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.
3 tablespoons powdered sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
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.
Turn the heat to low, and then add the brown sugar and give it a little stir.
Keeping the heat on low, let the brown sugar and butter sit without stirring for 3 minutes.
Lay the apples in the pan in a circular pattern.
Continue cooking on low for 2 more minutes, then remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk, and the vanilla.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add 6 tablespoons butter (softened or room temp) and 6 tablespoons of the buttermilk.
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.
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.
Pour the batter over the apples in the pan, and spread gently to cover the apples evenly.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
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!
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!
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.
Slice cake into wedges, top with a little Cinnamon Whipped Cream, and enjoy!