Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake Recipe

apple caramel upside down cake

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We like to have a little something sweet in the evening whether it be a treat I have baked or some ice cream. The other day I adapted a recipe from The Perfect Cake (affiliate link) to make this caramel apple upside down cake. Mostly because I had a bunch of apples that needed to be used so they basically drove my baking for the day. It was very tasty; not too sweet and utterly perfect with a little bit of whipped cream.

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apple upside down cake (3)

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake Recipe

serves 8 to 10

For the Topping

For the Cake

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  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Place rack on lowest position and preheat oven to 350


Make the Topping:

make the cake

  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Cut into slices; half of them 1/4″ thick, half of them 1/2″ thick
  • Melt the butter in a 12″ skillet over medium high heat. Add the 1/2″ thick apple slices and cook, stirring now and then until they start to caramelize – do not let them fully cook.
  • Add the thinner apples, sugar and the lemon juice.
  • Cook, stirring gently but constantly until the sugar dissolves and the apples are coated, about 2 minutes.
  • Carefully add the apples to the prepared cake pan, arranging them in an equal layer.

add dried cranberries

  • Sprinkle the dried cranberries over top of the apples.

Make the cake batter

  • Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs.
  • Whisk in the cooled, melted butter until combined followed by the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

add batter to cake pan

  • Pour the batter over the apples in the pan and carefully spread over the top. I find that an offset spatula is really handy for this.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean – about 40 – 45 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.

let cool

  • Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes
  • Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan and invert onto a the rack. Be sure to have a piece of wax paper or foil underneath to catch any runoff. Have some patience as it will take about a minute for the cake to release.
  • Scrape any apples and caramel that remained in the pan onto the cake.

 caramel apple upside down cake

  • Let the cake cool for about 2o minutes before serving.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

piece of caramel apple upside down cake

How Was the Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake?

As good as you might expect. Sweet, but not too sweet caramel, apples and that delicious base cake all with the tang of the dried cranberries. This is a very adult cake. The whipped cream was a very welcome addition. I also think vanilla ice cream would be an excellent topper as well. 

If you would like to go all out I have a recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream that is udderly ;) delicious. I made it at the time with goat’s milk but have made it since with cow’s milk and cream and it is wonderful. Worth the effort for sure!

We both enjoyed having this upside down cake for dessert. Fruit desserts are a favorite around here if you can’t tell as I have shared recipes for a fruit tart, strawberry pie, pumpkin cheesecake with bourboned pears among many others.

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