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Apple-Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake


You'll want firm but ripe apples that are sweet, such as Empire or Gala. With the cinnamon in this homey cake, they'll hit the spot. Take a few minutes to arrange the apple slices in neat circles on the bottom of the pan -- when the cake is baked and inverted, you'll find them decorating the top.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Photography: John Kernick

Source: Everyday Food, September 2007


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 apples, Empire or Gala (about 1 1/2 pounds), each peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 wedges
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and side of a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle bottom with brown sugar. In a medium bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; arrange in prepared pan in two concentric circles (you might not use all of them).

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

  3. With an electric mixer, beat remaining 8 tablespoons butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until incorporated. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture in three parts and the milk in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

  4. Spoon batter over apples in pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack, at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours (if cake has risen above rim of pan, simply push back inside rim).

  5. To serve, run a knife around edge of pan, and invert cake onto a rimmed platter.

Reviews Add a comment

  • cwest805
    22 FEB, 2013
    I made this a couple of weeks ago. I served it with vanilla icecream and caramel sauce. It was delicious, and very easy to make. It wasn't too sweet, so it worked perfectly with the icecream and caramel. Thank you for the recipe!
  • Couzintka
    12 JAN, 2013
    My comments are based on 2 things: 1) Reading reviews 2) Personal use of the recipe I followed recipe BUT used a spring pan (the one we use for baked cheese cake) and added a cheese cake crust. I did not use the flour portion of recipe. Myself, freinds, grandkids, etc. enjoyed the flavor and texture of the apples. This recipe is solid. Pass it on/give it to your kids. Our grandkids will learn about an apple dessert.
  • diana2010
    28 NOV, 2011
    i loved this recipe, have made it for several holiday gatherings, i do find the cake can be a little dry. I also add extra vanilla and cinnamon to it, think I will try adding caramel to the batter next time i make it! great suggestion..
  • kellyg625
    10 SEP, 2011
    This cake definitely needed to be made in either a spring form pan or with parchment paper lining your round pan. The cake does not easily come out when flipped upside down because of the brown sugar at the bottom of it.
  • jadegalfas
    12 OCT, 2010
    I added 1/3 cup extra brown sugar to the batter, 1/4 tsp extra vanilla extract, a few pinches of extra cinnamon both on the apples and in the batter, and a pinch of nutmeg in the batter. I also added a heaping tablespoon of caramel to the batter. It turned out delicious and moist but next time I'm going to put twice as much apples. I think the apple layer should be thicker. In my opinion there is too much cake for such a small amount of apple.
  • auntiemaryann
    14 SEP, 2010
    i make a version of this recipe called apple skillet cake. you bake it in a 10" iron skillet. my recipe has an additional 1/3 cup of brown sugar in the batter, and 3/4 cup of evaporated milk instead of whole milk. sprinkle the sliced apples with cinnamon and a handful of raisins before you pour on the batter. and flip onto a plate 5 min after you take it out of the oven and it won't stick. if the apples are small, you'll need three. great fall dessert!
  • amethyst2
    28 NOV, 2009
    I do not recommend this recipe. The cake is too heavy and lacks flavor. Martha, this one needs to come off your list.
  • emiefox06
    19 MAR, 2009
    This cake would be good if it weren't called a cake... it's not sweet or cinnamony enough for my tastes or any dessert-lover's tastes. Once again, I'm disappointed with a MS recipe. :(
  • akerr
    24 FEB, 2009
    it was to much trouble for what you got. Tasted okay but no spectacular. Did not even look as good as I thought it would have on the plate.
  • frindmi
    3 FEB, 2009
    This cake tastes delicious but itn n n n s definitely something to be savored on the day of baking because, after that, itn n n n s on the dry side. If you zip it for a few seconds in the microwave, itn n n n s better (if you are not eating it right away).