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Riga cake – recipe with apple filling, buttercream & cinnamon

Riga cake – recipe with apple filling, buttercream and cinnamon

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Fluffy sponge cake, tender short pastry, sweet butter cream and tart apples with aromatic cinnamon – all this is combined in the Riga cake. It tastes airy, tender, creamy and fruity at the same time. Who can resist such a dessert?! And even though it sounds totally complicated with so many flavors, the cake is quite easy to prepare. You can find a detailed recipe for Riga cake with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions below.

What makes the Riga cake special?

The uniqueness of this cake is that it consists of two different cake layers: the airy sponge cake and the crispy shortcrust pastry. It also contains a fruity apple filling in addition to the sweet buttercream. So many different flavors, which perfectly combine with each other, make the Riga cake especially delicious.

Tart with butter cream and apples

Serve the Riga cake

Riga cake is perfect for dessert with coffee or tea after dinner during the week. You can also prepare it for a birthday, Mother’s Day or Easter, for example. After preparing the cake, be sure to chill it for a few hours before serving. During this time, the cream will set and the cake layers can soak. After cooling, the cake will also taste less sweet. It is best to serve the Riga tart on the day of preparation or the next day at the latest, while the apple filling is still fresh.

Prepare the Riga tart in advance

You can bake the sponge cake for the tart a day ahead, let it cool and then store it overnight in an airtight container and wrap it in cling film. You can also bake the shortcrust cake base a day ahead. The next day, all you have to do is brown the apples, prepare the cream and “assemble” the cake.

Riga cake with apples and cinnamon

This cake is

  • with sponge and shortcrust pastry bases,
  • with buttercream,
  • with fresh apples,
  • with cinnamon,
  • aromatic,
  • easy to prepare,
  • about Ø 24 cm big.

It tastes

  • creamy,
  • tender,
  • airy,
  • juicy,
  • fruity,
  • so delicious.

Tart with sponge and shortcrust pastry

How to make the Riga cake at home: the recipe

The exact quantities and step-by-step instructions for making the Riga cake can be found in the recipe box below.

For the sponge cake base you need only three ingredients. These are the usual ingredients that you normally need for a sponge cake, namely eggs, sugar and flour.

For the shortbread you need cold butter, sour cream, sugar, flour and baking powder. The amount of sour cream given in the recipe may vary. You only need to mix it in until your dough is no longer dry and can be formed into a ball.

For the apple filling you need fresh apples. Peel and core them. For frying the apples you need some butter and for sweetening some sugar according to your taste. Since the cream for the cake tastes quite sweet, you should sweeten the apple filling less. Then add some cinnamon to the apple filling and cornstarch to thicken it, which is dissolved in water and cognac beforehand. Alcohol is an alternative. Depending on your taste, you can omit it.

For the cream you only need sweetened condensed milk and butter. Both ingredients must be at room temperature. So get them out of the fridge beforehand. You can also add some cognac to the cream.

For the sugar syrup to soak the cake layers, you need hot water, sugar and maybe some cognac.

How to make the Riga cake

  1. For the sponge, beat eggs and sugar, fold in flour. Pour the thick batter into the springform pan and bake at 180 °C for about 20 minutes. Then let it cool and cut it lengthwise into two cake layers.
  2. For the short pastry, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, add cold butter and chop finely. Add sour cream, knead briskly into a soft dough and chill the dough for 30 minutes. Then roll out into a circle about the same size in diameter as the sponge cake, bake at 200 °C for about 8 minutes and let cool. Bake and crumble the leftover dough as well.
  3. For the apple filling, cut apples into small cubes, fry briefly in butter. Add sugar and continue to fry briefly until apples are soft. Add cinnamon and cornstarch dissolved in water and cognac, fry briefly until thickened, remove from heat and let cool.
  4. For the sugar syrup, dissolve sugar in hot water, let cool and add cognac.
  5. For the cream, mix soft butter and sweetened condensed milk and stir in cognac.
  6. Drizzle all three cake layers with the sugar syrup. Spread the apple filling on the shortbread pie crust. Spread the two sponge cake layers with the cream and stack on the shortcrust pastry cake layer with the apple filling. Dust the tart with the crumbs and chill for a few hours. Done!

Riga cake with sponge and shortcrust pastry

How to make the Riga cake: tips and tricks

  • To bake the sponge cake, you need a Ø 24 cm baking springform pan.
  • To check whether the sponge cake is baked, do a chopstick test. To do this, briefly insert a toothpick into the center of the sponge and see if it stays almost clean after coming out. If it stays smeared in raw dough, you need to bake the sponge some more. If only a few juicy crumbs remain on the toothpick, the sponge is done. If the toothpick comes out dry, it could be that you baked it too long and the sponge cake ends up tasting too dry.
  • The amount of sour cream given in the recipe for the shortbread may vary. Add only enough sour cream until the dough is very soft and no longer dry.
  • Do not knead the shortcrust pastry too long, otherwise it may not taste shortcrusty at the end. It is perfectly sufficient if you knead all the ingredients together quickly and roughly.
  • Butter and sweetened condensed milk for the custard need to be room warm and both about the same temperature so they can combine well when mixed.
  • Did you know you can make sweetened condensed milk yourself? Homemade sweetened condensed milk contains no additives or preservatives and is ideal for making the cream for this cake.
  • You can adjust the amount of sugar for the apple filling according to your taste.
  • You can omit cognac completely from the recipe.
  • Store the tart in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 2 – 3 days. After that it will not go bad, but the apple pieces will dry out.

Sponge shortcake cake with buttercream

Did you make the Riga cake using this recipe? I look forward to your result, your star rating and your comment on the recipe below, how you succeeded and tasted the cake.

Not enough of fruity cakes? Try also:

Riga cake

Riga cake

Fluffy sponge cake, tender short pastry, sweet butter cream and tart apples with aromatic cinnamon – all this is combined in the Riga cake. It tastes airy, tender, creamy and fruity at the same time. Who can resist such a dessert?! And even if it sounds totally complicated with so many flavors, the cake is quite simple to prepare.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Cooling time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Ø 24 cm large baking pan

Ingredients
  

for the sponge dough

  • 90 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 g flour

for the shortcrust pastry

  • 70 g butter (cold)
  • approx. 40 g sour cream
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 g baking powder
  • 130 g flour

for the apple filling

  • 920 g apples
  • 20 g butter
  • 20 g sugar
  • 10 g cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cognac
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 30 ml water

for the cream

  • 330 g sweetened condensed milk (room temperature)
  • 250 g butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp cognac

for the sugar syrup

  • 30 g sugar
  • 30 ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp cognac

Instructions
 

Preparation of the sponge mixture

  • Beat eggs and sugar until white and fluffy.
  • Fold in the flour to make an airy, thick dough.
  • Line the bottom of the springform pan with baking paper, pour the batter into the pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 °C for about 20 minutes. Let the sponge cake cool for a few hours and then cut it lengthwise into two cake layers.

Preparation of the shortcrust pastry

  • Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add cold butter and chop it finely.
  • Add sour cream in portions and knead it briskly into a soft dough. Cover the dough and chill it for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the short pastry on a sheet of baking paper so that you can cut out a 24 cm diameter circle. Cut out the circle, pierce it several times with a fork and bake it together with the leftover dough in a preheated oven at 200 °C for about 8 minutes. Let the shortcrust pastry cake base cool down. Finely crumble the leftover dough.

Preparation of the apple filling

  • Dissolve cornstarch in water and cognac.
  • Peel and core apples, cut them into very small cubes.
  • Melt butter in a frying pan, add apples and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add sugar to the apples in the pan and fry them for another 2 - 3 minutes until they soften.
  • Add cinnamon and cornstarch dissolved in water and cognac, continue stir-frying for about 1 - 2 minutes until thickened, and remove pan from heat. Let the apple filling cool down.

Preparation of the sugar syrup

  • Pour boiling water over sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Let the sugar syrup cool down and then add cognac.

Preparation of the cream

  • Add sweetened condensed milk in portions to softened butter and mix it with a hand mixer on the lowest speed each time until homogeneous.
  • Add cognac and mix again briefly to a homogeneous cream.

Preparation of the cake

  • Soak the two sponge cake layers each from the inner cut side and the short pastry layer with the sugar syrup.
  • Spread the apple filling on the short pastry base. (You can leave a small amount of apple filling for decorating).
  • On top of the apple filling layer, place one of the two sponge cake bottoms with the side soaked in the sugar syrup facing down and spread it with about half of the cream.
  • Place the second sponge cake layer with the soaked side down on top of the first and spread it with the cream as well.
  • Brush the edges of the cake with the remaining cream and sprinkle with the crumbs. Decorate the cake as desired with the remaining apple filling and chill for 2 - 3 hours.

Notes

  • To check if the sponge is done baking, do a chopstick test.
  • The amount of sour cream given for the shortbread may vary. The dough should become very soft.
  • Do not knead the shortbread too long.
  • Butter and sweetened condensed milk for the cream must be at room temperature.
  • The amount of sugar for the apple filling can be adjusted as desired.
  • Cognac is alternative in the recipe.
  • Note the detailed tips and tricks for DIY Riga cake at the top of the post.
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