I’ve always wanted to make a pineapple upside-down cake, but I just received Cook’s Illustrated Baking cookbook and found a good-looking Apple Upside-Down Cake instead. Cook’s Illustrated (which is under the same umbrella as America’s Test Kitchen) has a stringent creation and testing routine and every recipe I’ve tried from them has turned out terrific, including this one!
I made the cake exactly by the instructions, including room temperature eggs and whisking the cake by hand. The apples are two different sizes – cut in 1/2″ slices and 1/4″ slices – and half of them are sauteed to draw out some of the moisture so that the cake doesn’t get soggy. The result was a tender, delicious cake topped with caramelized sliced apples. The juices from the apples sank down into the cake a little and made it very moist. *Adoring Sigh*
Bret loved it warmed up and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I liked it both warm and room temperature. I’m so excited to have found this recipe! It will go into the make-again recipe file and be made often.
****Outstanding tender cake topped with juicy, caramelized apple.
- 2 lbs Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cored
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 2/3 C light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 C (5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 C (5 1/4 oz) granulated sugar
- 1/4 C (1 3/4 oz) light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 C sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Grease a 9" round nonstick cake pan, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour entire pan. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 °.
For the topping: Halve apples from stem to blossom end. Cut 2 apples into 1/4" thick slices; set aside. Cut remaining 2 apples into 1/2" thick slices. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2" thick apple slices and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times, until apples begin to caramelize, 4 to 5 minutes (do not fully cook apples). Add 1/4" thick apple slices, brown sugar, and lemon juice and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and apples are coated, about 1 minute longer. Transfer apple mixture to prepared pan and lightly press into even layer. Set aside.
For the cake: Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside. Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs together in large bowl until thick and thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in melted butter until combined. Add sour cream and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly over fruit. Bake the cake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-45 minutes (check at 35 minutes), rotating pan halfway through baking.
Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Run thin knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place wire rack over pan and, holding rack tightly, invert cake pan and wire rack together. Lift off pan. Place wire rack with cake over baking sheet or large plate to catch any drips. If any fruit sticks to pan bottom, remove and reposition it on top of cake. Let cake cool completely, about 20 minutes, then transfer to serving platter and serve.
Tips and Stuff:
I used the weights for the ingredients that called for it because I have a really good little scale. The volume is a little different, but if you don't have a scale, it'll still work.
I used salted butter and decreased the salt by a pinch.
When you pick up the pan to put into the oven, remember the apple mixture is still very warm so use a pot holder or cloth to put the cake in.
Mine took the entire 45 minutes to bake.
Refrigerate leftovers if you have any.
Enjoy this wonderful cake!