Apple Upside-Down Cake

Apple upside down cake has tart, juicy apples baked with a tender cake on top. Flip the cake upside down after baking and you get a stunning presentation of glossy apples on top, in a warm caramel-like sauce that is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Apple Upside Down Cake

A warm dessert on a cold winter night has a way of enveloping you with a sense of comfort and cheer. The sweet, slightly tart apples are partially cooked in a caramel-like syrup and then baked into a fine-grained, tender and delectable cake.

Partially cooking the apples also prevents them from seeping unwanted liquid into the cake. Since the apples are almost cooked before going into the oven, the cake is really soft and tender, since you don’t have to bake it too long for the apples to cook through.

Your home will be perfumed with a sweet aroma and it’s so satisfying when you take it out of the oven inverting the pan to reveal a gorgeous design of apples glistening with caramel. With a mug of tea, coffee, or a tall, cold glass of milk, whichever you prefer, all you need is a good book/movie, or a fun group of friends. This cake is absolutely incredible served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You will not believe the speed with which it will disappear from plates. It’s also a great lunchbox option for the next day.

Ingredients For Apple Upside Down Cake:

Apple Topping:

  • apples – I like using Granny smith apples for baking because they are tart, which pairs really well with sweet desserts. They also keep their shape well and don’t fall apart while baking. You can use other varieties of apples as well.
  • butter
  • brown sugar – you can use more or less sugar, depending on how sweet you like desserts to be
  • vanilla – vanilla and apples pair really nicely together
  • lemon juice – the lemon juice will help to keep the apples from browning and will add a nice tart flavor to the apple topping

Cake:

  • flour – all purpose flour needs to be used for this recipe
  • baking powder
  • salt – a dash of salt is needed in most baking
  • granulated sugar and brown sugar
  • eggs – bring the eggs to room temperature because they will whip up better and give the cake a more fluffy and tender texture
  • butter – melted and cooled
  • sour cream – room temperature (you can also substitute Greek yogurt)
  • vanilla – add vanilla flavor to the cake too
Ingredients for Apple Upside Down Cake

How to Make Apple Upside Down Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with butter or spray with oil.
  2. Peel, core and slice the apples, then cook in a skillet with butter, brown sugar and salt, for about 5 minutes, until the apples are softened, but not falling apart. (If you slice them thinner, don’t cook them as long.) Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
  3. Pour the apples and the syrup into the prepared baking pan and spread out evenly. If you want to, arrange the apples in a pretty design.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  5. Beat the eggs and sugars until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the melted butter, sour cream and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  7. Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing it in carefully with a rubber spatula, then adding the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined, don’t overmix.
  8. Pour the batter over the apples, spreading the batter evenly.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean.
  10. Set aside for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a large plate or cake stand.
How to make Apple Upside Down Cake tutorial

Helpful Tips

Partially cook the apples.

Apples take a while to cook through, especially in a cake. They will also exude some liquid while they are baking. When you partially cook the apples until they soften, this allows you to bake the cake just until it’s tender and soft, not overcooked and dense if you had to wait for raw apples to cook all the way through. Cooking the apples in butter, brown sugar, lemon juice and vanilla will also give them so much flavor and give the apple topping a beautiful glossy look too.

Don’t over mix the batter to get the most tender cake.

Whip the eggs and sugars until they are pale and fluffy so you have as much volume as possible. When you mix the flour, add it in 2 additions, so you don’t over mix the batter. Using a rubber spatula will help to keep the volume from the eggs from deflating too much.

How to keep the apple topping from sliding off the cake.

Allow the cake to rest for 5 minutes before inverting it onto a plate or cake stand.

How to Serve

If you have a chance, serve this cake warm, with a scoop of ice cream. Vanilla ice cream is always a great way to go, but if you can find cinnamon ice cream or vanilla ice cream with caramel, those will be wonderful and give it a unique twist.

A slice of Apple Upside Down Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

More Apple Desserts:

Print

Apple Upside-Down Cake

Apple upside down cake has tart, juicy apples baked with a tender cake on top. Flip the cake upside down after baking and you get a stunning presentation of glossy apples on top, in a warm caramel-like sauce that is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 (9 inch) cake 1x
  • Category: Sweets

Ingredients

Scale

Apple Topping:

  • 3 apples (Granny Smith are the best, but you can use other apples too)
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cake:

  • 1  cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (you can use yogurt instead)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with butter or spray with oil. 
  3. Peel, core and cut the apples into slices.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the apples, brown sugar. Cook for about 5 min, until the apples are softened but still firm and not falling apart. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, mixing gently to combine. Pour the apples and the liquid into the prepared baking pan, arranging the apples in a single layer in any design that you like. 
  5. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  6. In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment mix the eggs and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
  7. Add the sour cream and the melted butter. Mix until well combined also.
  8. Add half of the the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, then add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and gently mix with a rubber spatula, being careful not to over mix.
  9. Spread the batter evenly over the apples in the cake pan.
  10. Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then invert onto a plate or cake pan. 

Keywords: apple upside down cake, apple cake

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Apple Upside Down Cake

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