The deliciously caramelised Apples, the moist butter cake, the spices, the smell... This Spiced Upside Down Apple Cake has it all - and makes the ultimate Fall and Winter dessert!
Why we love this recipe
Do you prefer your apples baked in your cake, on your cake or under your cake? For me, it just depends on my current craving!
Sometimes, I want a super moist cake baked with apples inside the batter like my French Apple Cake, Apple Loaf Cake or my Gluten Free Apple Cake. Other times, like today, I want the taste and texture of delicious caramelised apples to shine, just like my Puff Pastry Apple Tartlets or this Apple Oatmeal Bake!
And I don't know any better way to make apples shine than with this easy upside-down Apple Caramel Cake!
There are two parts in making this Caramelised Apple Cake. First, pre-cook the apples in a delicious spiced caramel. Then cover it with a super simple butter cake batter to finish the baking.
For the Caramelised Apples:
- Unsalted Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Cinnamon Powder (you can use any spices that you like)
- Lemon Juice
The Brown Sugar and Butter will create a deliciously rich tasty caramel that will be enhanced with the sprinkle of lemon juice.
And what would be baked apples without some cinnamon powder? You can also add any spices that you like with your apples, such as Ginger, Nutmeg, Star Anise, etc...
For the Butter Cake Batter:
- Soft Unsalted Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Paste
- Plain Flour
- Baking Powder
- Full Cream Milk
How to make this Upside-Down Cake with Apples
1. Pre-cook your apples in a spiced caramel:
- Peel, core and cut your apples into thin strips.
- Place the Butter, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Lemon Juice in a saucepan on a medium heat. Gently stir in the apples and leave the ingredients to melt together and caramelise for about 10 minutes.
It is up to you whether you want to caramelise your apples further or keep them rather crispy as I did.
2. Prepare your upside-down cake batter:
- Cream the very Soft Butter with the Brown Sugar. Beat it for a few minutes to add a lot of air into the batter.
- Add the Vanilla Paste, then the Eggs one at the time.
- In a seperate bowl, sift your dry ingredients together: Plain Flour, Baking Powder and Salt.
- Add the rest of the ingredient into the cake batter, alternating between the dry ingredients and the Milk
I highly recommend using a Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer when creaming the butter and sugar together. If the two ingredients are not well mixed (or not mixed for long enough), you will see your batter split when you add your eggs.
3. Put the upside-down cake together:
Putting together any upside-down cake is super easy. Just like for my Blackberry Upside-Down Cake, Blood Orange Upside Down Cake or my Upside-Down Plum Cake, you simply need to put the fruits at the bottom of your pan and cover it with the cake batter.
- Line a 22cm / 9inch springform pan with baking paper and place the caramelised apples on the bottom of the pan. Start by making a first circle in the centre of the pan, then make your way around towards the edges of the pan. Pour any leftover juice and caramel over the fruits.
- Pour the cake batter over the apples. The apples should be fully covered - use an offset spatula or a silicone spatula to gently spread out the batter if needed.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then leave to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Note that in some oven, the cake will take longer to bake - poke a knife or a skewer in the cake to check if it is baked. If you do not see any batter or wet crumbs attached to the knife, the cake is ready.
- Carefully flip the cake and serve still warm. I recommend waiting about 15 minutes before flipping the cake so it has time to cool down a little bit. If you flip it straight away, it is possible the cake will crack.
There are many different variety of apples that you can use, whether you like something sweet, tangy or crisp.
For this recipe, it is better to use an apple that is rather firm so that they don't loose their shape when cooked. You also want an apple that has a crisp taste because the caramel will bring some sweetness.
Here are the types of apples I recommend using for this recipe: Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Pink Lady or Braeburn
You can ready more about how to choose the best apples for baking here.
This cake is better eaten straight away and still warm. If you are not going to eat it straight away, leave it to cool down completely then cover it tightly with wrap or aluminium foil.
When ready to be served, place the cake back in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes, covered with aluminium foil to warm it up.
The cake will stay moist at room temperature (in a dry environment) for 2 to 3 days. Note that if it is very warm in your kitchen, you may want to keep the keep in the fridge.
I would not recommend freezing this cake, as the apple will likely become soggy and start falling off the cake when thawed.
More Apple Desserts and Cakes
- Apple Galette with Applesauce
- Apple and Pear Crumble
- Easy homemade Applesauce
- Apple Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
- Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
- French Apple Tart
Made this recipe? Let us know if you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below! And don't forget to share your creation on Instagram with the hashtag #abakingjourney and tag @a.baking.journey
Apple Upside-Down Cake
- 3 Apples
- 1/4 cup (60gr) Unsalted Butter
- 2 tbsp (25gr) Brown Sugar
- 1 teasp. Cinnamon Powder
- 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
- 1/2 cup (100gr) Butter, soft
- 3 tbsp (40gr) Brown Sugar
- 1/2 teasp. Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup (150gr) Plain Flour
- 1 1/2 teasp. Baking Powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Full Cream Milk
I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.
- Peel, core and cut the apples in thin slices.
- Place the Butter, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Powder in a large pan and dissolved on low heat. Stir in the Lemon Juice, the add the Apple Slices.
- Mix well to evenly cover the apples with the caramel and leave to caramelise for 5 to 10 minutes, occasionally stiring. The apples should be soft but still hold their shape. Turn off the heat and leave to cool down for a few minutes.
- Preheat your oven on 180'C/350'F. Line a 22cm / 9'' Springform Pan with Baking Paper and set aside.
- With a mixer, cream the Soft Butter with the Brown Sugar to get a homogenuous thick paste (1).
- Add the Vanilla Extract then the Eggs one at the time, beating well between each egg.
- In a seperate bowl, sift the dry Ingredients together: Plain Flour, Baking Powder and Salt.
- Mix in about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 1/3 of the Milk. Keep adding the ingredients in 1/3 batches until all incorporated, alternating between the dry ingredients and the milk (2)
- Pour the cake batter over the caramelised apples and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tip of a knife comes out clean.
- Leave to cool down for at least 15 minutes before carefully flipping the cake over. Serve warm or lukewarm on its own or with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream, Whipped Cream or Homemade Applesauce.
- You want to cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes to incorporate as much air as possible. 3 to 5 minutes of beating are recommended for the best results
- Stop mixing as soon as all the ingredients are incorporated to avoid overworking the batter.