Apple Upside Down Cake
The allure of fresh apples in a sweet dark almost-caramel topping, layered on a fragrant, subtly-spiced cake

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Apple Upside Down Cake

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Adjust Servings:
For the upside down topping
2 Large cooking apples Bramley or similar
2 Large eating apples
0.5 cup / 90g Dark brown sugar 100g or 3 ounces
2 tablespoons / Butter
For the cake
0.75 cup / 140g Butter
0.5 cup (scant) / 90 g Granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon Allspice
2 pinches Ground cloves
0.25 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Mace
3 Large eggs Well beaten
1.25 cup / 225 g All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
0.25 cup / 60 ml Milk Or buttermilk if preferred
1 tablespoon Granulated sugar For the bottom of the cake pan

A classic satisfying baked dessert for when apples are in season

  • 1 h 25 m
  • Serves 6
  • Medium


  • For the upside down topping

  • For the cake



Great for any time you’ve got lots of apples. Also great for making the best of the few you have.

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To make the topping

Peel and core all the apples. Use a mandolin (if possible) to slice half of one of the cooking apples thinly. Put these slices aside. (To keep them from discoloring, you might like to put them in a bowl with some water that has had lemon juice added to it.) Slice up all the rest of the apples relatively thickly (1/4 inch slices, approximately).

In a heavy frying pan, melt the butter until it bubbles and add the second batch of apples, stirring and turning them quickly in the first minute or so to cover all surfaces with butter. Turn the heat down and saute very carefully, turning them as they brown. Do your best to keep the slices intact. If they start coming apart, stop the process. Then add the brown sugar and stir gently to coat. Remove from heat and set aside.


To make the cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 175 degrees Centigrade.


Beat the butter until light: add the sugar and cream with the butter until fluffy. Add the cinnamon, allspice, eggs and milk: then gradually mix in the flour mixed with baking powder and salt.


When the cake batter is ready, butter a deep pie dish or springform cake pan. Sprinkle the bottom of it with a tablespoon or so of granulated sugar and arrange the first batch of thinly-sliced apples on it in a layer. (If you can get them arranged in a pretty spiral pattern, so much the better.)

On top of these, add the sauteed apples, arranging them so that they cover the whole bottom of the pan as evenly as possible. Pour the cake batter over the apples and smooth it out so that it fills the pan evenly and completely covers the apples.


Bake for approximately 45 minutes until the cake is well risen and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to rest for ten minutes or so before releasing the springform.

Place an upside-down plate over the cake and carefully invert the cake and plate together. Tap the base of the springform a few times with the handle of a knife to help it release, and remove the base of the springform from the apple later.

Best served warm with whipped cream or pouring cream. It's good cold, too.


Serving suggestion

In Ireland, this would always be served with thick heavy pouring cream (not whipped!) -- the thicker, the better. If double cream is available, that's what to use.


I write for a living. But food is one of my favorite hobbies... learning about it, cooking it, eating it!

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