Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake : Free and Easy Bake-Along #30

It's Bake-Along time! And this is our 30th bake! I can't believe how time just passes by, and I find myself baking our bake no. 30!  Together with my baking buddies, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and all our baking friends, for our 30th bake we are baking Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake, chosen by Zoe.

Great pick, Zoe, as this is a lovely cake!

You would need 3 big Granny Smith apples for the full recipe. At first, when I sliced the apples, it seems quite a lot, but once they are cooked, some of their juices will be released and when they get soft and tender, they do shrink a little. All the slices fits perfectly in a 9" round cake pan. First, the butter is melted and sugar is added in, it will start to caramelized and turned brown, takes about 3 minutes, and the apples are then added in. The caramel will turn lumpy but it will dissolve later, as the apples released the juices. Stir every now and then for about 12 minutes until apples are tender. Immediately pour the apples and caramel into a well-greased 9" round pan. (I arranged the apple slices as above before pouring in the rest of the caramel on top). Prepare the cake batter and dropped dollops of batter all over the apple slices. Gently level off the batter with a spatula.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about 45 minutes until golden brown and cooked. Leave cake in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, loosen sides and invert on a plate.

Then wait 15-20 minutes (10 minutes if you can't wait that long!) and serve. :o)

This is really good when eaten warm. The apples are really soft and tender, the cake is soft and moist, and has a lovely texture from the cornmeal. Overall, a keeper recipe!

Let's visit Lena, Zoe and all our baking friends who has baked along with us by clicking on the link below. For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking based on a theme, and our theme will be "Whoopie Pies". The link will open from 23rd August to 29th August. I'm looking forward to it, as this will be my first time making Whoopie Pies! Will it be your first time too? Come and join us, bake some Whoopie Pies for your family and join us in our blog hop linky on 23rd August. Hope to see you!


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1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
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I'm sharing this with :
Recipe Box hosted by Bizzy Bakes

Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
(Bon Appetit Desserts, Barbara Fairchild)
6 to 8 servings
Non-stick vegetable oil spray
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar  (I use : from 1/2 cup, less 2 tablespoons and only 1/2 cup from 2/3 cup)
3 (7-8 ounce) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cut into eighths, cored
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use a mixture of yoghurt and milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (my addition)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F. 
Generously spray 9-inch diameter cake pan with 2-inch high sides with nonstick spray.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar and stir until sugar melts and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add apples and saute over medium heat until apples are just tender and coated with caramel, shaking pan occassionally, about 12 minutes. Immediately pour mixture into prepared pan; distribute apples and caramel evenly over bottom of pan.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add half of flour mixture, stir in buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add remaining flour mixture and mix well. Drop batter by spoonfuls evenly over apples and spread gently with offset spatula.

Bake until cake is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 5 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Place platter over pan. Using oven mitts or pot holders as aid, firmly grasp pan and platter together and turn over. Gently lift pan off cake. Serve warm.

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  1. The cake looks really yumm, haven't started baking with corn meal, delicious..

  2. This cake is superb! Very delicious! Happy and feeling lucky too that I chose this recipe... LOL! I see that you have use the recipe from the book too and I wonder if there is any difference with the recipe from Epicurious.

  3. Beautiful cake Joyce...love that you used cornmeal...and I like the idea of reducing the sugar. I would love to have a slice of the cake with a cup of tea...yum!
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you have a great week ahead :)

  4. Joyce, I've heard so much of upside down cake b4 but never try making one myself. Coming here to learn something & take a slice of your apple cornmeal upside down cake with me, thanks@!

  5. Wow, so this is how apple cornmeal upside down cake look like~

    I'm skipping this bake along event because I thought it would be too challenging for me. After reading your recipe and steps, it doesn't sound that complicated :D

    Thanks for sharing, Joyce~

  6. I love the taste of this cake very much, it's so delicious, I'll bake this again if I have apples left over for too long! lol! And I have reduced the sugar a lot too.

  7. Joyce, this cake is really really nice! I love how beautifully arranged your apples are arranged and the cake looks so moist. I only baked half the recipe, I regretted it big time. Will make it this again and again :)

  8. Really nice and delicious cake. Love the caramalised apples on top. So yum....

  9. Cake looks so soft and yummy.

  10. Joyce , burp !!!! That cake looks delicious ! :D I love the addition of cornmeal in this cake ! I used the Epicurious recipe and it's good ! lol

  11. i love baking with cornmeal, it brings such a nice texture to the bread/cake. this is much better and more appealing to me than a pineapple upside down cake- love you used just apples

  12. i agree that this is a very moist and lovely cake, actually i enjoyed eating the cake itself more than the apples..haha! after reading some comments, i;m glad to know that the recipe from the internet is just as good as well. ciao! now got to chk the rest !

  13. I love how you arranged the apple slices! Cake looks FAB!

  14. It certainly looks rich and delicious. Caramelized apples - yum. I am going to see if I can find time, later or tomorrow to make this. I wanted to bake the strawberry coffee cake so that would be done and I did.

  15. Looks very moist and delectable. Love caramelized apples.

  16. Ooh, what a great idea to use cornmeal and to make it upside-down as a fun twist! Great cake!

  17. Joyce, to bake this cake. I try tog et the cornmeal fom the organic shop. This cake must be nice right

    1. Hi Angeline,
      Yes, this cake is very nice! I bought the cornmeal from the bakery supplier. If you happen to be in Ipoh, Bake With Yen has opened a branch there. Have fun baking!

  18. eileen@hundred eighty degreesWednesday, August 08, 2012

    Hi Joyce, looks like this cannot be missed. I left a comments in Lena's post to find out if semolina flour can be used to replace cornmeal. Any idea? Yours looks just as good as the others:)

    1. Hi Eileen, I was actually thinking of that too when I was about to make the cake, as I do have semolina in my pantry, which I needed to use up. I love semolina cakes, but have no idea whether it would work for this cake. The only way to find out is to try! :)
      Sometimes semolina can be gritty, I once made a semolina cake, where the butter, sugar and eggs are beaten until creamy, add in the semolina and keep aside for an hour, stirring now and then, so that the semolina can absorb the butter, then proceed with the rest. The cake was really good, you could probably try this method for this cake, but I don't know whether it will work!

    2. eileen@hundred eighty degreesWednesday, August 08, 2012

      Hi Joyce, thanks! I managed to get yellow cornmeal awhile ago, will probably bake this tomorrow for breakfast, it's a public holiday here. I"ll save that for the batch of cookies I've in mind :)

  19. I've reduced the sugar too as I already used sweeter variety of apples. :D Great recipe indeed!

  20. I am putting these on my 'to make' list. I love how healthy and delicious they sound!

  21. Hi Joyce,
    Your apple upside down cake is beautiful. i love how you arrange your apple slices so neatly. i can see this cake is so moist and the caramelize apples are soft and tender. Must try..must try...hehe

  22. Wish to have a slice rite now, incredible cake.

  23. Hi Joyce, love this cake, but regret have never eaten one before. First time seeing it too.
    I'm not much a fan of Western cakes, preference Nyonya cakes, or Malay.
    But sure would love a piece of this, maybe 2. Ha ha.
    Nice colour and texture.......Bet your kitchen smells nice when baking this.
    Have a nice day.

  24. Hi Joyce,

    Due to my tight schedule, I'm sorry that I have to do a double postings today and one of them is the Strawberry Cake for THB... Will link up on tomorrow.

    Just want to let you know too that I really enjoy baking with you and appreciate a great baking friend like you. Here are many awards for you…. http://bakeforhappykids.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/old-fashioned-raisin-bread-awards-and.html


  25. Seeing how you ladies raved about this recipe made me very tempted to bake this cake! My girl lOves anything apples, so it should be a great recipe to have in the family. :)) thanks for sharing Joyce. ;)

  26. Hi Joyce,
    I have been hunting for cornmeal in my place but can't find any.
    Do you have any idea what can I substitute it with?
    Thanks so much..in advance...^^

    1. Hi mui mui,
      Try looking from the organic shop, you might be able to get it from there. Otherwise, you could try to substitute with all flour, or even maybe replace with wholewheat flour, no idea whether how it would turn out!
      Good luck and happy baking!

    2. Hi Joyce,
      Thanks for advise. I try to use something else..hehe
      Hope it turn out well.