When we moved into our new house at the end of last summer, we became the proud owners of three beautiful apple trees. We didn’t have much time to learn the ins and outs of having our own little “orchard” before apple season began, but we did experiment a little and discovered two important things for this year: 1) We have some great baking apples on our hands, and 2) Our harvest is “out-of-control” big for our little family, so we need a game plan for some great recipes and ways to share these apples with our friends!
I’m usually an apple crisp kind of girl, but I knew I needed to broaden my horizons with this many apples. So, I found Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake. It’s a great combination of crisp apples, ooey-gooey goodness and moist cake. Plus, the photo looked amazing – So, it seemed worth a shot.
The prep is surprisingly simple for such a good-looking cake: start by heating your oven to 350° F. Put 1/2 cup brown sugar in a bowl and cut the cold butter into it with a pastry blender or fork. Keep mashing until the mixture looks like chunky crumbs.
I was determined to get my cake to look like the photo, so I sprinkled one tablespoon of sunflower seeds around the edge of my cake pan, and mixed the other tablespoon right into the sugar/butter mixture.
Press the sugar/butter/sunflower seed mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Peel, core and slice your apples into thin slices.
Arrange them in a spiral in the pan. Remember that you will be flipping this upside-down, so whatever layer you start with first is what you will see first. If you want that to be a spiral in the center, start there, then put a layer around the outside.
Set the pan aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the cake batter: flour, baking powder and salt. Set that aside as well.
In a larger bowl (or your stand mixer bowl), cream together the softened butter and brown sugar.
Add the vanilla and egg. Continue beating the batter until it’s smooth.
Take the bowl of dry ingredients and start adding it to the batter. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk into the batter.
You should have a nice creamy cake mixture now.
Gently spread the batter over the apple slices.
Smooth the batter out so it covers the apples evenly.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes – until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for five minutes. Then run a knife along the edge to loosen it up…
And carefully overturn the cake pan onto a serving plate or cake stand.
Serve your Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Savor the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the sweet taste of caramel apples. Then – in our case – it’s time to repeat the whole process several times so we can deliver cakes to the neighbors and share the apple wealth!