This amazing Apple Upside Down Cake was inspired from Cooks Illustrated and proves that an exceptional tasting apple cake can be gorgeous and a cinch to put together too. The apples are quickly sauteed before being covered with an easy hand-whisked batter that’s made extra tender with sour cream.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
This cake isn’t too much trouble, and it looks like a million bucks. It also tastes amazing, which is the most important thing, right?
- It’s getting chilly outside and apples are calling…why not start out the season with an elegant apple cake?
- There are basic pantry ingredients in the recipe other than the Granny Smith apples..
- This recipe comes together easily and is wonderful as dessert for a dinner of Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage or a hearty soup like Chunky Corn Chowder and maybe a simple salad.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and list of ingredients, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Apples: Granny Smith’s are the variety we’ll use in this cake.
- Butter, eggs, vanilla: Essential cake ingredients.
- Sugar, flour, salt baking powder: See above.
- Sour Cream: For a really tender crumb
For the full recipe, scroll to the recipe card below.
- Peel the apples, slice from the stem to core and cut into slices
- Melt a little butter, then saute the apples until barely tender and slightly caramelized
- Arrange the sauteed apples on the bottom of a prepared cake pan lined with parchment paper
- Whisk together a simple cake made with pantry ingredients, a little more butter, plus sour cream for tenderness
- Pour the batter over the apples and bake for about 35-40 minutes
- Cool slightly and invert onto a platter
- Serve with whipped cream or ice cream
What kind of apples are best for this recipe?
Use the best fresh apples you can find, organic if possible.
I love the flavor with a tart Granny Smith or Golden Delicious variety, but either will be great tasting in this easy cake.
How do I put the cake together?
The beauty of this easy recipe is it doesn’t take long to put it together, and it has a moist texture thanks to the addition of sour cream.
Nothing is better for a fall dessert than a homey dessert to get everyone in the mood for fall, and Apple Upside Down Cake fits the bill perfectly.
Bonus points that it’s quick to pull together and looks special considering the ingredients are pretty humble.
Look how nice the apple cake looks on a simple glass cake stand!
Plus, it looks like it took all day to make, but we know the truth. 🙂
Pour a little cup of tea or coffee, and you’ve got a tasty, easy and homemade apple dessert that’s delicious in the fall.
More Recipes to Try:
APPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
- 2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
- 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, light
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 cup flour, all purpose
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, light
- 2 eggs, large
- 6 tablespoons butter, unsalted, and melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- PREP THE BAKING PAN Using a 9" non-stick cake pan that's at least 2" tall on sides, grease and line the pan with a parchment paper round on the bottom, then grease it again on top of the parchment paper with more butter and a light sprinkling of flour. Tap any excess flour out of the pan.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and adjust rack to lowest position.
- MAKE THE APPLE MIXTURE
- Slice the peeled apples in half from the stem to the bottom, Cut two of the apples into 1/4" thick pieces, set these aside in a medium-sized bowl. Cut the remaining apples in 1/2" thick slices as evenly as possible.
- Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the 1/2" thick slices first into the pan with melted butter, and stir a couple of times to coat. Let these heat for about 5 minutes until they begin to caramelize, carefully stirring a couple of times, making sure they don't fully cook.
- Add the rest of the apples to the skillet and combine, cooking for another minute.
- Place the cooked apples in the bottom of the prepared cake pan, and use the back of a spatula to evenly press them down into one layer.
- MAKE THE CAKE
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl
- In another large bowl, whisk the sugar, brown sugar and eggs together until thick and combined.
- Slowly whisk in the cooled melted butter and then add the sour cream and vanilla and continue to mix just until combined.
- Add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined and then pour it over the apples in the cake pan.
- Bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick will come out clean when poked and removed from the middle of the cake
- Remove cake from the oven and place on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then use a sharp knife to go around the edges to loosen the cake from the pan
- Using a cake plate or platter, invert the cake and pan together, lifting the cake pan off the right-side up platter to catch any drips
- If any of the apple pieces stay stuck in the pan or fall off, just position them on top of the cake with a fork (or your fingers:))
- Cool another 20 minutes and serve with whipped cream if you like.
- Tip: Whenever the recipe calls for sugar in a baking recipe, I use Bakers Sugar which you can find in well-stocked grocery stores.
- Pull the eggs and sour cream out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to using to bring them to room temperature
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
SOURCE: Studio Delicious, adapted from Cooks Illustrated Baking Book
I’m delighted and relieved we’re talking about cake and not another summer tomato salad.
Nothing against tomatoes, but I’m sort of over them right now.
Thoughts of pumpkins, warm spices and fall flavors are dancing in my head.
Also, apple cake has been on my mind for like, two weeks and I’m ready to get started on the fall baking season.
I love the fall months, and I really love a good homemade apple cake.