Apple Upside-Down Cake – a New Holiday Tradition

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A new holiday tradition.
Apple Upside-Down Cake
Apple Upside Down Cake
Apple Upside-Down Cake

You probably have everything you need to make this Apple Upside-Down cake already in your pantry. This rich cake is a great choice for the holidays. Make it your new tradition.

When I made this cake, I had leftover crumbs from the Blueberry Muffins I had made.  I also had some apples that were crying to be used. I used the batter from the Raw Apple Cake to make this.

It’s three layers, one for the upside-down with apples, one for the cake batter with apples, and one for the crumb. You can use whatever apples you happen to have around.  I did not use baking apples, just apples for eating.

When I made this, I made it in a pie pan. You could make it even prettier by using a quiche or tart pan.  A spring-form pan will not work because the upside-down melted butter and brown sugar will leak. This is also an excellent candidate for a Bundt pan.

Use whatever apples you happen to have on hand.  The apples I had were not baking apples, and they did just fine. Feel free to make the crumb topping as you like it. You can also add a little bourbon to the cake batter for an adult cake.  Enjoy!

For the crumb, you don’t have to make blueberry muffins – you can make the crumb that you like and add whatever you want to make it your own.

This cake has a lot of cinnamon and it deserves to have good cinnamon.  The regular cinnamon you use for cinnamon toast just won’t do. I recommend Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon because it’s the best – and this cake deserves the best.

The Empress of Apple Upside-Down Cake

Chloe – Empress of all the Tortitudes

Just after serving a slice of this for myself and my son, I covered the plate. We went to have our treat and watch whatever we were binge-watching.  Suddenly, I heard the sound of glass breaking. Our cat, the Empress of all the Tortitudes, her most royal, high, and respected, Chloe, came running out of the kitchen like the devil was after her.  She really likes apples. She managed to turn the plate over on its side in an attempt to get the cover off the cake.  It tumbled to the floor, exploded, and smashed to smithereens. All the ceramic shattered into tiny pieces that embedded themselves in the remains of the cake.  Chloe was not hurt but she did manage to get a piece of apple that she took to her bed and happily ate.

Apple Upside Down Cake

Apple Upside-Down Cake

A new holiday tradition.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings (slide to adjust): 12
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Difficulty: Moderate
Newsletter: 2020-11-30
Calories per serving: 345kcal


~~ -- The Upside-Down -- ~~

  • ½ cup butter, unsalted 1 stick
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled, and sliced

~~ -- The Batter -- ~~

  • 2 Apple, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ¼ cup Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

~~ -- The Crumb -- ~~

  • ¼ cup butter, cold
  • ½ cup Flour
  • 2 tablespoon Brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon, Vietnamese preferred
Ingredients necessary for the recipe step are in italic.


  • Gather your mise en place for the cake
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Gather your mise en place for the crumb topping
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 325 F/162 C for glass or 350 F/ 176 C for metal.

*** Make the Upside-Down ***

  • Melt the butter in a saute pan and add the apples. Cook them until they have softened a bit, but not all the way. Carefully remove them from the pan and set them aside.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Put the brown sugar in the bottom of a pie pan or tart pan. Flatten it out so it is well spread.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Pour the butter that was in the pan on the brown sugar, trying to get as much covered as possible.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Arrange the apples on top of the brown sugar and melted butter. Set aside.
    Apple Upside Down Cake

*** Make the Batter ***

  • Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and mace. Set aside.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Beat together eggs and sugar until the egg mixture is light and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and beat.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Add the oil and beat again.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Slowly add the flour mixture, beating and scraping the sides of the bowl.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Add the apple slices by hand and mix together.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Set aside.
    Apple Upside Down Cake

*** Make the Crumb ***

  • Add the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a small food processor. Process it just until it comes together into a nice crumble. Set aside

*** Assembly ***

  • Pour the batter over the upside-down and use an offset spatula to flatten it out and make sure it''s all over.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Put the crumb mixture on top of the batter.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
    Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Get a plate that is larger than your pan and put in upside-down on the top of the pan. Carefully invert the two and remove the pan leaving the upside-down cake.
    Apple Upside Down Cake


You could also do this with a Bundt pan. You would do it in exactly the same order.
This would be excellent with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream when served.


Calories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 2gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 169mgPotassium: 133mgFiber: 1gSugar: 36g
Got Questions? Let me know!Mention @arbpen or tag #arbpen!


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