Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Easy Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake. Tender vanilla spiced cake topped with a gooey homemade caramel and sliced apples. Serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Looking for more Apple Desserts? Try my Apple Cider Doughnuts or my Stuffed Baked Apple!

serving up slices of apple upside down cake on a silver spatula

Apple Upside Down Cake Recipe

I love apple season! It’s one of my favorite times of the year! Every year my husband and I make a trip up to Pennsylvania and pick apples from a local orchard. We come back with lot’s of apples and lots of reasons to make this Apple Upside Down Cake. The cake is perfectly moist with a hint of spice and vanilla. Layered on top is a quick caramel sauce and apple slices. It’s the perfect dessert to welcome in Fall!

I love to make upside down cakes. They make such a beautiful presentation! If you don’t have apples you can always substitute whatever fruit you have on hand! Peaches, pears, pineapples or blueberries would all be amazing in this! You could even do a combo of the two.

This cake is best served warm right out of the oven with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! If you want to make individual upside down cakes try my Mini Upside Down Cake Recipe and just substitute apples.

Ingredients for Apple Upside Down Cake

  • Unsalted butter: Along with brown sugar create the homemade caramel! If you don’t have unsalted butter salted butter can be used instead. Just make sure to omit the salt.
  • Brown sugar: Gives the caramel a nice molasses flavor. Only have granulated sugar? Make this recipe for 2 ingredients brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon: Adds the perfect spice to the cake and the caramel sauce. You could also add pumpkin pie spice for an extra kick.
  • Flour: I use regular all purpose flour in this recipe. To make this cake gluten free substitute gluten free flour 1:1. I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour.
  • Baking powder: Is the leavener in the cake. Baking soda can not be substituted.
  • Apples: My favorite apples to use in this recipe are honey crisp, granny smith and pink lady.
  • Egg: Adds moisture and structure to the cake.
  • Vanilla: Adds the perfect flavor to the yellow cake.
  • Milk: You can use regular 2% milk or buttermilk in this recipe.

side view shot of apple upside down cake in white casserole dish

How to make Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

  • Preheat oven: To 325 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 pan with nonstick spray.
  • Make homemade caramel sauce: In a medium saucepan melt 1/4 cup butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

simmering butter and brown sugar in small saucepan

  • Pour the caramel sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with apple slices.

layering apple slices on top of caramel sauce

  • Combine dry ingredients: In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

mixing dry ingredients in large clear bowl

  • Make batter: Add butter and brown sugar to an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until creamy and smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally. One at a time add the eggs and mix to combine. Add in the vanilla. With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beating after each addition until the batter is smooth. (Make sure not to overmix)

aerial shot of spiced cake batter in stand mixer

  • Bake: Pour the batter on top of the apples spreading in an even layer with a spatula. Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.

removing apple cake from oven

  • Cool: Allow the cake to cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes then transfer to a serving plate turning the cake over upside down to loosen the can. Serve immediately and enjoy!

serving cake with a silver spatula

  • Reheat: To serve leftovers reheat in the microwave for a couple of seconds and serve immediately!

Tips for making the perfect cake

  • Use room temperature ingredients: Make sure the eggs and the milk come to room temperature before adding to the batter. This will ensure a smoother clump free batter.
  • Use your favorite types of apples in this cake. My favorite to use are Honey crisp, pink lady and granny smith apples!
  • Add some crunch! Chopped pecans or walnuts give this cake the perfect crunch and texture. You can add it to either the caramel sauce or to the cake batter. 

How to Store Leftover Cake

Store leftover Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Any longer and I would recommend freezing for up to 3 months. Leftovers are best served warmed up a bit in the microwave!

picture of apple upside down cake in white casserole dish

Here are more delicious dessert recipes to try!

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 9
Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake. Tender spiced cake with a gooey caramel apple topping.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium apples peeled, cut into slices
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

Images:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 or 9 x9 inch pan with nonstick spray.
    In a medium saucepan melt 1/4 cup butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • Pour the caramel sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with apple slices.
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • Add butter and brown sugar to an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until creamy and smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally.
    One at a time add the eggs and mix to combine. Add in the vanilla.
    With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beating after each addition until the batter is smooth. (Make sure not to overmix)
  • Pour the batter on top of the apples spreading in an even layer with a spatula.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes then transfer to a serving plate turning the cake over upside down to loosen the can.
    Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Betty Crocker

Nutrition Facts
Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 398 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 90mg4%
Potassium 178mg5%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 561IU11%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 76mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake, Caramel, Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake, Dessert

 

 

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