This homemade Apple Upside-Down Cake is full of warm autumn spices (like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) and rich, caramel apple flavor. It’s a fluffy spice cake that pairs perfectly with the brown sugar apples. Step-by-step video too!
If you’ve never tried an apple upside down cake, then you have got to put it on your list immediately!
It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite desserts for fall!
Thanksgiving is coming in hot this year and I’m still sitting over thinking it’s September and I’ve got a couple of months until the holidays are upon us.
Someone just posted that’s there’s only 6 more Saturdays until Christmas and I nearly panicked. That means even less Saturdays until Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and I don’t have my menu planned.
Of course, we’re pretty traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving so making a menu really just means writing down all of our standard dishes on a new sheet of paper (you know, homemade cranberry sauce, turkey, mashed potatoes & sweet potatoes—because I can’t give either one up so we must have both—stuffing, sweet potato biscuits, etc.).
The desserts are pretty much the same thing. I always want to do something new and fun, but then there’s the dilemma of the classics (like pumpkin pie and apple pie).
Does a family of 10 really need 4-5 pies? Because I can’t forget about the chocolate pecan pie.
And what about people who don’t like pie?? Besides praying for their souls, what do I serve them?!
I’m a chronic over-thinker (as if you couldn’t tell) but Thanksgiving is my holiday.
A holiday centered around food and family and friends.
I know holidays can be tough for a lot of people for a variety of reasons, which is probably why I go so overboard trying to make sure everyone comes in feeling welcomed and leaves feeling like family.
And if that means making a cake for those non-pie people, then cake it is!
Since it can’t be any cake—oh no, it must be a cake that screams fall in every.single.bite—it has to be this caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake.
Gooey, caramelized apples baked in a spice cake batter, served warm with ice cream or whipped cream on top?!
Maybe I won’t be a pie person either this year… 😉
All right, so let’s talk the best Apple Upside-Down Cake. (Biased? For sure.)
One of my favorite cake recipes of all time is this pineapple upside-down cake (that I went a little overboard with and turned into 3 layers…because, why not?!).
This recipe is fairly similar, although the cake itself is a spice cake (and it’s a thicker/taller cake in general).
The apple portion of this cake can be done two ways: you can slice them in rings, like I did, or you can slice the apple into traditional thin slices.
Why did I slice the apple into rings?
The truth? I thought it would look prettier in pictures (a lot like how pineapple upside-down cake looks with pineapple rings). However, you definitely do not have do rings. In fact, if you do it in thin slices, you probably will have more apple to cake slice ratio.
Also, because I feel like someone will notice and ask…
Yes, the cake made in the video is shorter in size than the cake photographed. 😉
After making, tasting, photographing and videoing, I decided I wanted a thicker cake. Can you fault me?? Who doesn’t want more cake?!
But videoing takes a lot of time. When I re-made the recipe with more cake batter, I opted simply to re-photograph it and use the video footage I already had.
So…now you know. 😂
Tips & Tricks to this caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake:
- I used a 9×9 square pan. If you made this in a circular pan, it would need to be a deep dish circular pan, one that has about the same height as a square baking dish
- This is a homemade spice cake recipe (no cake mix required!), but it’s a fairly easy and straight forward recipe.
- As mentioned above, you can slice the apples in rings (like I did), or you can cut it into thin slices.
- Using apple rings in a 9×9 pan, I needed 9 slices (for me, this was about 1-2 apples).
- If using traditional thin apple slices, you will need 1 large apple or 2 medium apples.
- I suggest serving this cake warm with ice cream or whipped cream on top.
Who needs a slice?
- 4 Tbsp butter melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1-2 large apples (sliced into rings or traditional thin slices)
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x9 square baking dish.
- Pour melted butter into your baking dish and tilt the pan around until the butter is spread evenly on the bottom. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the butter. Lay apple slices on top of the brown sugar. Set aside.
- With a standing mixer or a hand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add in brown sugar and granulated sugar. With your mixer, beat the sugar with the butter until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating bell after each addition.
- Add in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and all spices. Using your mixer (or a rubber spatula), mix until just combined (it’s okay if there’s still a little white in the batter).
- Add in buttermilk and mix until just combined.
- Lastly, add in the vanilla extract and sour cream, mixing until everything is just combined.
- Pour the batter on top of the apples, spreading in an even layer.
- Bake for 35- 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 10-15 minutes, then invert the pan onto a plate and lightly tap the pan until the cake comes out.
- Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
*Instead of using a square pan, you can use a 9x9 deep dish circular pan (about the same depth as a 9x9 square baking pan).
Here are some other recipe you might love:
I have made apple upside down cake. But I used a gingerbread recipe for the cake and it was delicious.