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.
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.
How do you make an apple upside down cake?
This cake isn’t too much trouble, and it looks like a million bucks.
The key steps are:
- 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
Why do you saute the apples first?
This simple steps prevents them from shrinking during baking.
Totally worth the effort, so don’t be tempted to skip it 🙂
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.
Here’s more cake 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
SOURCE: Studio Delicious, adapted from Cooks Illustrated Baking Book