This irresistible Apple Upside Down Cake combines perfectly golden, caramelized cinnamon-brown sugar apple slices on top of buttery soft vanilla cake. The juice of the sweet apple topping seeps through the tender cake making this perfect dessert even more delicious!
Apple Upside-Down Cake
Say hello to autumn and apple season with this apple version of the classic pineapple upside down cake. Just like in the original recipe the top is baked under the cake batter and flipped onto a serving plate.
Sautéing fresh apples in butter and brown sugar results in a delicious, golden brown cake topping that tastes very similar to caramel sauce (and who can resist that?)
Although this apple cake recipe is not overly sweet, it will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth!
Why You Will Love This Delicious Apple Upside Down Cake?
- Favorite Fall Flavors: Apple desserts are a must during the fall season and this cake recipe is packed with flavor.
- Simple Ingredients: This cake recipe is made with simple ingredients and pantry staples.
- Seasonal Produce: If you are looking for a great way to use all the juicy apples you picked on your latest trip to the apple orchard, this recipe is for you!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Be sure to check the printable recipe card below for the complete ingredient’s list and their exact quantities.
- Butter: This recipe uses unsalted butter. Salted butter can be used if that’s what you have at home.
- Apples: You can use your favorite apple variety. Just like when baking apple pie, a tart apple like Braeburn, McIntosh, honeycrisp, pink lady or granny smith apples are good options.
- Sugar: Light brown sugar adds lots of flavor to the apple topping and granulated sugar is used for the cake.
- Flour: This cake uses all-purpose flour.
- Sour Cream: This ingredient adds moisture to cakes and baked goods.
- Flavorings: Ground cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. I use Kosher salt or sea salt for baking.
- Eggs: I use large eggs at room temperature.
How To Make Apple Upside Down Cake From Scratch?
Apple Upside Down Cake Topping
- Peel, core and slice the apples thinly.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apple wedges and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, lemon juice and ground cinnamon. Toss well so all the apples are coated with the brown sugar mixture. Cook until the apples start to caramelize.
- Arrange the apples on a circular pattern on the prepared greased cake pan.
Apple Upside Down Cake Batter
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk both sugars and eggs. Slowly whisk in the melted butter. Add the sour cream and vanilla and whisk to combine. Next, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly over the apples.
- the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it up. Un-mold onto a cake stand or platter and allow to cool completely before serving,
What Type of Apples Should I Use To Make Apple Cake?
Use your favorite apple variety or what’s available at the market. Some of the best apples for baking are Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Jonathan, Braeburn and Honey Crisp. Other varieties such as fuji and gala can be used as well.
Making Ahead and Storing
- You can make the apple topping a day in advance. Store it in the refrigerator, covered.
- Store leftover cake in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- I usually don’t freeze this cake because after thawing it, the cake doesn’t look very appealing. The cake will still be tasty.
Apple Upside Down Cake Tips and Notes
- Make sure your baking pan is at least 2-inches deep.
- The texture of this cake is a bit dense just like the texture of pineapple upside down cake.
- Keep all your ingredients at room temperature so the cake batter mixes better and more evenly.
- Choose your favorite apple variety to make this cake. Granny smith apples, Jonathan, honeycrisp and fuji are good options.
- Serve this cake with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Take A Look At These Other Cake Recipes:
- French Apple Cake
- Easy Almond Cake Recipe
- Butter Pecan Cake Recipe
- Best Homemade Chocolate Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
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Apple Upside Down Cake
FOR THE TOPPING
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
- 4 apples, peeled and cored
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped Cream
- Vanilla, salted caramel or dulce de leche ice cream
TO MAKE THE TOPPING:
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round, 2-inch-deep nonstick cake pan; set aside. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice the apples into thin slices (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick).
- Heat the butter in a large 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the apple slices and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, lemon and cinnamon and mix to coat the apples. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring as needed, or until the apples start to caramelize.
- Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared pan. Arrange the apples on a circular pattern or simply place them on the bottom of the pan on an even layer.
FOR THE CAKE:
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Slowly whisk in the melted butter and mix well. Add the sour cream and vanilla; whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
- Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly over the apples. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Cool pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around sides of the cake to loosen. Unmold the cake and let it cool 20 minutes. Serve.
TAKE A LOOK AT ALL THE OTHER WONDERFUL APPLE RECIPES
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