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Upside Down Apple Cake

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overhead shot of Upside Down Apple Cake on a plate
An old-fashioned classic, this amazing upside down apple cake features a buttery brown sugar and cinnamon apple layer topping a moist cake layer that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!
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Table of Contents
  1. Upside Down Apple Cake Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Upside Down Apple Cake Recipe
  3. How to Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. 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 to warm, spiced perfection.

close up shot of Upside Down Apple Cake on a plate

Upside Down Apple Cake Ingredients

Upside Down Apple Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Apple Layer

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

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 to 10 minutes and then dab the excess water off. They will stay crisp!

For the Cake Layer

  • ½ cup softened butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CARAMEL: You could drizzle the apple topping with caramel sauce before serving.

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 in this moist apple cake.

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

How to Make This Upside Down Apple Cake Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before starting.

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

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

sugar, butter, and cinnamon stirred and poured in a 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.

sliced apples laid on top of sugar mixture in a cake pan

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

butter, brown sugar, and white sugar blended together in a bowl

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

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

flour, baking powder, and salt whisked together in a bowl

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

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

cake batter spread on top of the apple layer in a cake pan

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

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.

serving platter placed on top of the cake pan and flip it over onto a plate

How to Serve

This impressive recipe would be a great dessert to make for company during the fall season. When you are ready to serve your delicious cake, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the individual slices along with a scoop of whipped cream on top.

Enjoy more treats this apple season with our apple crisp or apple pie bites.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: You can keep this delicious apple upside down cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You could also wrap leftovers tightly with plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe container for up to three months in the freezer.

A close up of a piece of Upside Down Apple Cake on a spatula

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

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze upside-down cake?

If you have any leftovers of this delicious cake, you can wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How do I flip the cake without making a mess?

Let your cake cool in the pan for a few minutes, then lay a flat serving plate upside down over the top of the cake pan. Carefully flip the cake over onto the plate. Bang on the bottom of the pan for good measure, then lift the pan off.

Should I store the cake in the fridge?

This cake can be stored safely on the counter for 2 to 3 days.

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overhead shot of Upside Down Apple Cake on a plate

Upside Down Apple Cake

5 from 1 vote
An old-fashioned classic, this amazing upside down apple cake features a buttery brown sugar and cinnamon apple layer topping a moist cake layer that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Apple Layer

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

Cake Layer

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

Instructions
 

  • Prepare a 9-inch round cake pan by spraying the bottom with nonstick spray, then lining the bottom with a 9-inch circle of parchment paper and spraying again.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • 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.
  • 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 combined.
  • 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 the platter.

Video

Notes

  • 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 to 10 minutes and then dab the excess water off. They will stay crisp!
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before starting.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.

Nutrition

Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 189mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg
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