This caramel apple upside-down cake is the perfect dessert for fall!
When it comes to fall desserts, for me apple beats pumpkin every single time. And when you put apple together with a little cinnamon and a drizzle of caramel? Yes, please!
I love this caramel apple upside-down cake so much. It’s got a lid of apples cooked in brown sugar and butter until soft and caramelized, a simple cinnamon-scented cake underneath, and extra caramel sauce for drizzling over the top. For good measure, of course. Serve this wonderful cake as it is, or add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to send it over the top.
baking tip:Tips for baking an upside-down cake
- Choose the right pan. I usually bake my upside-down cakes in a cast iron skillet because I like how it crisps the edges, but a cake pan will work too. If you have a non-stick cake pan, use it!
- Make sure to grease your pan very well. I use a very heavy coating of non-stick baking spray that includes flour, but you can also use a coating of butter and flour.
- Let the cake cool, but not completely. Before you flip the cake upside-down, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes to let it finish setting up. However, don’t let it cool completely or it won’t come cleanly out of the pan.
- Be flip-wise. Run a knife around the edges of the cake, then invert a serving plate on top of the pan. In one quick motion, flip the cake upside-down. Let the cake sit like this on the plate, but still inside the pan, for a few minutes. Gravity will help the cake release in one piece.
- Remove the cake pan. Carefully lift the pan off the cake. If any fruit has stuck to the pan, remove it and place it back on the cake. (No one will ever know!)
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Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake
Caramel apple layer:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
- About 2 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
Caramel sauce (optional):
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a round 9-inch baking pan.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together for 2-3 minutes, stirring until smooth. Pour into prepared baking pan.
- Arrange apple slices on top of caramel so that they’re slightly overlapping each other.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Mix in vanilla.
- Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk, and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Pour batter over apple slices and gently spread it into an even layer.
- Bake cake until top is golden brown and center springs back when gently pressed, about 45-55 minutes.
- Let cake stand about 10 minutes. While cake is still warm, run a knife around the edges and invert it onto a plate or cake stand. If you wait till cake is cool, it may not come cleanly out of the pan.
- To make the caramel sauce, add the brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until caramel is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt.
- If desired, top cake slices with additional caramel sauce before serving.