The weather has played a mean trick on us this week. Instead of the beautiful 60 and 70 degree weather we’d been enjoying, we now have full sun and a high of 87. Not my favorite in late September. Did someone not get the memo that tomorrow is the first day of fall?! I will power through until the temperature drops next week, and eat cake of course. To celebrate the first day of fall we’re making Caramel Apple Upside Down cake today. Yes it is every bit as good as it sounds! Say it again with me – Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake. Yum!
If you have an orchard around definitely pick up a tart, crisp, local variety to bake into your cake. We aren’t going to the orchard until next week, so I guess I’ll just have to make it again. Oh darn. I used Gala for this one and it turned out great. This recipe has a lot of steps but it’s not as difficult as it might seem. If you have the patience (it doesn’t actually take that long) spiral your apples in a pattern on the bottom of the pan. You can see the cake pushed my apples apart in the middle as it rose but it’s still cool looking.
My fear was that it would be excessively sweet, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t. The spice cake is soft and flavorful, the apples are cooked but not mushy, and the caramel coats the apples and makes a delicious crust around the edges.
Seriously, apples covered in fresh homemade cinnamon caramel and topped with a fluffy spice cake, how could it not be amazing? Drop a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on your plate to top it off.
I’m thinking about doing a facebook live video tomorrow to demonstrate how I make my caramel. If you want to see one let me know in the comments! If you like this I’d love it if you’d pin and share but if you don’t want to make it yourself tag a friend to make it for you 🙂 Happy first day of fall.
Celebrate fall with a Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake! Fresh apples and homemade caramel topped with a soft buttermilk spice cake is the perfect dessert.
- ½ cup (115g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (60ml) water
- ¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp (30g) unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 3 medium apples (I used Gala)
- 2–¼ cups (295g) white flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp cardamom
- ¼ tsp cloves
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (115g) packed dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- Put the sugar into a medium sauce pan and gently pour the water over it being careful not to splash the sides of the pan. Turn burner on medium heat.
- While that warms up mix the cinnamon into the cream and warm on low for 5 minutes.
- Set out a clean whisk, the butter and an oven mitt. Once the sugar starts making large slow bubbles the water has burned off and it will start to caramelize. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn!
- When the sugar turns a deep rich copper color, turn off the burner and whisk in the cream. It will bubble and steam a lot so you may want the oven mitt on to protect your stirring hand. Add the butter, stir to combine and then set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease a 10 in (25 cm) springform pan.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, combine the milk and a teaspoon of lemon in a small bowl and let it sit while you work.
- Peel and quarter the apples. Cut out the core and cut each piece into quarters. You can drop the slices into a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice to keep them fresh as you work.
- Pat the apple slices dry and arrange them in the bottom of the pan. You can make it decorative or just dump it in if you prefer. You may have leftovers, that’s ok! Better too many than too few. A snack for while you work!
- Pour the caramel over the apples, it will spread into the cracks but you may want to fill in around the edges a little. Set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, or a mixer cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and combine.
- Add half the dry ingredients and mix gently.
- Repeat with half the buttermilk.
- Mix in the remaining dry ingredients.
- Fold in the last of the buttermilk.
- Pour the batter over the apples and smooth the top, pushing the batter to the edge around the pan.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 35 mins. Cover loosely with foil and bake for another 10 minutes then stick a toothpick in to check it. Depending on your oven it should take around 45-50 minutes total.
- Set the pan on a wire rack and take off the outside of the pan. (Some caramel will run out so have something to catch it!) Let it cool for five minutes and carefully flip it onto your cake plate.
- If any of the apples stick to the bottom of the pan just remove them gently and drop them into the hole they left behind. Brush with any of the caramel that ran out and no one will ever know 🙂
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or vanilla whipped cream if desired.
I promise this is not as difficult or complicated as it seems at first and it’s well worth the effort!
If you have them use orchard apples.
Keywords: apple cake recipe, caramel apple spice cake, fall dessert, autumn cake recipe