Apple Upside Down cake–Warm caramelized apples with a hint of rum, baked on a soft cinnamon buttermilk cake. Yummm.
Fall is the cozy time of year when we put on our sweaters and retreat into the house after a summer of dining alfresco. Of course, when I’m in the house I’m usually in the kitchen.
One of my favorite things about fall is the bounty of apples in our farm share. We get apples of every color, size and flavor profile and it’s so much fun to taste them all. Besides just eating them as a snack, I bake them into pies and cakes and slice them into salads and savory dishes.
Early fall is also a very busy time of year in the wedding cake business, so I haven’t had a lot of time to bake just for fun. Despite my jam-packed schedule I decided to whip up a quick apple upside down cake last weekend while I was finishing up my wedding cake orders. This is a great recipe for those busy weeks in your life because it comes together pretty quickly but looks beautiful and tastes scrumptious. It’s perfect for dessert, brunch or maybe even a slightly decadent breakfast. We enjoyed it warm from the oven with buttermilk ice cream.
The cake starts with a caramel topping made from brown sugar, vanilla bean, rum, cinnamon and butter. It’s really not possible for something that starts with those ingredients to taste bad. The caramel is poured into a parchment lined cake pan, topped with fresh apples and then a buttermilk-cinnamon cake batter. Since I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel for every new recipe, the cake batter for this recipe is a variation of my Blueberry Crumb Cake.
I’ve got plenty of kitchen gadgets, but this apple peeler has got to be one of my all-time favorite tools. It’s well worth the space it takes up in your cabinet. I can whip through a couple pounds of apples for a pie in no time. Not only are the apples peeled and cored quickly and neatly, they come off the machine perfectly spiral-cut. I cut the rings in half and arranged them in rows for pretty design on top of the cake. If I make this cake in a round cake pan I like to arrange the apple slices in concentric circles.
The key to getting this cake out of the pan with the topping intact is to unmold it while it’s still warm. I let it cool just 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge and flipping it onto a serving platter. If a few pieces of apple or a little caramel sticks to the pan just use a small spatula to scoop up the left over bits and spread them back onto the cake. Again, this works best while the cake is still warm.
Apple upside down cake keeps very well for several days at room temperature, but I love it best warm from the oven. Try it with Buttermilk Ice Cream for a real treat.
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