Cooking with My Kid: Teaching My Kid and myself the art of cooking in 365 days

Upside Down Apple Cake

Hmmm…did I happen to mention that I count dessert as a side? By the end of all that Thanksgiving planning it’s hard to even think about dessert… so we’re starting with it.  I gave my kid a choice of several different dessert ideas and he picked upside down apple cake. I’m not sure if it was the apples or the “upside down” that enticed him, but I was quite pleased with his decision.

Squeezing the lemon is one of his very favorite cooking activities. This lemon was particularly difficult. The look on my kid’s face is priceless.

While he was layering the apples, I turned my back for a moment and my kid decided to sneak a slice of apple. He forgot we had tossed them in lemon and couldn’t hide his sour face when I turned back around. That made us both giggle.

The cake requires that you cool it completely before slicing. My kid is at school and hasn’t had the chance to try it yet, but I have. I’m deeply in love. He better get home soon before I eat the entire cake! Now for the recipe…

Upside Down Apple Cake Recipe
Adapted from page 456 of  The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

Thanksgiving Planning: Make 1 day ahead

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 35 to 40 minutes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 granny smith apples (peeled, cored + sliced in wedges)
juice of 1/2 lemon
brown sugar for sprinkling
2 tablespoons almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted + cooled)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss apple slices in lemon juice. Place a tablespoon of butter in a 9 inch round pan and place in the oven for a minute or two until butter melts. Once melted, remove from oven and sprinkle brown sugar to lightly cover the entire bottom of pan. Arrange slices of apples in concentric circles on top of the sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together almond meal, salt, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs together until thick. Whisk in the melted butter a little bit at a time. Then add the yogurt and vanilla. Whisk until combined add flour mixture 1/2 at a time and whisk until just combined.

Spoon batter over the apples and use a spatula to gently smooth out evenly in the pan. Pick the pan up 1/2 inch off the counter and carefully drop it down to settle the batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cake cool for exactly 10 minutes and place a platter over the top of the pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Let the cake sit for exactly 1 minute before lifting up the pan. Let cool completely before slicing (about 2 hours). Voila! A gorgeous apple pie alternative is served.

Don’t forget to comment on one of our Thanksgiving sides recipes this week to be entered to win the Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor. If you want more chances to win, come back each day and enter another comment. (Only one comment per Thanksgiving side recipe please.) The giveaway starts 11/9 and will close at midnight on 11/16 and the winner will be selected at random from all the comments received. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Fine print: This giveaway is intended for play in the United States. Giveaway must be shipped to a valid address within the 50 United States. Void where prohibited by law.

Speaking of contests. One of our readers suggested we enter this cake into this apple cook off. What a cute idea!

posted by Rebecca // Nov 9th, 2010 // Dessert

50 Comments on “Upside Down Apple Cake”

  1. 1 Sarah said at 1:24 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    Looks yummy! A Swedish friend of mine always makes a Swedish cake like this for parties and everyone looks forward to it!

  2. 2 adamzurn said at 1:28 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and have since added it to my iGoogle homepage. I have a 16-month-old son and look forward to being able to cook with him. I love apples so I'm sure your Upside Down Apple Cake is wonderful.

  3. 3 Dana said at 1:31 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I'm not a huge fan of fruit in desserts but for this I would make a major exception – YUM!

  4. 4 Shay said at 1:34 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I am definitely going to try this–one question, though. Can I make almond meal just by crushing raw almonds in a food processor to a fine texture, or is there something else involved?

  5. 5 CookingWithMyKid said at 1:36 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    yes! you can make almond meal that way. use 1/4 cup slivered, toasted almonds. process in food processor (or a clean coffee grinder) until very finely ground.yes! you can make almond meal that way. use 1/4 cup slivered, toasted almonds. process in food processor until very finely ground. seems that mini prep is the perfect tool! be sure to let us know how it turns out.

  6. 6 Katrina said at 1:49 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I LOVE that you consider dessert a side dish! It looks so tasty and pretty!

  7. 7 dclownfish03 said at 2:08 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    sounds delicious. Love the look on his face!

  8. 8 Mariela said at 3:04 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    Awesome alternative to a traditional Apple pie , Gracias !!

  9. 9 debbiejl said at 3:29 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I am with you! Desserts are a side. I love your blog!

  10. 10 Kali Garofoli said at 3:46 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I am having my mother-in-law coming into town and I know she would love this! I also have to make something for my neighbor who is having back surgery…I think this would be a favorite!!!!

  11. 11 Jacqueline said at 3:46 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I make my famous apple pie every thanksgiving…but I almost want to give it up this year to try this instead….hmm…decisions…maybe I'll make two?!

  12. 12 Miranda said at 3:47 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    We are all fans of apples and the cake makes it even better!

  13. 13 Tiffany said at 3:48 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I just made your beef & bowtie stew last night. Good call on the bowties; I never would have thought of that. Will have to try this cake soon!

  14. 14 Dana said at 4:15 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    this sounds delicious!

  15. 15 Macki said at 4:29 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I was full, but after seeing this recipe, I am now starving. Maybe it's the thought of using almond meal with apples in a cake. Drool.

  16. 16 Whitney Mills said at 4:38 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    Love the recipe and pictures! I am definitely going to try this out for txgiving!

  17. 17 Marcie said at 5:27 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    Can't wait to make this. My boys are going to love it

  18. 18 Sharon said at 5:37 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    Oh this looks like so much fun to make with my step son! I am trying to find ways of including him in making meals and being excited to do so. This looks like there are multiple steps that would be fun for him to do. Thanks for the wonderful side idea.

  19. 19 Miranda G. said at 6:01 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    Just finished a horrible day at work. How I would love to squeeze the heck out of a lemon like your little guy, and then have a slice of delicious cake….

  20. 20 Andrea V. said at 6:13 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I just found your website and am anxious to see if the 'cooking cure' works on my picky eater. i'm already picking a few of your recipes to try! thank you!

  21. 21 Nicole said at 6:35 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    this looks to die for! where did you find your lemon squeezer? been looking for one like it but haven't found quite the right one yet.

  22. 22 Rose said at 6:54 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    Yum! Yum! Yum! Can’t wait to try this

  23. 23 constance said at 7:24 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    What an elegant looking dessert. I'm going to try this one asap.

  24. 24 Staci A said at 7:32 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    That looks like an amazingly yummy dessert! I bet my little one would love squeezing the lemons too, such a fun job!

  25. 25 Joanna said at 8:30 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    This looks delicious! Would love to win the mini food processor!!

  26. 26 Megan said at 8:35 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    I've never thought much of pineapple upside down cake, but apple upside down…I must make this!

  27. 27 Anne said at 8:54 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    This looks delicious – I am new to your website but will be exploring it with my kids!

  28. 28 rinny0525 said at 9:32 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    This looks delicious! How much would it change if you left the almond meal out?

  29. 29 janelle said at 10:35 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    oh yummmy!!!! i want to make this!!!

  30. 30 Patti said at 11:51 pm on November 9th, 2010:

    This made my day! Easy and beautiful!

  31. 31 Bridgit said at 7:12 am on November 10th, 2010:

    I LOVE when you post apple recipes! I think you should devote an entire week to apples just like you did with pumpkins. =)

  32. 32 @LibraryRaya said at 10:17 am on November 10th, 2010:

    I agree–what a priceless expression of your son juicing that lemon! Great recipe, and one that I will probably try!

  33. 33 Jeannette said at 11:23 am on November 10th, 2010:

    I've been trying to think of a new dessert for Thanksgiving this year as an addition to the usual Pumpkin Pie. (We've got a big family and need a few dessert options). I think this is going to be the winner this year! Great post!

  34. 34 Min said at 11:26 am on November 10th, 2010:

    If I can track down almond meal, I'm totally making this! Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. 35 Susan said at 12:10 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    Yum! I work with a group of 3-5 year olds, and we have made many of your recipes! We especially loved the pumpkin pie granola, and I think the upside down apple pie will also be a hit.

  36. 36 CookingWithMyKid said at 12:18 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    You can make your own almond meal by putting 1/4 cup of toasted slivered almonds in a food processor (or clean coffee grinder) and processing until fine. Or, in a pinch you can use 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract instead. Not as good but better than leaving out the awesome almond flavor.

  37. 37 Lenexicon said at 1:44 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    Love your boy's expression! It makes it all the funnier that he has a tattoo on his forearm (temporary, I'm guessing).

  38. 38 @BeardedPansy said at 4:03 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    ooh! cake as a side dish! brilliant! ;D

  39. 39 colleen said at 4:55 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    Oh no I am mid recipe and can't find how much baking powder to use. It is listed in the recipe but not the ingredients.

  40. 40 CookingWithMyKid said at 4:58 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    1 teaspoon.

  41. 41 colleen said at 5:53 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    Thanks so much.

  42. 42 Mariko said at 7:50 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    I wonder if you entered Da's apple contest already. This looks PERFECT to win.

  43. 43 CrashTestMonkey said at 10:22 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    Definitely gonna try this… it looks awesome. :)

  44. 44 Cali mom of 2 said at 10:32 pm on November 10th, 2010:

    The apples during fall are the best and I am looking forward to trying this recipe. Sounds delicious. My four year old daughter will be excited to try this one.

  45. 45 Damaris said at 9:16 am on November 11th, 2010:

    I'm so excited you joined the cook off. Your cake looks super yummy!

  46. 46 deebo said at 10:15 am on November 11th, 2010:

    turns out my son will eat anything if its made into bread or pie.. i dont know anyone who wouldnt want to eat this, haha.

  47. 47 Ashley said at 11:39 am on November 11th, 2010:

    I was wondering what almond meal was. Thanks for the clarification.

  48. 48 souzalito said at 12:54 pm on November 11th, 2010:

    I will definitely try this one:)

  49. 49 katyhaltertop said at 4:01 pm on November 11th, 2010:

    Made my first upside down pineapple cake a few weeks ago. It wasn't kid friendly though, it had passionfruit rum in it! But I think I like the idea of apples better for fall…

  50. 50 Name (required)Lucy said at 4:43 pm on November 11th, 2010:

    I love that you let him choose!

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