsp of sugar and mix on medium for about 5-7 min or till it’s the right consistency.
Now time to layer get a bowl or cups your preference then take half the apple sauce in the bottom of the bowl then followed by the toasted oats and repeat till your out of oats and apple sauce then finish it off with a nice layer of whip cream
You can serve right away or let sit in the fridge over night and eat. Delicious both ways.
If you enjoy our recipes we are creating a cook book of new and old traditional recipes watch for it.
If you enjoy our blogs please consider a donation to the museum, with out your support these will not be able to continue they do take a lot of time and effort.