Savor Russian 'Charlotte' made from dry bread with plums (RECIPE)

Take several plums and other ingredients from our recipe and cook this delicious and easiest sharlotka ever.

Take several plums and other ingredients from our recipe and cook this delicious and easiest sharlotka ever.

Yulia Mulino
"Charlotte", or a pudding-like cake, is the perfect solution to make use of stale bread. By adding some fruits and a bit of spices you can create a wonderful autumn dessert.

Every nation has its food utilisation traditions. Therefore, it's not rocket science to make a cake or pudding with bread. Elena Molokhovets, the author of a classic Russian cookbook that was first published in 1861, called this type of cake "Charlotte" (or in Russian “Sharlotka”), and she recommended making it with rye bread and apples.

In fact, "Charlotte" is widespread and well-known in Russia as an apple cake based on flour, sugar and eggs. However, few know that a real "Charlotte" was made from stale bread.

It is the combination of nutmeg, cinnamon and cognac that makes wonderful company to rustic rye bread crumbs soaked in butter. I followed the main cooking guideline set down by Molokhovets, but used plums instead of apples. Sure, you can take any fruit and bread soaked in tea, milk or cream.


  • Rye bread - 400 g
  • Plums - 400 g
  • Eggs - 4 pcs
  • Cream - 130 ml
  • Powdered sugar - 130 g
  • Brown sugar - 3 tbsp
  • Butter - 70 g
  • Cinnamon - 1 tsp
  • Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
  • Cognac - 4 tbsp
  • Starch - 1 tbsp


1. Cut the rye bread in slices that are 4 mm thick and remove their crust.

2. Cut the crusts in small cubes and dry in a pan.

3. When they are dry, crush in a mortar or blender. Return the crumbs to the frying pan and melt the butter together.

4. Cut the slices of bread so that they are a bit smaller than the sides of the baking form.

5. Prepare the baking form (18 cm) by lining the bottom with baking paper and buttering the sides.

6. Combine cream, eggs, icing sugar, cognac, cinnamon in a deep bowl.

7. Cut half of the plums into cubes and the other half into quarters. Add starch to the cubes of plums.

8. One by one, soak the slices of bread in the egg mixture and place close to each other on the bottom and along the sides of the baking form. We will get the base for our cake.

9. Cut the rest of the bread in cubes. And mix 3/4 of the egg mixture with the cubes of plums.

10. Place the mixture of bread and eggs into the base of the cake.

11. Pour the 1/3 of the egg mixture.

12. Spread the butter crumbs on top.

13. Place plum quarters.

14. Sift brown sugar at the end.

15. Bake the cake in the oven for about one hour at 180°C. Set a grilled regime at the end for about 5 minutes to create a sugar crust. 

16. Serve the "Charlotte" warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

17. Enjoy!

READ MORE: Sharlotka: The first apple recipe that most Russian kids learn

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