Saturday, January 22, 2011

Apple Upside-Down Cake

This is a moist, delicious apple cake. The caramelized apples really goes well with the moist and tender butter cake. I toasted the walnuts but did not scatter them on the apples as it was suggested.  The cake taste really great even without the walnuts. I did reduce the sugar from 150gm to 100gm, and it turned out just right. Rose suggested to eat this cake with some dollops of bourbon cream on the side. I did not bother with the bourbon cream, two reasons, first, I do not have any and have never tried bourbon before, and secondly, I always prefer to eat my cakes without any accompaniment.  

The caramel is a little pale, I should have boiled the caramel a little longer to get a darker colour, the one in Rose's book, is a beautiful dark caramel. I'm afraid of burning the caramel and have to start over if I did! Well, the next time when I make this caramel, I'm gonna be more daring instead of playing it safe! Overall, this is a lovely cake to have with a cup of hot tea. The cake is moist, tender and the caramelized apples have just the right balance of sweetness. 

Apple Upside-Down Cake
(adapted from "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" by Rose Levy Beranbaum)
Apple and Walnut Topping
3-1/4 cups (1 pound/454 grams) 1-1/4 pounds of apples (about 2 large), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup (2.5 ounces/72 grams) firmly packed, divided, light brown sugar, preferably Muscovado
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick/2 ounces/57 grams) divided, unsalted butter
2/3 cup (2.2 ounces/66 grams) walnut halves

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT : One 9 by 2-inch round cake pan, encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with a parchment round / Baking stone (optional)

PREHEAT THE OVEN : Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven, set a baking stone, if using, on the rack and preheat the oven to 350F/175C.

MAKE THE APPLE TOPPING  : In a medium bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 1-1/2 hours. Drain the apples, reserving their liquid.
In a small saucepan, preferably nonstick, melt the butter. Use about 1 tablespoon to coat the parchment-lined bottom and the sides of the cake pan.
Add the remaining brown sugar and the reserved liquid that has drained from the apples to the butter remaining in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a light-coloured silicone spatula, then stop stirring, but leave the spatula in place to judge the colour, and simmer for about 3 minutes, until bubbling thickly and deep amber in colour.
Pour this mixture (do not scrape) into the prepared cake pan, tilting to coat the entire bottom. Don't worry if the mixture hardens; it will melt during baking. Place the apple slices, overlapping slightly, on the bottom and around the sides of the pan. Set aside.

TOAST THE WALNUTS : Spread the walnuts evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes to enhance their flavor. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid over-browning. Cool completely. Chop coarsely and set aside.

Batter :
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature (2 ounces/56 grams)
1/2 cup (4.2 ounces/121 grams), divided, sour cream
1-1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups cake flour (150 grams)  (or 1-1/3 cups bleached all-purpose flour),  sifted into the cup, leveled off
3/4 cup (5.3 ounces/150 grams) superfine sugar (I use 100gm)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) (4.5 ounces/128 grams) unsalted butter

MIX THE LIQUID INGREDIENTS : In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks, 2 tablespoons of the sour cream, and the vanilla just until combined.

MAKE THE BATTER : In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a silicone spatula, drop the batter in big blobs on top of the apples. Then smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula while keeping the apples in an attractive pattern.

BAKE THE CAKE : Place the pan in the oven on the stone, if using it. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown, a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.

UNMOLD AND COOL THE CAKE : Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake at once onto a serving plate. Leave the pan in place for 1 to 2 minutes before lifting it off. If any apple slices have stuck to the pan, use a small metal spatula to place them back on the cake. Scatter the toasted walnuts on top. Serve warm or room temperature. If warm, serve the bourbon whipped cream, if using, on the side instead of on top of the apples.

Bourbon Whipped Cream
Makes : 1-1/3 cups/4 ounces/116 grams
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) (4 ounces/116 grams) heavy cream, cold
1 tablespoon (0.5 ounce/14 grams) bourbon, such as Maker's Mark

MAKE THE BOURBON WHIPPED CREAM : In a mixing bowl, combine the cream and bourbon and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill the mixer's beaters alongside the bowl). Whip the mixture, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, until the cream mounds softly when dropped from a spoon. If not serving it at once, cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.


  1. I love upside down anything cakes. That style is just so much fun to eat, and to make! Your cake sounds delicious. I love caramelized apples too. But, I think I would serve it with the bourbon cream because my family would love it :)

  2. Beautiful cake! I've never had bourbon before either. Honestly, I never buy alcohol (my husband and I don't drink), so I always skip it or sub it in recipes.

  3. Hi Joy,
    Your Apple Upside Cake is beautiful. Those apples are laid in just perfect and it looks delicious. Thank you so much for bringing it to Full Plate Thursday and please come back! Have a great week end!

  4. I never made an upside down cake, but this look absolutely delicious and beautiful!!

  5. Glorious cake! There's nothing like a good apple cake. Wish I could try a slice of your cake right this minute with my morning coffee. :)

  6. wowwww...this looks awesome... i want a piece from that...

  7. Hi Joy, just this morning I was thinking I needed to use up those lonely apples in the fruit bowl, and here you have shared this wonderful cake. Thanks so much. PS following here and CES!

  8. This is my favorite apple pie!!!
    I put cinnamon on top!
    Thanks for the nice sweet!!!

  9. It sounds like a variation on the original French recipe of "Tarte Tatin". Adding walnut is a nice idea and updates a traditional recipe. Your cake looks absolutely fantastic but I agree with you, you should try to have a darker caramel next time. Not only does it improves the look of the cake, but also the taste, it is just...gorgeous!

  10. A very moist and delicious fruit cake! I had only pineapple upside time gotta try with apples.

  11. in my opinion The most tasty sweeties are apple pie or cake...

    Happy sunday!

  12. That is definitely a heavenly cake! I especially love apple cakes. This one looks moist and delicious! :)

  13. This looks like a really beautifully moist cake - one I will definitely try when apple season comes around again :-)
    Thanks so much for sharing it with "Make it with ... Mondays" challenge vanilla.

  14. I sometimes fear of making upside-down cake as it might break when flipping the cake to the cake. It seems yours turn out perfect! Great job!

  15. Hi Brittany,
    Yes, upside down cakes are always fun to eat, and usually they are made with fruits, which is a real delight!

    Hi Elsa,
    I was wondering how bourbon actually taste like!

    Hi Miz Helen,
    Thank you. It is nice linking up to Full Plate Thursday!

    Hi Gloria,
    This Upside down cake is quite easy to do. Once you'll try it, I'm sure that you'll love this.

    Hi Jane,
    Nice to see you here! Thank you for visiting!

    Hi LRR,
    Would love to share a slice with you...

    Hi Melynda,
    Thank you for following me on CES!

    Hi Magda,
    Adding cinnamon would indeed be lovely!

    Hi DeeBee,
    Definitely will try to make a darker caramel the next time! Yes, would make a difference in the taste too! Thanks!

    Hi Angie,
    Hope you'll try it with apples!

    Hi Barbara,
    There's something about apples in desserts that are always very welcoming! I couldn't agree with you more!

    Hi Betty,
    I love apples in desserts too!

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you! Great to link up with "Make It With..Mondays"!

    Hi Victor,
    Use a low baking pan, depending on the height of the cake, and it will be easier to flip over with little or no damage at all to the cake!

  16. The cake looks sinfully delicious my dear!!! Owh my...:)

  17. I too luv apples in cakes....never made upside down cakes...

  18. wah..delicious & moist!! make some green tea also!!!

  19. Thanks very much for your words of praise and I was very happy to have thanked my pictures.
    To understand the degree of difficulty and strength of soul, these ascetics, it is worth mentioning that for the Holy Trinity monastery it took 70 years (!!!) to raise stones - wood and materials on the rock and then began to build .
    If you see 16 photographs, there are lime, cement and stone and all these ropes to raise a lifts.

  20. Mmm. Sounds very decadent. I'll have to try this one.

  21. That cake is simply delicious. I love your idea of using apples on it and you arrange them so prettily. Thanks so much for linking this up with Sweets for a Saturday. I truly appreciate your support. I hope you'll be able to join me again next Saturday. By then, I'll have a cute button that you can grab and add to your post.

  22. What a delicious cake, I wish I can have a slice! I love your blog for its variety - one day it's curry, the next is cake, and the next is bread! :)

  23. Oh wow, those apples must have taken you ages to arrange! Looks very nice though :) And I agree - I'd rather have hot tea than bourbon cream anyway :)

  24. Hi. I'll be making this cake soon and I'll be using granny smith apples.

    Do you think I have to increase the sugar? If yes, how much should I'll be using? Thanks.

    1. Hi Adm,
      I only used 100gm of sugar instead of the original 150gm for the batter. It is all up to your preference, since I do not like overly sweet cakes, I always reduce the sugar in almost all recipes that I've tried. If you love sweet cakes, then you may follow the original amount calls for. Have fun baking!
      Thank you for stopping by!

    2. Thanks for the info! Do I use 1 pound or 1-1/4 pound apples?

    3. Oh, and can I substitute the sour cream with yogurt please?

  25. And sorry, I don't quite understand this;

    1-1/2 cups cake flour (150 grams) (or 1-1/3 cups bleached all-purpose flour), "sifted into the cup, leveled off"

    "this one"

    1. Hi Adm,
      In reply to your questions :
      Use enough of apples to cover the bottom of the pan. It is better to have more than not enough, you can always nibble on the extras.
      Yes, you can substitute with yoghurt.
      "sifted into the cup, leveled off", means that sift the flour over an empty measuring cup until you get the amount you want.
      Happy Baking!!

  26. Oh I see, thanks a lot for the infos.

    And I really adore your blog (all the wonderful recipes, described words etc. etc.) as we also don't like too sweet foods! :D

    Tried your recipes on the orange-caramel sticky buns, simply Delicious, yum! ;)