This upside down apple caramel cake is rich, tender, and moist, making a fantastic fall treat for any occasion. Deliciously tender cake is topped with caramel and apples and loaded with the classic fall flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg for a snack or dessert that everyone will love.
I get just as excited as everyone else for pumpkin spice everything when fall rolls around, but I still have a place in my heart for all kinds of apple treats, as well. While pumpkin might get main billing this time of year, it’s important to remember that apples are also a wonderful fall baking ingredient. I make as many apple dishes as pumpkin ones during the fall, and everyone always loves this apple caramel cake. It’s the perfect dessert for any fall gathering, and it makes a great addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas tables, as well.
Upside Down Apple Caramel Cake
This cake starts with a sweet topping of caramel and sliced apples. I place it in the bottom of a springform pan, and pour a simple spice cake batter loaded with fall flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg over the apple caramel mixture. Then, I bake it until it’s perfectly golden. When it comes out of the pan, it’s soft and tender and topped with an ooey gooey caramel apple mixture. Every bite explodes with fall flavor, and I never have leftovers when I bring it to a party.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s combines classic spice cake with an ooey gooey caramel apple topping.
- It’s a delicious treat perfect for any fall gathering or even the holiday season.
- It’s an easy recipe that even beginners can make.
Both the caramel apple topping and the spice cake are made with simple, basic ingredients. Most of them are probably in your kitchen right now, and anything you don’t have can be found at your local grocery store with no issues at all.
Caramel Apple Topping
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted sweet cream butter,
- 1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 cup vanilla extract, my favorite vanilla extract
- 2 large apples, peeled and sliced into 1⁄4 in slices
- 1 1⁄2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoons nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract, this is my favorite vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 cup milk of choice
- full printable recipe is below in the recipe box
How to Make Upside Down Apple Caramel Cake
This recipe only takes a few simple steps, and it only takes about an hour from start to finish. Even beginners can make this one, and no one can say no to it!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Place it on a cookie sheet.
- Whisk butter and brown sugar until melted in a pot over medium heat. Then, continue cooking until the mixture thickens.
- Whisk in the cinnamon and vanilla extract and pour the mixture into the springform pan.
- Layer the apple slices in a decorative pattern on top of the caramel sauce. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined in a large bowl.
- Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the wet until the batter is smooth. Then, beat in the milk until the batter is smooth.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan, smooth the top, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake and let it cool on the counter for a few minutes.
- Remove the springform from the pan, place the cake on a serving plate, and remove the cake pan. Enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
- Use your favorite variety of baking apples for this cake.
- You can use premade caramel sauce, if you prefer.
- Dark brown sugar will work, as well.
- Try adding chopped pecans or walnuts to the spice cake batter.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowls
- Baking sheet/Cookie Sheet
- Parchment paper, I used these great parchment paper rounds
- Springform pan, this is a great one that’s non-stick
Store this cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate the cake covered for up to a week.
What to Serve with Upside Down Apple Caramel Cake
Serve this cake with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea. It’s also delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla, apple, or cinnamon ice cream.
- Stir constantly while cooking the caramel sauce to prevent scorching.
- For proper measuring, scoop the flour loosely into the measuring cup with a spoon, then level it off with the flat of a knife.
- Be sure your butter is fully softened to ensure proper blending.
More Cake Recipes
If you love delicious cakes, then I think you’re going to enjoy these recipes.
What is an upside down cake?
An upside down cake is a cake that’s baked upside down. The topping is placed on the bottom of the pan, then the batter is poured in and baked. After that, the cake is flipped and served right side up.
Why did my caramel sauce burn?
Burned caramel most commonly occurs when the sauce is left for too long on the heat or when the temperature used to cook it is too high.
Why are apples associated with fall?
Apples were first associated with fall by the Celts. They considered apples fruit of the other world – Avalon, the Isle of Apples. They became associated with fall due to their abundance around the festival of Samhain, which fell on the cusp of October and November. In modern times, apples became associated with fall simply because they were in season.
Print and copy recipe below..
Upside Down Apple Cake
Upside Down Apple Cake is a cinnamon spice cake, topped with a buttery caramelized topping that is out of this world delicious. It's the perfect fall dessert.
- Caramel Topping Ingredients
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large apples peeled and sliced into ¼ in slices
Spice Cake Ingredients
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk of choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9in springform pan with parchment paper Line the springform pan on the outside with foil to avoid leakage from the caramel mixture Place on a cookie sheet.
Using a pot, combine the butter and brown sugar and whisk until melted Continue to cook while stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until mixture thickens Whisk in the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture into the springform pan.
Place the apple slices in a decorative form into the caramel sauce.
Using a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Using a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined and fluffy.
Gradually beat in the dry ingredients until combined and batter is smooth Beat in the milk until combined and smooth.
Pour the batter into the springform pan and smooth evenly.
Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean Remove and allow to cool on the counter for a few minutes.
Carefully remove the springform from the pan.
Place the cake onto a serving plate and remove the cake pan from the cake.
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