Apple Upside-Down Cake: decidedly decadent!

Don’t you want to just pick up your fork and stab the computer screen right about now?

This apple upside-down cake, with its drizzle – no, make that a flood – of apple-flavored caramel, oozing over the top and dripping down the sides, is probably the most over-the-top apple dessert I’ve ever eaten.

Never mind probably; it IS the most ridiculously delicious apple anything I’ve ever had.

Trust me, it was SO tough when Sue and Andrea, my fellow test kitchen bakers, were testing this recipe. And testing, and testing, and testing…

Sue: “What do you think, is the caramel too thin?”

Me: “It’s perfect.”

Sue: “Well, I think it could be a LITTLE bit thicker…”

So she’d make it again.

Sue: “What do you think? Cake moist enough? Too moist?”

Me: “It’s unbelievable. Don’t change a thing.”

Sue: “I think it could be just a TOUCH firmer…”

On and on it went. I swear, she and Andrea baked the cake like 8 times. And they were right; each time it was just a little bit better.

Then came time for catalogue photography. And this cake was one of the feature photos, which meant it had to LOOK perfect.

Cake after cake came out of the pan imperfect; two slices of apple stuck, or they’d shifted slightly out of alignment during baking, or the caramel didn’t ooze just right.

Poor us, here at King Arthur; we had to eat ALL those “failures.”

I finally had to physically avoid the employee kitchen, where the sampling goes on. I couldn’t resist taking a bite any time one of these rich cakes appeared. And they appeared several times a day.

Talk about wreaking havoc with the diet… But every slice was well worth it.

And hey, that’s why we have Weight Watchers meetings right here on site. Along with Pilates and yoga and 10-minute “power exercise” sessions.

So we can do our duty, no matter how tough: bake, sample, bake, sample, bake, sample, all day long…

It’s a tough job (NOT), and we’re happy to do it!

Bake this cake, and see if you agree it’s just ridiculously over the top. Warning: it’s very moist, quite dense, and just at the edge (but not QUITE there) of being too sweet. If you’re a fan of light/fluffy, understated cakes, walk away from this Apple Upside-Down Cake.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan at least 2″ deep.

Line the bottom with parchment, and grease the parchment.

Now, select 2 medium-sized apples. I’m using Granny Smiths, because when I was baking this cake for photos the fresh seasonal apples weren’t in yet. Any firm baking apple (not McIntosh or Cortland) should be fine.

Slice the top, including the stem, off one of the apples and set it aside before peeling and slicing the rest of the apples into 1/4″ thick wedges.

Place the apple top, stem side down, in the middle of the pan, and overlap the rest of the apple wedges in a ring around it.

Next, the syrup. The apples may brown a bit as you make the syrup, but no worries; they’ll be a deep mahogany brown once they’re baked, anyway.

Combine the following in a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl:

4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons boiled cider or thawed apple juice concentrate
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Can you skip the corn syrup? No, but you can substitute maple syrup, if you like the maple-apple flavor combo. You could also try Lyle’s Golden Syrup; agave syrup (though it’s sweeter than I like); or honey, though honey tends to burn easily.

Heat over low heat (or in the microwave), stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour 1/2 cup of the syrup mixture over the apples in the pan, and set the rest aside.

Gee, looks like I missed peeling part of one of the apples… D’oh! Whatever.

Next step: the cake.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons boiled cider or thawed apple juice concentrate
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat until smooth.

Add the following:

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Stir until well combined.

Pour the batter atop the apples in the pan. Place the pan onto a baking sheet, for easiest handling.

Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes.

It’ll rise to the rim of the pan. This is why you need a pan that’s at least 2″ deep. Don’t just eyeball it – get our your ruler and measure. If it’s pretty close but not quite 2″, you may have some spillover; that’s why we love parchment – easy cleanup!

When the cake’s done, it’ll be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted near the center should come out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Remove the cake from the oven, and run a thin spatula around the edge to loosen.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a serving plate, bottom side up.

Lift off the pan.

Ta-da! Scrape out any sauce that remains in the pan, and spread it over the cake.

Guess I should have greased the sides of the pan more; a bit of the cake’s sidewalls got left in the pan. But never fear, that caramel-apple syrup you made awhile ago is about to cover any imperfections.

Reheat the syrup, if necessary to make it pourable. If butter starts to separate as you reheat, add water by the teaspoonful and stir until the butter rejoins the rest of the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the cake.

It’ll dribble and ooze over the sides; if it doesn’t, give it some encouragement with a spatula.

Well, mine’s not as pretty as the one they photographed for the catalogue, but then, I only made it one time. Good enough for me!

Slice and serve warm, or at room temperature. Plain, unsweetened whipped cream (or VERY lightly sweetened, and enhanced with vanilla) is always welcome.

Did I mention this cake is dense and moist?

The tartness of the apples offsets the caramel beautifully. Dig in!

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Apple Upside-Down Cake.

Print just the recipe.

Enjoy a dozen more of our very best apple recipes.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. jerihurd

    You guys are KILLING me (or at least my weak attempts at dieting! : ) I just tried your easy puff pastry a couple days ago, and gorged myself on blackberry turnovers. Now this. It looks awesome; I just happen to have a bottle of the Boiled Cider with me here in Mongolia, and I just promised to bake a cake for a raffle. Do you sense serendipity ?

  2. aamoe

    You guys are cruel sending this out so early on Monday morning… I’m drooling into my keyboard, and I won’t have a chance to try this till the weekend. They’re saying the Midwest is supposed to have a great apple season – this should be a great recipe to try!

  3. "food grrrl"

    Oh my….looks fantastic!
    Like jerihurd says… IS serendipity. I was just asked to come up w/a spiced apple cake for the little bistro I bake for….this will be the one I make, woo hoo!

    Question: I don’t have boiled cider, but I do have a qt. of organic apple juice….can i just boil some down to a syrup?

    thanks kaf:-)
    Yes, you may boil the apple juice down in place of the cider. I hope this one is a huge success at the Bistro! ~Amy

  4. suesthebaker

    This recipe looks simply inviting and is an especially good use of apples. I think it’s clever that a springform pan was used to make it as well for easy release of the cake. Apple season is quickly approaching and this looks like a wonderful use of apples.

    Thank you for sharing it!

  5. susaninmidlo

    I’ll kill for anything apple. I prefer it to all other fruit pies, cakes, cookies, etc. I’ll even take apple anything over chocolate anything. And frabjous day, I have all the ingredients! Thanks, PJ and all the King Arthur bakers. Yours is the only blog I consistently read, not just for the recipes but for the great ideas.

    Have fun, Susan – I think you’re really going to like this one… PJH

  6. erie

    I just tried this last night. My caramel was much thinner than what I see on the pictures, but it was still very tasty. My apples were smaller so I used a round of apple slices around the outside since the slices around the centre left a rather large part uncovered. In the metric recipe the weight is not given for the brown sugar in the cake part, it says 1 cup.
    The metric measurement for the brown sugar in this recipe is 159 grams. ~Amy

  7. JuliaJ

    You folks must have been watching when I picked the apples from our small apple trees this weekend! Can you tell me how much “2 medium apples” weigh? I always miss some apples when I thin the trees so we end up with wee little apples plus bigger “lunchbox” size apples; they’re all fine for eating but for recipes, I have to weigh out amounts. Thanks, this looks SOOOoo good…
    The best consistent measurement I can offer is that one cup of sliced, peeled apples weighs 4 ounces. I hope you love the recipe. ~Amy

    Since these don’t go into the batter, but rather rest on top, you simply want enough to cover the top of the cake. So the weight doesn’t really matter, it’s just how many and how big the slices are. Hope this helps – PJH

  8. erichards

    It looks divine. Does it keep well if not eaten immediately?

    Yes, it’s very moist, so keeps well. Wrap it in plastic and keep it at room temperature; it should last up to a week. PJH

  9. ktriolo

    How is it the next day? I’d love to make it for a party tomorrow but only have time to make this today.

    No problem keeping it until tomorrow. I’d up-end a bowl over it, rather than cover with plastic; being so fresh, the plastic might stick. PJH

  10. Phyllidalew

    Is there a gluten-free version of this gorgeous cake? If so, please give me the recipe…thanks
    We unfortunately don’t have a tested gluten-free version of this recipe currently. Feel free to apply our gluten-free multi-purpose flour and add one egg and 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum for a gluten-free trial. Please let us know how it turns out if you try this! ~Amy

    1. Jennifer Seguin Best

      My mother-in-law has celiac so finding good gluten free recipes are important so she can participate in celebrations ( cause whats a holiday/birthday etc without sweets and baked goods?) I have a large family, and spending all the extra money for things like xanthum gum and coconut flour aren’t really in my budget! This pat Thanksgiving I came across a recipe for Apple pie cake that called for a cake mix. Since King Arthur has the best products for baking I figured their Gluten free cake mix would be equally as good. It paid off! The recipe called for apples prepared for a pie( I used my favorite pie recipe and substituted a bit of KA AP flour I had in the freezer) and tossed the apples in the flour, sugar, cinnamon etc like I do for my apple pie. I followed the directions on the box for the KA gluten free yellow cake mix. I buttered a large cast iron skillet, placed the apples in the bottom in a single layer and poured the cake batter over them. Bake @ 375 till the edges pull away from the sides a bit and are golden brown. Allow to cool about 15 mins and dust with powdered sugar. It was one of the best cakes ever and you’d never know it was gluten free!! The kids were fighting over it, and my mother-in-law felt special since everyone was eating her desert with her

  11. mumpy

    and YOU were asking US for ideas for boiled cider?….i can only assume that was your evil twin because NOTHING could be more appealing (no pun intended) than this recipe!

  12. "Nancy Jane"

    This cake was so delish. I used my new pyrex square,deep dish with 2 handles and it worked perfectly. I layed down a parchment square in the bottom of my dish and buttered it with unsalted butter.It did not stick at all.I used frozen apple juice and it added a great flavor to the carmel sauce.I used 1/2 melted unsalted butter and 1/2 oil as I do not usually like oil in my cakes.I could not taste the oil so that worked for me. When I served it to my lady friends they thought it was the best. I told them all my really great recipes come from K.A.F.Thanks for another winner,you make me a star!!!

  13. weezid

    Another variation. We were out of corn syrup, so I added 1/2 c. maple syrup and 1/4 c. molasses. The cake is darker, with a taste reminiscent of molasses spice cookies. My family loved it!

  14. chinchillalover

    OH!I just decided what my birthday cake’s gonna be and then this blog is posted!PJ you are evil.

    Who knows what sweet evil lurks in the hearts of the KA test bakers, heh heh heh… 🙂 PJH

  15. JuliaJ

    I scaled the recipe down 75% and used a 8″ diameter cheesecake pan with 3″ sides–it baked in about 30 min. (good thing I peeked to see how it was browning!). Warm out of the oven, mmmmm, delicious.

    No problems flipping the cake out of the pan–I had parchment lining the bottom and I “crayoned” a film of butter onto the sides of the pan. Didn’t even have to run a spatula around the sides (actually, I forgot to do so until I up-ended the pan).

    Thank you!


  16. flybynite

    Ohhhhh, that looks soooo good. I have a family reunion coming up, and this would be my choice to share. Can this be doubled to a 9×13? Thanks!

    Should double just fine… Enjoy! PJH

  17. GgmaDonna

    I am going to definitely going to bake this wonderful looking cake. I have a question concerning the oven temperature. If it is on the recipe page, I cannot see it. Is it 350f? I hope so will be making it tomorrow. Thanks.
    Yes, the temperature is 350 for this recipe. It’s in step one on the recipe page and can be found just above the empty pan picture (second photo) on the blog. ~Amy

  18. smgard

    Hi Amy, I see that you said it would be OK to boil down some apple juice if you don’t have boiled cider. What do you think would be the correct amount of juice to start with to boil it down? Should it be reduced by 50%? More?

    Thanks, can’t wait to make this!
    There are several different recipes and methods online for making your own boiled cider. You need to start with at least a gallon of cider typically and reduce it slowly. The high sugar content can cause burning and scorching if it isn’t carefully watched, so think of it as a fall project. Have fun! ~ MaryJane

  19. Boston Baker

    Can you make this fabulous looking cake with whole wheat flour (so I can feign the healthiness factor)?
    I was thinking of using 1/2 KA white whole wheat and the other half KA whole wheat.
    I’d say start out with 1/3 white whole wheat and 2/3 reg. flour. Then you can increase the WW each time until you reach a ratio you are happy with. Remember, it’s better to work your way up with WW rather than go full on and have a poor result. ~ MaryJane

  20. wafoodie

    this looked great I love anything with apples and fall spices, but needed to try and make it gluten free so I used the KAF gluten free muffin mix. I followed the box recipe and just added the spices, chopped apple and frozen apple juice from the upside-down apple cake recipe. Then kept the topping the same. I got a cake like texture (maybe I should have used one less egg?), but is was soooo good! Next time I will use the boiled cider and double the apple-carmel topping.
    Thanks so much for sharing your GF muffin version. I’m sure it will help a lot of GF bakers. ~ MaryJane

  21. SDev

    This looks so delicious! Do you think I could make apple upside down CUPcakes? If so, how high do you think I should fill a standard cupcake pan so that it doesn’t overflow?
    Thanks in advance!
    While it would be a bit of work, I think cupcakes could be done. You’ll have to play with the amount of batter, but start with half full and see how it goes. Let us know how it turns out if you try it. ~ MaryJane

  22. 2darnhot2

    I made 2 of these to bring in to work as a birthday treat. I sliced the apples too thin by mistake & they stayed in the pan (on the Teflon circle I used) but were easy to put back. I brought the sauce & warmed it on site. Very popular.
    And, yes, it can make up well as smaller cakes. Since I was bringing it in to work my son wouldn’t get any so I made up one in a custard cup – it worked well – baked in about 20 min. It also used just a bit of the batter to assure me of it all fitting into the pan.

  23. Margy

    For smgard-check out the washington post on line for this week–they ran an entire article on boiled cider and how to make it. It makes the entire house smell wonderful, although, the last time I made it, I attracted an entire swarm from a local beekeeper’s hives-couldn’t get out my back door, had to sneak out the front!
    Thanks for the tip, Margy! ~Jessica

    I’d heard you can make it in a slow cooker; I tried it, but took waaaaaaaay too long. I just boiled it on the stove. You do have to watch closely at the end, as it can burn; and you also want to stop boiling when it’s not quite as thick as you like, because it’ll thicken a bit as it cools. PJH

  24. presteel

    Just made this cake a couple of hours ago; did not have the boiled cider so used apple juice. I also used Splenda brown sugar and lite corn syrup. They worked well! My husband and I both think this turned out great, so moist and gooey. Thanks for another great recipe timed just right for the apple season.

    Thanks for your valuable feedback, Frankie; glad the Splenda worked out. PJH

  25. Tonikay

    Advise please, I would like to take this to a family gathering but 1 cake won’t feed the group. If I double the recipe would it fit in a 13×9 pan? Having 1 pan would make it easier to bake & travel. Thanks

    Yes, 9″ x 13″ pan should be fine – just make sure it’s 2″ deep, OK? Enjoy – PJH

  26. tszugda

    Could you make this in a bundt pan?
    It would be tricky to make this as a bundt, it’s not a very large recipe, and it would be hard to get those apples to come out of the pan nicely. If you do give it a try, let us know how it goes. ~ MaryJane

  27. ~RED~

    I have this in the oven as i type, it smells absolutely awesome!! If it comes out as good as yours looks, i will be posting to my blog. Will let you know!

    Saw your blog on this posted on our King Arthur FB page – looks absolutely awesome! PJH

  28. Fran

    You had me at Carme………..l Red ..looks awesome got to try this for sure … Ellect it’s a WINNER all the way ~~~~~~~~~~~

  29. KelliSue

    It’s DELICIOUS. And I didn’t want to peel the apples, so I didn’t. My family said WOW, you have to make this again. I even had one of the kiddos shred an apple on the box grater for me to go inside the batter. And I doubled the recipe, and most of it fit inside a 13×9 pan, then the rest of the batter made cupcakes. I didn’t do the upside down portion for the cupcakes, because I’m the mother of six and I have no desire to go batty. Where the recipe called for corn syrup I used my husband’s maple syrup that he taps from our trees. Very nice!! Thank you.

    Good show, KelliSue – you’ve cracked me up with the “I have no desire to go batty.” I’m totally with you! 🙂 PJH

  30. juthurst

    Thanks, presteel for the splenda info…
    I want to make this cake for a family celebration: my Mom’s (early) birthday, son home from college for Fall break, but my Dad is diabetic, so that is a really big help!
    It’s no fair to make a treat he can’t have!
    Thanks also, the info on adding in whole wheat, Mary Jane…
    I had questions, but just scrolling through the comments answered them all! I <3 the KAF community!!!!

    By the way, boiled cider is an amazing addition to whipped sweet potatoes!!!
    Thanks again!

  31. JoJo

    RIDICULOUS! I made this cake over the weekend (Sunday) and unfortunately it didn’t make it to Monday…hahaha! BEST CAKE EVER!

  32. chericrothers

    Delicious! I made this for Rosh Hashanah and not a crumb was left! Even my son, who isn’t big on fruit, ate 2 pieces. Moist, gooey and not to sweet. Will try this with fresh pears. This goes in my file and is better than my mother’s apple cake.
    Thanks for sharing. A very happy new year to you and your family. ~ MaryJane

  33. Holly C

    Joining the chorus of cheers for this cake. My family loved it. I made it in a spring form pan lined with parchment, set the pan on foil on a cookie sheet to catch the drips. Sauce was also a huge hit.

  34. lunatuna

    I’m planning on making this cake, tomorrow, and bought a special pan just for it. NONE of my 9″ pans were this deep, so a trip to Walmart netted me a deep Nordicware 9″ cake pan. Score!

    I have a technical question about presentation: I fell in love with the photo of this cake, sent to me in an email. The photo of the finished cake HERE, however…not so much. 🙁 Because this is for a friend’s 50th anniversary party, WHAT special care do I need to do to have it turn out as pretty as the email photo?

    To the O.P.–I’m sure this cake turned out amazingly tasty but I need to bring a real show-stopper to the party; it’s expected of me. If this was for every day eating, how it looks in this blog would be utterly acceptable.
    I think the best way to assure a good presentation is to take care in the layering and placement of your apple slices. The sauce that is reserved to pour over the cake at the end should be kept separate, so that the design of the apples is visible. You can drizzle the sauce carefully down the sides of the cake between the apples if you’d like. I hope this is helpful. ~Amy

  35. Pat

    I made this recipe this afternoon and will be taking it to Block Island tomorrow, if there’s anything left. It’s absolutely delicious.

    Pat, say hello to the island – a wonderful cake deserves such a gorgeous spot… 🙂 PJH

  36. lunatuna

    Amy: I made this cake today and it turned out flawless…absolutely, totally flawless!!! I can’t thank the people at King Arthur enough for both the recipe AND the blog, which showed exceedingly detailed photos; something us perfectionists insist upon! The top turned out perfectly, just like the email featuring this recipe. I did do one thing differently: I made the sauce per instructions, first. I then sliced the apples and made the cake batter. THEN, I poured/ladled the very thick sauce in it’s entirety, over the apples. Because it was so thick (my goal) it stayed put and made for a special layer of the cake. None of us thought this cake “overly sweet” nor “overly spicey”; the flavour was spot on. Used Wolf River apples for the cake and left the peel on them; turned out amazingly gorgeous. THANK YOU ALL, KING ARTHUR!!!!!!

    P.S. Forgot to add: because the thickened sauce was not covering the apples, after the fact, it showed them up very nicely. That’s how I achieved the email look to my cake. I didn’t quite fancy the look of the poured on caramel.

  37. lunatuna

    Is there a delay in posts being posted? I wrote two on Sunday with baking updates and nothings been posted in this thread. Just curious.
    No delays that we know of here Luna. We check posts at least twice a day, and answer questions as quick as we can. If you don’t see your post after a full day, send us another in case the first got lost or such. ~ MaryJane

  38. lunatuna

    It must be a fluke, MaryJane. I kept hitting Refresh on this page since the 9th and my post above never showed. Now it does, along with my latest post. Guess it’s the internet gremlins, again. LOL

    That cake was the bomb! “Was”, as in…it’s ALL gone!!!

  39. Linda

    Oh. My. Word. This is THE most fabulous cake ever! Fresh baked with freshly pick Chapin Orchard (VT) Cortlands. It was all we could do to save some for tomorrow.

    It is pretty special, isn’t it? Kudos to my fellow bakers Andrea and Sue for this lusciousness! PJH

  40. marshasing

    I will be making this next week. It looks heavenly! You used a round cake pan yet one of the comments (suesthebaker) was that you said to use a springform pan. Which works better?

    Either is fine… you have to turn it upside-down one way or the other. I prefer a round pan, as it’s not usually as deep as a springform – less chance of the cake going “ker-plomp” when you turn the pan upside down… PJH

  41. Butter Blonde

    I made the cake yesterday, it was yummy, but a bit too soggy for my taste, even before pouring the leftover caramel on the finished cake, still seemed too “wet”, even after cooling. Might try pouring only 1/4 c caramel over layered apples, then ladling more at end…or has anyone found a way to create a less wet version of this amazing cake? I did bake the full amount of time, 325 convection oven, and tested done.
    thanks. You may want to try using a less juicy apple, such as Braeburn or Granny Smith. ~Mel

  42. "Butter Blonde"

    hi Mel! thanks for the tip…but I did use Granny Smith apples. oh well, guess I have to try again until I achieve desired results-although I took it to the office and everyone loved it. The cake was fun to make and I will do another one this weekend. Happy baking to all of you in the KAF world! I love your flours they are simply the best.
    Thank you and happy baking to you, also! Elisabeth

  43. KayCeeS

    Holy cow was this cake ever good! I’d never heard of boiled cider until I saw it in your catalog and being a huge fan of anything apple, I was intrigued. I do NOT like using apple juice concentrate for anything. It’s way too sweet and artificial tasting! So I ordered the boiled cider and couldn’t wait to try this recipe! 2 cakes later and with orders to bring at least 2 to our family Thanksgiving dinner, I am LOVING that product. I’ve been inspired to try a few experiments using it and if they turn out even half as luscious as this cake, I’ll be thrilled! Thanks for an awesome product and recipe!!!


    I sure wish I had seen this recipe BEFORE my sad and inglorious attempt to improvise something very similar to this. Let’s just say I ate the apples off the top and the rest had a very ignoble end in the trash. I CAN NOT wait to try this out. So glad I found this!!!!!


    Forgot to add that a piece of parchment paper inside the pan makes getting this out of the pan MUCH easier!

  46. Monika

    I’m from Poland and I love your site! This cake is the first one I decided to make. It is just marvellous! I used square, deep dish with 2 handles and it worked perfectly. I made my own caramel sauce which is butter and sugar dissolved on a frying pan and milk added in the end. It is really a good one. What is more, after baking the cake is perfect, it even doesn’t need any sauce as it has beautifully caramelised and moistened top. Thanks for all of those lovely recipes! Greetings from Europe;-)

    Monika, your own homemade sauce sounds wonderful. And yes, it absolutely precludes the need for any further adornment, doesn’t it? Thanks for connecting here – we look forward to hearing more from you! PJH

  47. Joann

    I made this cake today. OMG! It is so good! Waiting for my husband to have some of it because I just want to eat the whole cake. It is that good.

    ‘Tis the season, Joann – the season when we all end up with more apples than we know what to do with. NOW we know what to do with them, right? Glad you’re enjoying the cake! PJH

  48. Jinxmom44

    We do not have KAF here in the Midwest (SW Kansas). Can I use regular flour?

    It really depends on the type of flour you need, most other store brands have an inconsistent strength in their flours so they may not work well with our recipes.-JDB

  49. pat

    I noticed in one of the ingredient pictures…looked like there was cream cheese…is this correct ?? the ingredients do not list cream cheese ?????????

    No, Pat, must be just the lighting – that’s butter you’re seeing in the bowl. Hope you get a chance to enjoy this delicious cake! PJH

  50. martha b

    Looks wonderful. Plan on making it for a party tomorrow night. A question – can I substitute butter or margarine for vegetable oil- and if so – is it equal measurement? Thanks!
    Yes, using soft butter or margarine should work fine here. ~Amy

  51. jozee3

    This cake was the worst…dry…terrible taste

    So sorry to hear this was a miss for you! With it being such a moist cake to begin with, I’m a bit surprised. It’s possible your measurements were a bit off–when measuring flour especially, we recommend stirring the flour first, sprinkling the flour into your measuring cup until heaping, then sweeping off the top with a level edge (like a butter knife). If you made any substitutions, it is possible that the texture and taste were altered. Or perhaps the spices were too much: you can always decrease them to your liking. Finally, if you had a bad egg (I’ve come across one in lifetime!), it can completely wreck the cake’s smell and taste (I will now always crack my eggs into a separate bowl and smell them first. You’ll know if an egg is bad by the smell: like wet hay and rotten fruit together). Please call our hotline if you’d like any further help/ideas: (802) 649-3717 -Kim@KAF

  52. Morgan Poland

    I used a springform pan and it worked great! My dough was very dry, and that worried me, but the final version is very moist. It is sooooooooo pretty. It is, however, a bit of a project. I am going to put wait until it cools a bit before I put the syrup on top – it seems like it is already very sweet. Thanks for a great recipe! Oh, and I even found the King Arthur Flour at WalMart. I did not buy any boiled cider. I boiled down concentrated apple juice. Tastes awesome!

  53. SLucy

    My brother liked this cake so much that he is paying me to make him one 🙂

    Now that’s the sign of a GREAT baker! (and perhaps a really good recipe, but a recipe is only as good as the hands and eyes following it!) 🙂 Kim@KAF

  54. Jessica

    I wonder if you could use applesauce instead of the veggie oil?

    You would be fine to use some applesauce in place of the oil, but I wouldn’t recommend removing all of the oil. Applesauce tends to create a gummy, rubbery texture that oil does not: water vs. fat. I’d recommend using 1/2 cup of oil and adding 1/3 cup of applesauce to start! Kim@KAF

  55. Joleen

    I’m allergic to cinnamon, what would be a comparable replacement?

    Joleen, you could try a mixture of nutmeg, ginger, and cloves – but go easy on it, tasting as you go, and adding only enough to make it taste the way you like. You won’t use as much of those as you would cinnamon. PJH

  56. Lana

    I finally got around to making this cake and it is delicious!!!! My apples were sour so I drizzled them with sugar on top of the syrup recipe but I didn’t need to do that. It’s sweet enough. Very gooey and yummy. I don’t usually remake recipes but this one I will have to! 🙂 oh and I didn’t add the ginger and cloves turned out just fine.

    Thanks for reporting on your results here, Lana – we’re so glad the recipe is a hit for you! Enjoy – PJH

  57. NB

    I find it amusing that a full two years after the original post, folks are still writing in with rave reviews and getting such kind responses. 🙂 Now that’s a friendly community! It’s also what made me decide to try the recipe.

    Thanks for posting an apple upsidedown cake that has apples *in* the cake batter. It’s exactly what I was looking for, a real apple experience, right down to the apple flavor in the caramel sauce. (I cooked it down a little more and added some extra boiled cider; it was wonderful.) I’ll be writing this one down in the permanent family collection – I know I’ll be making it again!

    Oooh boiled cider in the caramel sounds divine. Happy baking!-Jon

  58. Lisa sneed

    This is such a delicious recipe! I also substitute pears and plums for the apples with equally wonderful results. I make a caramel sauce to serve atop the cake of: 1 c heavy cream, 1/4 c white sugar. Cook on medium heat till thickened and caramel colored. Yum!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  59. Lauren

    Made this tonight and yes it does take some time to make but the end result is sooooooooo worth it!! I thought it was going to be super sweet, but it is not, it is the perfect amount of sweet that we could even add a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top yummmy! My family loved it and has been added to our fave recipes list <3 Thank you for creating this!!!!

    Lauren, I’m with you – this is definitely one of my autumn go-to recipes. Glad you enjoyed it! PJH

  60. Mandee

    So I’m trying to make this and I have all of the ingredients except baking soda! Yikes. Can I substitute anything else for the baking soda? Or what if I don’t put it in? What will happen?

    Don’t skip the leavening, Mandee – your cake will be heavy as a brick! Try substituting 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and using white sugar instead of brown. I think you’ll be OK – good luck! PJH

  61. Judith

    This looks like a great cake and I cannot wait to make. One question however, what is the reason the unpeeled apple which is also not cored. Why not have the entire cake with sliced apples?

    Judith, you slice just the very top off the apple, and stick it stem-side-down in the pan. That way, when you turn the baked cake over, you have a cute little apple step sticking out of the very center. You take the rest of that same apple and peel, core, and slice it, and it becomes part of the topping. Sorry for the confusion! PJH

  62. Kaila

    Hi! The cake looks fabulous and I’d love to make it for the Jewish new years.
    I was just wondering if i can freeze the cake? Will the apples turn out fine?
    Please let me know as soon as you can,
    Thank you!
    For this particular recipe, we’d say no go on the freezing. The apples would suffer. ~ MJ

  63. Cathie

    Somebody goofed – that is definitely a block of cream cheese. Really don’t think it belongs in the pic as it can be misleading. You can see the pats of butter, they are seperate.

    That is actually a block of butter. We buy 1 pound blocks so the pieces can be a bit large if the butter is going to be melted.-Jon

    1. Rachael

      I think it is butter but…. if you look at the recipe, it only calls for 4 tablespoons butter…. that’s wayyyyy more than 4 tablespoons in the picture, right??

    2. PJ Hamel, post author

      Rachael, it’s actually 4 tablespoons; just an odd angle of a thin slab cut off a 1-pound block, plus a couple of smaller pieces to yield the 4 tablespoons. Thanks for your eagle eye, though – feedback is always appreciated! PJH

  64. Nicole

    Can you post the GF modifications??

    We didn’t test this as a GF version in our test kitchen. You might consider using your favorite GF flour, adding 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum for each cup of flour. We’d love you to post your successful results so other GF bakers can benefit from the info. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  65. Lynn

    Can this be made gluten free? I know King Arthur recently came out with a gluten free flour – do any adjustments need to be made? I would love to make this gluten free if possible! Thanks in advance

    You’ll see we haven’t tested this as GF, but using 1/4 teaspoon xanthan for each cup of GF multi purpose flour is a great place to start! Happy GF Baking! Irene@KAF

  66. Pam Glidden

    I want to try this recipe but I am allergic to corn syrup. Could I use Maple Syrup in place of the corn syrup? Thanks much!

    Yes, Pam, that’s fine. If you use “fake” maple syrup, the cake won’t be quite as sweet, that would be the difference. Enjoy! PJH

  67. Kim Stagliano

    I use organic light corn syrup – works as well as Karo but a bit healthier. Trying this recipe until I get it as right as KAF! And will try a GF version too. Thanks!

  68. Mindy Beattie

    Last week, I made the Joanne Chang’s Maple Apple Upside Down Cake from the Flour Bakery cookbook. I followed her instruction to reduce the maple syrup a bit, but i used less than she called for because i substituted 1/3 of the maple syrup with KAF Boiled Cider. I believe the recipe calls for 1 cup of reduced maple syrup so i used 2/3 maple, then added 1/3 of the boiled cider (no need to reduce that further.) The cake is amazing and the apples and maple/apple goo is unbelievable. I highly recommend this recipe and the boiled cider addition really made it more apples–you get that bit of tartness with the maple sweetness.

  69. Joanna

    When I attended a class at KAF, everything was measured by weight, not measuring cups. I vastly prefer weight measurements in baking. I think the instructor said that a cup is 5 oz. but honestly, I don’t want to stand there doing the math. Would it be possible for the weight measurements to be included in your future recipes? They are so much more precise!
    That being said, I can’t wait to make this cake…

    All purpose flour is 4.25 ounces per cup, while whole wheat flours are usually 4 ounces per cup. If the recipe you bake doesn’t include the button for volume, ounces or grams right under the ingredient title, you’ll find a handy chart here. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  70. Maureen

    A few questions before I bake this:
    – Will KAF whole-wheat white do as well as the unbleached all-purpose? That’s what I’ve got on hand.
    – Will it ruin the cake to skip the syrup? About half the family do not like anything remotely caramel-y.
    – How finely do you chop the apples? (I LOVE the idea of apples throughout the batter – can’t wait to try this!)

    Use 25 % to 50% white whole wheat flour for the all purpose for best results. If all you have is white whole wheat flour on hand, you may need to add an extra 1 1/2 tablespoon liquid for a softer cake. Without the syrup, the cake may be more like a straight up fruit-upside-down-cake. Looking at the blog pics, you’ll see the apples chopped larger than applesauce, but smaller than chunks. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  71. Nicole

    Thanks Irene! I always use KA GF flour-I will be making this for my Nov book club meeting and will hopefully remember to update on how it turned out with the GF flour.

    One more question-I make the yellow cake recipe from your site for birthdays and LOVE it. It does turn out a little dry and dense-no big deal, since we always eat cake with ice cream, but any way to help it be less dry? I do check the internal temp and pull the cake out at the correct temp. Should I be taking it out when it is 5-10 degrees from the final temp, so it will continue cooking as it cools? Or will cakes with GF flour always be a little drier?

    1. bakersresource

      I am happy to hear you love the GF yellow cake recipe from our site. GF products can be a little drier than the norm. It is an adjustment for sure. The internal temperature should be 205 degrees so if you should take it out of the oven a little earlier, be sure it is baked all the way through. If you are not using cake enhancer, I would really recommend it. It really helps with texture and shelf life! Enjoy! Elisabeth

  72. Peg J.

    Just a few questions before I make this beauty.

    1) Is the Boiled Cider available in supermarkets or specialty retailers in the Greater Boston area?

    2) Is it OK to skip the nuts…due to some family members allergies.

    3) Are Honeycrisp apples OK?

    Thank you.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      1) Hmm, I do not believe that this product is available in stores outside of Vermont and New Hampshire, but you can certainly call and ask the orchard that makes it!

      2) It is completely OK to skip the nuts.

      3) Though I prefer a more tart apple, honey crisps should work just fine. Jon@KAF

  73. esther

    I will not be using a springform pan because I dont bake with aluminum but I’m pretty sure this recipe will still dazzle even if it loses it’s delicious shape!

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Carrie, the recipe gives a yield of 8 to 10 servings; but considering its richness, you could probably stretch that to 12 servings. PJH

  74. Debbie

    This is a great recipe , I made this today & it was very good and a keeper for me , thanks for sharing , Holidays will be a great time to share this delishous cake with my family . 5 Stars 😉

  75. Jessica

    My mom and I just made this for my birthday! Found it through pinterest! It was delishious! It was so moist I don’t even know that i’d call it a cake…I don’t even know what i’d call it but it was amazing!! Thank you!

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      I’m so glad we could be part of the celebration. Many happy returns of the day to you! ~ MJ

  76. Susan cortés

    Pelease tell me what i can use instead of corn syrup to make the cake. That product is not available in Argentina any longer .
    Thank you

  77. Catherine H

    I just made this cake tonight after finding the recipe on Pinterest and wanted to say how delicious it was! It turned out beautifully and I will definitely be making it again.

  78. Michelle

    I’m going to make this for Thanksgiving dessert this year and I was wondering how it would be if you put the apples on top of the sauce in the pan? Just seems it would be more unifom that way..
    Can this be made in a cast iron pan? I just feel a little nostalgic with this and love my upsiders in the cast iron…

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Michelle, go for it – the sauce is going to head to the bottom of the pan one way or the other, so why not start it there? And absolutely, a cast iron pan would be lovely. I’m with you – I have a large collection of beautifully smooth cast iron from the late 19th century – just like silk. Totally nonstick. Upsiders in spiders? You bet! Happy Thanksgiving – PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Sure, I don’t see why not. I’m not sure how much of the batter to use to fit the pan (all of it? just part?), but perhaps you could figure it out by comparing the weight of the dry ingredients in the box to the weight of the dry ingredients in the recipe. Good luck – let us know how it comes out. PJH

  79. Emily

    I currently have one baking right now! I improvised a bit… with no boiled cider or apple juice I used hard cider which I boiled and reduced by half. Also, out of excitement, I forgot to hold back half the sauce. Hope this didn’t change how it bakes.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The sauce might make it a bit goopier on the bottom (top) but the cake itself should be okay. It may take a few minutes longer to bake through, but keep an eye on it. Be sure to turn it out when directed. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      While this cake is delicious, it’s not a great contestant for being frozen. The caramel-apple syrup will become a sticky mess if it is frozen and thawed. You could consider freezing the cake without the syrup and then preparing the syrup when you are ready to serve it if you like. If this is the case, be sure to heat the cake up slightly in the oven before pouring the caramel syrup over the cake. The warm cake will make absorb the syrup better. Or, if you are looking for a delicious apple cake that freezes beautifully, check out our Old Fashioned Apple Cake. (Freeze without the frosting.) I hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  80. Kamilah Sayyidi

    This cake was delicious! Everyone loved it, super moist like you said. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    The only changes I made was I didn’t use any apple juice or cider as we didn’t have any. I just substituted with tablespoons of water for the cake mix. Then for the caramel, I used heavy whipping cream and omitted the cider and corn syrup. Heavy whipping cream made a nice yummy creamy caramel drip.

  81. Januarie York

    I’ve made this two or three times and am making it again tonight.

    I love this, quite possibly my favorite cake to make!!!! Thank you for this. My goodness this is life serving on a fork.

  82. Tanna Jones

    Autumn and we pick apples from the local orchard and I need new recipes … this is my new favorite apple cake! I used half white whole wheat in place of half the AP, and honey for the corn syrup (added lovely floral note!). This will be the cake I take to our two invites for Thanksgiving.
    Thank you once again. KAF is the place I trust for goodness.

  83. Pintesting Anne

    This came up on my Facebook memories – and I’m so glad! This looks like the perfect thing to bake once our power is restored. (Stupid hurricane Irma.) It looks similar to the French Tart Tatin. Can’t wait to make this!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Here’s hoping the power and your baking abilities are fully restored soon, Anne. Best of luck! Mollie@KAF

  84. Peggy McGough

    Can’t wait to try this. Apples are my favorite food, and you mentioned NOT using McIntosh or Cortland. Why not? Granny Smith apples are so expensive that I rarely purchase them. Thanks for your reply. A faithful KAF baker.

    1. Susan Reid

      MacIntosh apples are much more watery and don’t hold up well to baking. Cortlands are botanical cousins to Macs, and have the same issue. Other, firmer apples that work for this would be Braeburns or HoneyCrisps; also Jazz. Maybe one of these won’t be so costly at your store? Susan

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