Upside Down Apple Cake


by Nov 9th, 2010 // Desserts

Upside Down Apple Cake

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.

Upside Down Apple Cake

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.

Upside Down Apple Cake

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.

Upside Down Apple Cake

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
pinch of salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
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.

Upside Down Apple Cake


65 Comments on “Upside Down Apple Cake”

  1. 1.) Sarah
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    November 9th, 2010

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

  7. 7.) dclownfish03
    November 9th, 2010

    sounds delicious. Love the look on his face!

  8. 8.) Mariela
    November 9th, 2010

    Awesome alternative to a traditional Apple pie , Gracias !!

  9. 9.) debbiejl
    November 9th, 2010

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

  10. 10.) Kali Garofoli
    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
    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
    November 9th, 2010

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

  13. 13.) Tiffany
    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
    November 9th, 2010

    this sounds delicious!

  15. 15.) Marcie
    November 9th, 2010

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

  16. 16.) Sharon
    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.

  17. 17.) Miranda G.
    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….

  18. 18.) Andrea V.
    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!

  19. 19.) Nicole
    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.

  20. 20.) Rose
    November 9th, 2010

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

  21. 21.) Staci A
    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!

  22. 22.) Joanna
    November 9th, 2010

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

  23. 23.) Megan
    November 9th, 2010

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

  24. 24.) Anne
    November 9th, 2010

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

  25. 25.) rinny0525
    November 9th, 2010

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

  26. 26.) Macki
    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.

  27. 27.) janelle
    November 9th, 2010

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

  28. 28.) Whitney Mills
    November 9th, 2010

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

  29. 29.) Patti
    November 9th, 2010

    This made my day! Easy and beautiful!

  30. 30.) constance
    November 9th, 2010

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

  31. 31.) Bridgit
    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
    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
    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
    November 10th, 2010

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

  35. 35.) Susan
    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
    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
    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
    November 10th, 2010

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

  39. 39.) colleen
    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
    November 10th, 2010

    1 teaspoon.

  41. 41.) colleen
    November 10th, 2010

    Thanks so much.

  42. 42.) Mariko
    November 10th, 2010

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

  43. 43.) CrashTestMonkey
    November 10th, 2010

    Definitely gonna try this… it looks awesome. :)

  44. 44.) Cali mom of 2
    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
    November 11th, 2010

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

  46. 46.) deebo
    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
    November 11th, 2010

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

  48. 48.) souzalito
    November 11th, 2010

    I will definitely try this one:)

  49. 49.) katyhaltertop
    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
    November 11th, 2010

    I love that you let him choose!

  51. 51.) GramaJean
    November 14th, 2010

    Tried it last night. Was great, I made a half sz one since it was just me last night.Tell your son I ate a lot of the apples also.

  52. 52.) Kara
    November 14th, 2010

    Made this last night and it was instantly a family favorite! It's delicious! On a side note, since the recipe never said how much baking powder to use, I just used 1 tsp and it was great! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  53. 53.) Annie
    November 15th, 2010

    I've made this before, not the same exact recipe and it is absolutely delicious. I love how it looks so fancy with minimal effort! I made mine in a cast iron skillet and it makes the apples caramelize very nicely.

  54. 54.) BEcky
    November 15th, 2010

    Upside down cake may be one of the most under rated desserts out there!

  55. 55.) Heidi
    November 15th, 2010

    My husband loves anything with apple, so I'm sure he would love this!

  56. 56.) Damaris
    November 16th, 2010

    Rebecca, I'm so sorry about the link. I fixed the problem and I will be sure to take it into consideration and will add you to the finalists no matter what the voting outcome is. Promise!

  57. 57.) Susan
    November 17th, 2010

    Your kid is too cute!

  58. 58.) Krista
    November 24th, 2010

    I'm having a really hard time finding almond meal. Is there something that would work as a substitute?

  59. 59.) CookingWithMyKid
    November 24th, 2010

    yes! you can make your own almond meal. use 1/4 cup slivered, toasted almonds. process in food processor (or a clean coffee grinder) until very finely ground.

  60. 60.) Krista
    November 24th, 2010

    Thank you!

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