Fale Dunaju, or Polish apple cake

I’m back after nearly three weeks of silence and I apologise for it. When I decided to start this blog I thought I’d write daily, but I was enjoying my summer holidays and lots of free time and back then it has been easier to update my new blog quite often. Then, back to normal life, I thought I’d still manage because I only had one small part time job that was still allowing me plenty of free time. I managed to stick to my original idea and take photos of the food that I was making, and share these photos on this blog. Until the end of October when my blogging pattern has suddenly been disrupted.

The reason behind this break, the longest since I started this blog, is a new job that I got, alongside my other part time job, that is keeping me very busy. The first week everything was new to me and I had so many new things to learn, routines to get used to, procedures to follow. I would get back home exhausted. The second week, instead, just flew by. In the blink of an eye it was Friday and the week was over. The third is nearly over. Time just flew. And here I am.

It’s been three weeks since my last post and I feel like I have to apologise for this long pause. I will do that sharing a cake I baked for a birthday party some time ago. It’s not the typical birthday cake, but it’s a delicious treat nonetheless, and a definitely healthier option. This cake is a classic in my family, the perfect way to get rid of ripening apples in a nice and creative way.

The name of the cake, Fale Dunaju, means “waves of the Danube” in polish. The apples pressed onto the cake batter form a wavy pattern that can be seen when slicing the cake. Unfortunately, since this cake was a birthday present, I could not deliver it sliced, so I have no pictures of this pattern. But I will come back with those another time, now I want to share the recipe so here it is.

Fale Dunaju, Polish apple cake:

  • 250 g margarine (room temperature)
  • 200 g sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 300 g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 apples

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel and cut the apples in thin slices, then set aside. Don’t worry if they turn slightly brown as they sit, this will not be a problem once the apples get cooked together with the cake. Separate egg whites from the yolks and beat the whites until soft peaks form. Still mixing, add a little sugar – that will slightly stiffen the mixture – then set aside. In another bowl, cream the margarine with the rest of the sugar. Then add the yolks, one at a time. Set the mixer aside and grab a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sift the baking powder and half of the flour into the bowl and fold it in by hand. Once incorporated, add the second half and fold that in. It’s a little hard now, and my least favourite part of the recipe, but luckily it doesn’t take too long to fold it in. Lastly, add the egg whites and fold those in, being careful not to move the batter too much around. Pour half of the batter into a 24-cm round cake pan and spread it all over the bottom, to create an even layer. Sift 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder into the rest of the batter and fold that in. Pour the cocoa batter into the pan, spreading it all over the other layer. Take the apple slices and press them onto the cake batter, all the way through it. An optional last touch is to sprinkle a tbsp of cane sugar over the top, like I did.

Bake the cake at 180°C for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle (avoid piercing through an apple slice) comes out clean.

fale dunaju polish apple cake

fale dunaju polish apple cake

fale dunaju polish apple cake

This may not be the fanciest and most elaborate birthday cake, but it did its job very well and was very much enjoyed. I am aware of the fact that a similar cake is baked in Germany and its German name (Donauwelle) means exactly the same thing. The only difference from the Polish version is that in the German cake cherries are used instead of apples. Usually, a layer of buttercream should cover this cake, but in my family this part has always been skipped and Fale Dunaju has always featured only the optional thin crust of cane sugar on top. And following this family tradition, this is how I like to make it.

16 thoughts on “Fale Dunaju, or Polish apple cake

  1. Eva, this is such a lovely family recipe, and I love the beautiful pattern on top of the cake! I have missed your posts very much and was so happy to see that you had posted today! However, I completely understand — life can become very busy and time can fly by so quickly!

    1. I was feeling really sorry to be away from the blog because it had become a routine I was enjoying a lot, but I was so busy I completely lost track of time – November is almost over? ùHow did that happen?! I’ll try to get back to a little more regular blogging now!

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