Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

caramel apple layer:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple pie spice
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, no sugar added
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Set a 9-inch round silicone baking pan on a cookie sheet.  If you don't have a silicone baking pan, thoroughly spray a standard pan with non-stick baking spray.

To make the caramel sauce:  In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and lemon juice, and warm slowly until the butter is melted.  Pour the mixture into the silicone pan and swirl around so that it spreads out to cover the bottom of the pan.

Starting in the middle, lay the apple slices on top of the caramel mixture, in a circular, overlapping pattern, until the apple slices reach the edges of the pan.  Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the apples.  Set aside.

To make the cake:  In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and apple pie spice.  Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about five minutes.  Scrape down the bowl, and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla.

On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the applesauce, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix for about 30 seconds on medium speed.  Fold in the diced apples.

Carefully, so as not to disturb the sliced apple pattern, pour the cake batter over the sliced apples and smooth out the top of the batter.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, until top of cake is golden brown, the edges are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen the cake.  Carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate and slowly lift the pan off the cake.  Cool for about an hour before serving.  Serve warm, or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream.

Yields 8 servings.