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Upside Down Apple Cake

Upside Down Apple Cake on a white plate
An old-fashioned classic, this upside down apple cake offers a buttery, brown sugar and cinnamon sauce layered with sliced fresh apples and a dense, moist cake layer that is irresistible!
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Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for Upside Down Apple Cake
  2. How to Make This Upside Down Apple Cake Recipe
  3. JUMP TO RECIPE

This beautiful and delicious upside down apple cake is one of our favorite homemade desserts. Fresh Honeycrisp apples are sliced and layered with a rich, moist cake batter before being baked. We’re excited to partner with the Michigan Apples Committee through Carusele to bring you this classic, old-fashioned apple cake recipe! #MIApples

Want even more irresistible apple desserts? Try our apple crisp or apple pie bites!

A plate of food, with Apple cake

MORE APPLE RECIPES:
Grandma’s Apple Betty | Apple Pie Cookies

Ingredients for Upside Down Apple Cake

Diagram, timeline

You will need…

APPLE LAYER – the bottom layer that becomes the top

  • 2-3 honey crisp apples, peeled and cored, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

CAKE LAYER – the top layer that becomes the bottom

  • ½ cup softened butter (room temp)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Substitutions + Additions

CARAMEL: You could drizzle with caramel sauce before serving.

ICE CREAM: This dessert is amazing served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

POWDERED SUGAR: Dust powdered sugar on top before serving.

APPLES: We love Honeycrisp in this recipe, but you could also use Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Gala, or Jonagold.

BUTTERMILK: You could also substitute buttermilk for the milk if you’d like a richer cake layer.

PRO TIP: To keep the apple slices from browning while you are peeling, cutting, and slicing the rest of the apples, you can place the sliced apples in a little salt water (½ teaspoon salt to 2 cups of water). Let them soak for about 5-10 minutes and then dab the excess water off. They stay crisp!

Why Michigan Apples?

Let me tell you: apples love to grow in Michigan! Our climate and geography help to grow the best-tasting apples you could ever hope to enjoy.

I’ll admit — I’m spoiled! I’ve spent my life in Michigan, where trips to apple orchards are an autumn staple. It’s always fun for our family to head to the local orchard and pick fresh apples together as a family.

There is nothing as magical as enjoying a fresh, juicy, sweet apple that has just been picked! Plus, they smell incredible.

Be sure to check your local store or market for Michigan Apples and then enjoy baking this amazing treat for your family.

How to Make This Upside Down Apple Cake Recipe

PRO TIP: Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before starting!

A plate of food on a table

STEP ONE: Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan by spraying the bottom with nonstick spray and lining the bottom with a 9-inch circle of parchment paper and spray again. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

STEP TWO: In a small bowl stir together the sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Pour into the prepared pan.

STEP THREE: Layer sliced apples on top of the batter by starting with making a circle on the outside and working your way in.

STEP FOUR: In a large bowl using a hand mixer on medium-high speed cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Then beat in the egg.

STEP FIVE: Add vanilla extract and milk and mix until mixed.

STEP SIX: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

STEP SEVEN: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.

A piece of bread on a plate, with Cake and Laser

STEP EIGHT: Pour the cake batter on top of the apple layer and spread it evenly.

STEP NINE: Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. When you can touch the pan, run a knife along all the edges to help loosen the cake. Place your serving platter on top of the cake pan and flip it over onto a serving platter.

A bowl of fruit on a plate, with Apple and Cake

How to Store

You can keep this upside down apple cake in an airtight container at room temperature for two-three days.

You could also wrap leftovers tightly and store in a freezer-safe container for up to three months in the freezer.

A close up of a piece of cake on a plate, with Apple and Batter

Our irresistible upside down apple cake will become a family favorite with it’s fresh, crisp apples and moist, dense cake layer. With the perfect balance of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, it’s perfect to serve at fall gatherings and holiday celebrations.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

More Upside Down Recipes to Try

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Upside Down Apple Cake on a white plate

Upside Down Apple Cake

5 from 1 vote
An old-fashioned classic, this upside down apple cake offers a buttery, brown sugar and cinnamon sauce layered with sliced fresh apples and a dense, moist cake layer that is irresistible!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

For the apple layer:

  • 2-3 honey crisp apples peeled and cored, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cake layer:

  • ½ cup softened butter room temp
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan by spraying the bottom with nonstick spray and lining the bottom with a 9-inch circle of parchment paper and spray again.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • BOTTOM LAYER: In a small bowl stir together the sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Pour into the prepared pan.
  • Layer sliced apples on top of the batter by starting with making a circle on the outside and working your way in.
  • CAKE LAYER: In a large bowl using a hand mixer on medium-high speed cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Then beat in the egg.
  • Add vanilla extract and milk and mix until mixed.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
  • Pour the cake batter on top of the apple layer and spread it evenly.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. When you can touch the pan, run a knife along all the edges to help loosen the cake. Place your serving platter on top of the cake pan and flip it over onto a serving platter.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 260mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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