Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

This sweet, autumn-perfect cake takes classic caramel apples to new heights.

Total Time: 55 minutes

This wonderful little skillet cake has quickly become one of my favorite apple recipes. Easy enough to whip up for an everyday treat – yet still pretty enough to serve as an impressive Thanksgiving dessert – Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake boasts delicious caramelized brown-sugar-coated apples atop a buttery, moist cake. When plopped with a bit of Cinnamon Whipped Cream, we’re talking apple dessert perfection.

Ah, the apple.

The quintessential fruit, it’s inspired wisdom-drenched quotes for generations.

“One bad apple spoils the whole barrel.”
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
“I’m going to make a whole bunch of apple recipes and share them!”

Okay, that last one is just me.

After coming back from Leavenworth with about 20,000 pounds of them (okay, 65), they’ve been on my mind taken over my life. Luckily, being taken over by the delicious apple is not entirely unpleasant and more often than not, just darn tasty.

I started with Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake.

This wonderful little skillet cake is a spin on one of my favorites from last year, Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Cake. In a cast iron skillet, tart apples take a swim in brown sugar and butter. Then the tender, moist cake batter is spread on top. After it’s baked to perfection, you just flip it over to reveal caramel-apple-cake goodness. Cinnamon Whipped Cream is the perfect complement.

Happy appling!

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

This sweet, autumn-perfect cake takes classic caramel apples to new heights.



  • 1 1/2 Granny Smith apples (or other tart baking apples), peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) + 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons + 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an 8" or 10" cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter. Cook until the foam begins to subside.
  3. Turn the heat to low, and then add the brown sugar and give it a little stir.
  4. Keeping the heat on low, let the brown sugar and butter sit without stirring for 3 minutes.
  5. Lay the apples in the pan in a circular pattern.
  6. Continue cooking on low for 2 more minutes, then remove from heat.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk, and the vanilla.
  8. In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  9. Add 6 tablespoons butter (softened or room temp) and 6 tablespoons of the buttermilk.
  10. Beat on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, then switch to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes.
  11. Add 1/3 of the egg mixture, and beat for 20 seconds. Scrape the bowl down, and add another 1/3 of the egg mixture, beating for another 20 seconds. Scrape, add the last of the egg, and beat for 20 seconds.
  12. Pour the batter over the apples in the pan, and spread gently to cover the apples evenly.
  13. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  14. Let cool for 5 minutes, then gently use a butter knife to go around the sides of the cake. You're about to flip it over, and you want to help it along as much as possible!
  15. Okay, here's the flip. Place your cake plate upside down over the cake in the skillet, then smoothly and quickly turn the cake over. Gently lift up the skillet - the cake should come out fairly easily. If you have a couple of apples left on your pan, just remove them and carefully place them where they belong on the cake - no one will know!
  16. Make the Cinnamon Whipped Cream. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer with whip attachment or the bowl of your stand mixer (also with whip attachment), whip together the whipped cream, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and vanilla until peaks form - should take about a minute.
  17. Slice cake into wedges, top with a little Cinnamon Whipped Cream, and enjoy!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a portion of the proceeds. More about this here.

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.

32 Responses to “Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream”

  1. This cake looks AMAZING! Perfect for the season!

  2. Dear Kare, this cake wants to be eaten at once:-) As I have found your Leavenworth story so lovely I’ve mentioned it in my blog. Cheers, Anette

  3. Okay, this is gorgeous! I have saved it and will definitely be making it soon!

    And my favourite quote was the last one, fer shur.

    • Thank you so much, fooddreamer! I hope you like it as much as I do (but have more self control than I did… πŸ˜‰

      Yes, the quote took hours and hours of agonizing – so much wisdom to distill into a single sentence! Heh heh.

  4. MMm!! I can’t wait for the rest of the recipes. If this one is any indication, I’d better be looking for my own bushel. Beautiful photos! And I’m envious of your green stand mixer… I have boring white.

    • Kim – Oh my gosh, I practically have an unhealthy relationship with my green mixer, I love it so much. I could never justify just forking out $300 so I saved a few bucks at a time in a piggy bank for it, a couple of years ago. When it came time to buy, I agonized over buying a neutral color, or just going for it in apple green. Obviously I went for it. πŸ˜‰ I’m about to paint the kitchen, and you bet I held every paint chip right behind it to make sure the paint goes.

  5. I’ve made this before using a different recipe but this one looks SO MUCH BETTER! I love the simplicity of making it in a skillet.

  6. What an amazing way to start Apple-palooza!!

  7. Looks wonderful. I like the extras in the whipped cream. πŸ˜‰

  8. Yum, looks divine! I love anything with apples and this looks like a great recipe for the holidays.

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  10. All I can say is yummy!

  11. That looks delicious! Thanks v much for sharing that! πŸ™‚

  12. Oh wow, that looks great! Thanks for the recipe. πŸ™‚

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  14. It really does look super delicious! Love the cinnamon whipped cream too!

  15. This looks so yummy. I love apple desserts.

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  18. I have a question about step 12 – You said to bake it for 30 minutes, what’s the best temperature?

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  22. I saw this recipe yesterday and had 2 left over Granny Smith apples that were about to go bad if I didn’t use them. This one spoke to me so I had to do it. Thanks for a great recipe. So easy to make and just delicious!

  23. Wonderful Piece of cake..Congrats on top 9!

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