Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake

adapted from Blissful Brownies

For the Toffee Apple Topping*

  • generous 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 apple of your choosing, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced (I suggest Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Pink Lady)

For the Apple Upside Down Cake **

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 apples of your choosing, partially peeled and coarsely grated (again, I recommend Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Pink Lady)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted (a few minutes over low heat in a saute pan is fine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly grease a 9x9-inch baking dish or cake pan using butter, butter & flour, or non-stick baking spray.

*To create the topping (goes into the baking dish first), mix brown sugar and butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and warm over medium-low heat; stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Remove from heat and pour mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x9-inch baking dish (or cake pan). Arrange apple slices over the toffee mixture, in whatever pattern is pleasing to the eye. Set aside.

**In a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar at low to medium speed until mixture is smooth and blended. Gradually blend in eggs and beat until pale and fluffy.

In another medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture, stirring gently by hand until batter is combined. Stir in grated apples and toasted walnuts until incorporated. Pour batter over toffee apple topping already in the baking dish (cake pan); if necessary, carefully move batter around until evenly distributed over topping. Place baking dish (cake pan) into a preheated 350 degree F oven and bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the accuracy of your oven. Cake is done when it no longer jiggles, is firm, and top (which will become the bottom) turns golden brown---a toothpick inserted in center and near edges of cake should also come out clean.

When cake is done, remove from oven and allow to cool in baking dish (cake pan) for approximately 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of baking dish (cake pan) to loosen sides of cake. Place serving plate over the top of baking dish (cake pan); holding the serving plate and baking dish firmly together, carefully invert until serving plate is on bottom and baking dish (cake pan) is resting on top. Gently lift baking dish (cake pan) from serving plate, jiggling if necessary, to loosen cake and leave it intact on the serving plate. At this point, the cake will be "upside down" with toffee apple topping showing.

For best results, serve cake warm or at room temperature, with a side of French vanilla ice cream if desired (may substitute whipped topping). Cake is best served fresh in one sitting, but will keep covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Gently warm before re-serving.

Yield: Serves 6-8

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