Apple Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake

by Anne Papina on September 27, 2013

Apple Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake | Webicurean

What is it about fall that sends us into baking mode? Does that nip in the air propel us to the kitchen, whisk in hand? Gearing up for the holiday season to come? Meanwhile the markets are brimming with pumpkins and other squashes that work oh-so-well with sweet spices. And of course there are the apples. Lots and lots of apples–over 7500 varieties of apples! Despite such delicious diversity, I still find Granny Smiths to be the best for baking because their tartness provides balance to all the sugar, plus they hold their shape well. This apple gingerbread upside-down cake reminds us of all that is good about this time of year.

The recipe is adapted from one of my favorite comfort food books–The Passionate Palate. The subtitle “Recipes for Cooking Up a Delicious Life” sums it up well–not only filled with recipes for good old-fashioned comfort food, it’s also packed with practical tips on how to better manage stress in your life. Who couldn’t use a little help there? It’s an older title but still a good read if you happen across a copy.

This cake is rich with molasses, but the apples cut that sweetness and make the cake super moist. If you feel this is too much molasses for your taste buds, feel free to go halvsies with some honey. Once you throw this together, sit back and relax as the aroma of ginger, cinnamon, and molasses wafts through your kitchen. Have a cup of tea waiting, and serve this warm, topped with some brandied whipped cream or buttermilk ice cream. Indulge.

Apple Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake | Webicurean

Start by creaming together the butter and brown sugar. Then add the egg, molasses, and lemon peel, and mix until well blended.

Apple Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake | Webicurean

Meanwhile sift together the dry ingredients. Thanks to Joy the Baker, we now know that a whisk can accomplish the same thing as a sifter but without all the fuss.  Mix this into the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, until everything is all good and blended.

Apple Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake | Webicurean

Meanwhile melt the butter in the baking dish, sprinkle it with half the brown sugar, then arrange the apples in the pan. Top that with the pecans if you’re using them (I forgot mine at the store), along with the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour the batter over this and then bake.

Apple Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake | Webicurean

Waiting for this to cool enough to eat is the hard part. Top this with some whipped cream or ice cream, and you’re good to go!

Here’s the printer friendly version:

Apple Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Topped with tart apples and a cinnamony glaze, this apple gingerbread upside-down cake is moist and delicious with the flavors of fall.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Batter
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup mild molasses
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
Topping
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted & chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 tart apples, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a mixer bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add the egg, molasses, and grated lemon peel, and beat until blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, spices, and baking soda. Alternate adding the buttermilk milk and flour to the butter/sugar mixture until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
  4. For the topping, melt the butter in a 9×9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle ¼ cup brown sugar evenly over butter. Sprinkle the toasted pecans evenly over the brown sugar, if used. Arrange the apples in the pan in overlapping layers. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon over apples. Pour the batter over the apple mixture.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let this cool for just a few minutes, then place a heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan.
  6. Best served warm, topped with brandied whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Notes
If this is too much molasses for your taste buds, feel free to go half and half with some honey.

 

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Betsy Cohen September 27, 2013 at 5:17 am

This recipe LOOKS like Fall! Once South Florida starts to cool down, this is on my list!

Thank you!
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Anne Papina September 27, 2013 at 7:29 am

Thanks! It’s great aromatherapy too–every time I walk through the kitchen it smells SO good!

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Julie @ Texan New Yorker September 27, 2013 at 11:34 am

How creative, I love it!
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Anne Papina September 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Thanks!

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Laura Dembowski September 28, 2013 at 4:24 am

This cake looks so rich and moist. I’ve seen lots of upside down cakes but never one that looks this yummy!
Laura Dembowski recently posted..Berry Coconut CakeMy Profile

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Anne Papina September 28, 2013 at 7:05 am

It’s all the butter and brown sugar glaze on the apples that soaks through!

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Liz September 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Wow, does this look amazing! I’d be wanting to eat those yummy apples off of everyone’s slices!
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Anne Papina October 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm

That sorta thing happens all the time with this!

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Cora October 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm

This looks really good and I want to try it, but the instruction say to cream together butter and shortening, I don’t see any shortening in the ingredients, is it missing? How much shortening to use?
Help!

Reply

Anne Papina October 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm

D’oh! It was supposed to read cream together the butter and brown sugar! I fixed it now–sorry about that! This is why I shouldn’t proofread my own writing!

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Cora November 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Thanks so much I’m making this tomorrow!

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Christine October 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I just drooled…literally caught myself drooling while looking at this post. If only this can magically appear in front of me instead of me having to make it…
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Anne Papina October 4, 2013 at 7:17 am

Fortunately it’s pretty easy to make! If you think the sight of it is droolworthy, you should try having the scent around the house!

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Dina October 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

it looks yummy!
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Anne Papina October 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Thanks!

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