I am inspired by the stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Norwegian cooking at its simplest and most elaborate. That’s what you will find here. Seasonal cooking, local ingredients, local artisans, and simple gatherings.  READ MORE...

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September 2016

September 14, 2016

Eplekake (Apple Cake)

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Eplekake (Apple Cake) Eplekake (Apple Cake)Apple trees across the valley hang a little heavier these days, their branches full of the fruit which has been growing and ripening over the past few weeks. The ground beneath them is dotted with hues of red and green and yellow as if it were merely a reflection of the tree itself covered in the same hues. The branches hang low and graze the grass, having given way to gravity and appearing in need of having their seasonal burden lifted. And so, kids and adults alike grab baskets and bowls and pluck the fruit from the low branches and climb on ladders to reach those on the very top. It’s a joyous time, when nature’s bounty can be harvested and enjoyed.

Apples have been a part of Norway and Northern Europe for quite some time, stretching back to the Stone Age and possibly beyond. Linguistically, the word eple is common in Northern European languages. Findings from the Viking Ship, the Oseberg, revealed 54 well-preserved wild apples, which are just slightly smaller than the wild apples we have today. Much of the apples in Norway have been cultivated and have derived from the practice of grafting, or taking a branch from one tree and attaching it to a different tree so that it may heal quickly and become part of that tree. The art of grafting was quite common among monasteries in Norway following the introduction of Christianity in the 1000’s. Nursery catalogs from 1895-1902 talk about wild stems which were sold by the thousands for grafting purposes, leaving the question of just how ‘wild’ are the wild apples in Norway today.

Eplekake (Apple Cake) Eplekake (Apple Cake) It is no surprise apples are an important commodity in Norway. When apple season peaks, an array of fresh and local apples and their products appear. From freshly pressed juices to soups to desserts and jams. Quite arguably, one of the most common and iconic apple dishes made during this season is eplekake, or apple cake. It seems everyone has their own recipe for eplekake, but overall Norwegian eplekake is presented as a simple sponge cake topped with slices of fresh apples and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and possibly nuts. It is served with ice cream, vanilla cream or whipped cream. Oh, and coffee of course.

My version of a straightforward eplekake is simple, tasty and perfect to serve right out of the oven. The sweetness of the sponge cake is complimented with the tanginess of the apples and you get just a hint of cinnamon and a bit of texture from the brown sugar and almonds. Enjoying a slice of eplekake in the garden, in the height of autumn, is just one of life’s great pleasures.

Eplekake (Apple Cake) Eplekake (Apple Cake)Eplekake (Apple Cake)


(Makes 1 cake, 8 servings)


  • 210 g (1 3/4 cup) flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150g (2/3 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g ( 1 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 3 to 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 33 g (1/3 cup) sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Couple dabs of butter (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180° C /350°F. Grease an 8-inch/20cm springform pan.

In a bowl, blend together the flour and the baking powder.

In a large bowl or kitchen mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture and blend together. Slowly add in the milk until everything is well blended.

Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan. Top the mixture with the apple slices, laying them tightly next to each other and pressing them into the batter slightly as you go along. After you have covered the batter with the apples, sprinkle them with the brown sugar, sliced almonds, and cinnamon. For a little indulgence, take just a couple small dabs of butter and place them around the cake, so they will melt into the cake as it bakes.

Bake for about 1 hour. The top should be golden brown and you can check the cake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream for a truly luxurious dessert.

Historical sources: Digital Museum, Wiki, Skog og Lanskap

Eplekake (Apple Cake)

Nevada Berg

Nevada is a utah native and norwegian by heart. When not crafting culinary delights she enjoys her family time and tending to her animals. You most certainly can find her perusing her property for wild berries.

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  1. Brooke says:

    What type of a pan is best for this? A regular cake pan or a springform pan? Lovely photos, I cannot wait to make this with all of our Pacific Northwest (Seattle) Fall apples!

    • nevada says:

      Hi Brooke! I find that a springform works really well, just make sure to butter it beforehand. I hope you enjoy the cake and all your many wonderful apples!!

  2. Morten says:

    Super blogg. Congrat

  3. Denitsa says:

    Yummy! Looks really good! I like your recipe and I think I will give it a try very soon 🙂

  4. Alma says:

    Finally got around to trying this cake and WOW is the crumb light and the recipe was easy to make! I did add a small amount of cinnamon to the cake batter – I couldn’t resist the temptation of doing this. A winner recipe and one that will be made again! I think that I will place the apple slices on their edge into the batter as that might allow them when not overlapping to cook quicker. The center of the cake was not quite as done as the rest of it was and I think that the change in insertion of the apple slices might help this. I will have to try it first and then put a note back on whether this worked well. 🙂 I did slice them very thin and I used 2 larger apples and one smaller apple which might have been too much apple for all of them to cook the same.

    • nevada says:

      Hi Alma! I’m so glad you liked the recipe! It is a really easy cake to make. I also really enjoy cinnamon, so putting some in the batter will make for a nice addition. Did you lay the apple slices on their side? I may not have made that very clear in the instructions. But do let me know when you try your second round to see if there are any differences in how you place the apple slices. 🙂

  5. […] Eplekake. Norwegian apple cake, by North Wild Kitchen […]

  6. JET says:

    This was AMAZING!!!! I don’t usually like something so much that I comment. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Viil says:

    It’s August, and I was having nostalgia for the apple cakes I used to bake as a kid when growing up in Rollag. Since it’s been a while since the last time I baked an apple cake, I looked online for a recipe that looked similar to the one I grew up with and yours popped up. I just made a couple of minor modifications. Since the batter was quite moist from the butter and eggs, and I was worried the cake would get a little soggy in the middle with the juicy apples, I ended up only using a table spoon or so of the milk. I also added lemon zest to cut all the sweetness with a little acidity (I pretty much put lemon zest in anything sweet).
    The cake came out really yummy, and brought back lots of memories 🙂

  8. Jessica says:

    My husband just about died when he took the first bite! Took him straight back to his childhood in Norway.
    I used primarily whole wheat flour and added a portion of almond meal flour to lighten up the flavor in the sponge.
    Served on a plate with raw maple drizzle.
    Thank you for this post! Our home meals are now going to be 90% recipes from you.

    • nevada says:

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it! And I love that you used wheat flour and some almond flour plus maple syrup to make it your own!

  9. heidi says:

    I am looking for heritage recipes. How old is this recipe (approximately)?

    • nevada says:

      Hi! It’s hard to date when the traditional apple cake recipe began in Norway. This particular recipe is one that I developed from building upon various recipes, so for me it is relatively new 🙂 But, the apple cake is a dessert that has been around for quite some time.

  10. Rasmus Erdal says:

    Can we substitute Gluten free flour?

  11. JB says:

    Hi, are eplekake and eplepai basically the same thing?

  12. Michele says:

    It is September here in Minnesota, in the US, and I am really craving a fall dessert. I came across your apple cake recipe and since I am Norwegian, I can’t wait to give this a try. I have a question on the pan. Your recipe calls for an 8 inch springform pan but all I have is a 9 inch springform pan. Can I use that and if so do you know if I need to adjust the temperature and baking time? Thanks!

    • nevada says:

      You can certainly use a 9-inch pan! I would just check it around 45 minutes and see if it needs a little longer to go. Hope you enjoy it!

  13. Erin says:

    I had dinner at the home of some friends in Oslo a few years ago and my friend plucked a few apples off the tree in their backyard and whipped up an eplekake for dessert. I’d never had it and it was so good! When I came back home I wanted to make it for my family, and found your recipe. I’ve used it at least a dozen times since, I’ve even doubled it a few times to take to Norwegian night at our Scandinavian club. Love it!

    • nevada says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Erin! Glad you could bring a part of Norway and the memory from your friend back home!

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