Recipe of the Week – Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

From Back to Baking: 200 Timeless Recipes to Bake, Share and Enjoy by Anna Olson, Whitecap Books, 2010.

“The apples make an ideal upside down cake, since they caramelize so nicely,” says chef Olson, “and the juices meld with the sugar syrup, making for a shiny, saucy glaze when the cake is inverted.”

Caramel Apple

  • 3 organic apples (Granny Smith, Mutsu or Cortland), peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar (can use organic cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar or organic demerara sugar
  • 4 organic eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and place it on a parchment-lined baking tray.

For the caramel apple layer, arrange the apples tightly together in the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the water and lemon juice into a small saucepot, and then add the sugar and butter. Bring this mixture to a boil without stirring and continue to boil, occasionally brushing the sides of the pot down with water, until it is a rich caramel color, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the caramel over the apples, coating them as much as possible (but don’t worry if they are not completely coated). Set aside while preparing the cake.

Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together. Add the egg yolks, sour cream and vanilla and beat until blended.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and stir this into the butter mixture.

In another bowl, whip the 4 egg whites until they hold a soft peak and fold them into the cake batter in 2 additions. Scrape the batter overtop of the apples and spread evenly.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the cake pan and place a serving plate overtop the pan. Flip the cake over and lift the pan off, revealing the caramel apple top.

Makes one 1 9-inch cake, Serves 12