Buckwheat Apple Cake

Dear Oleńka,

Almaty is a city famous for its apples. The name itself comes from “alma,” the Kazakh for apple. The best-known variety of apples in Almaty is the famous aport, which is hefty and red with a heady, honey-like aroma. For a while aports became less common as the city expanded at the expense of apple orchards, but recently they seem to be everywhere. Vendors at the bazaar set them out by the bucketful, often underlining their local origin.

apple cake

The foothills of the Tien Shan mountains, just beyond the city, are considered the ultimate source of all domesticated apples. But the aport came to Almaty by a very circuitous route. Accodring to some scholars, this particular type of apple has its roots in the Ottoman Empire and found its way to Russia not from Turkey but from Poland, where it was being grown already in the twelfth century. The aport was brought to Almaty from around Voronezh in the mid-nineteenth century, and has since become firmly rooted in the local consciousness. That’s probably why the last culinary endeavor I undertook before leaving Almaty was an apple cake, a slight twist on a classic Polish recipe.

Almaty aport

Buckwheat Apple Cake

1.5 cups flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup sugar
2.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
½  cup olive oil
1 cup kefir
3 eggs

1 pound apples (about two large apples)
juice of ½ lemon
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom

buckwheat apple cake


Preheat oven to 325F.

Chop the apples. Cover with sugar, adding cinnamon and cardomom. Mix together with lemon juice and set aside.

Combine wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine, mixing well.

Fold in apples.

Transfer to a greased baking pan.

Bake about 45 minutes. 

buckwheat apple cake
Posted on November 20, 2015 and filed under Recipes.