Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
Ready to enjoy all the fall vibes? Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake brings it regardless of what the weather looks like outside.
The Autumn Season
Have you found yourself wandering the aisles of Home Goods lately and eyeballing all the pretty autumn decorations, brushing your hand across the cozy sofa throws, and sniffing the harvest-themed candles? Me too.
Temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing colors, and the sun goes down earlier now in parts of the Northern Hemisphere. The thought of cool crisp weather and warm apple cider is so appealing.
However, I am jolted back to the reality of 90-something-degree sunshine when I leave home decor stores and get into my stifling hot car. There is no way I am decorating with warm fleece anything on my couch just yet.
Even though Southern California weather is not cooperating to fulfill my autumnal longings, I’m not complaining. I’m thankful for the sunshine. And for the random rain showers like we’ve had the past week.
Swapping out current pillow slipcovers for some orangey ones and tucking pampas grass among other dried floral stems helps me shift into the autumn season while I wait for cooler days.
Plus, I’m baking with apples.
Earlier, we talked about the best apples when making an apple pie. These same varieties work well when baking tarts, galettes, and cakes. I’ve been using a lot of Golden Delicious and Cosmic Crisp this month, with Granny Smith coming in close behind.
Because the apples are nestled in quick caramel at the bottom of the pan for this upside-down cake, you want a variety that is not going to turn to mush. The cake is flipped apple side up before serving so the pieces need to be tender yet still hold their shape.
I used Golden Delicious apples for this recipe. Yes, I sliced them crosswise because I was feeling ornery that day. But you can slice them however you wish.
- The pan size is flexible here. My 9-inch square pan was previously engaged when I made this, so I used a 7x11-inch rectangular pan and it worked out fine.
- Don’t lick the spoon after stirring the caramel. Your tongue will be mad at you for several days.
- If you really want to geek out by reading up on the best apple varieties for baking, take a look at J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s side-by-side comparison. It is so enlightening!
Caramel Apple Topping:
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 apples, thinly sliced
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 325 F/162 C. Adjust the rack to the middle of the oven. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
- Make the caramel by melting ¼ cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and immediately pour into the prepared pan.
- Arrange the apple slices on top of the caramel, overlapping slightly.
- Make the cake by beating ½ cup butter with granulated sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Pour in the vanilla and the milk and beat to combine.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until smooth.
- Spread the cake batter over the apple slices, making sure the batter goes all the way to the edges of the pan to cover the apples completely.
- Bake at 350 for 45 to 55 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. The cake should still be warm before flipping.
- Place a serving plate or platter on top of the pan. Using both hands, flip the plate and the cake pan upside down together. Remove the pan and carefully peel back the parchment. Let it cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.