apple upside down cake

by Heguiberto on August 5, 2009

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enjoying apple upside down cake with black coffee for breakfast

enjoying apple upside down cake with black coffee for breakfast

A few years before I migrated to the US, I lived with my older sister, Tinha, in a tiny but very cute house in Brazil. Tinha’s cooking is amazing, particularly in the cake department. She has a sweet tooth and makes great cakes from scratch. Lucky me! I could almost always count on a homemade fresh piece of cake for breakfast each day. Though she makes several kinds, one of my absolute favorites was her upside down fruit cakes. She’d use a variety of fruit, depending on what was available; like banana, pineapple or apple. The pineapple cake was the most esthetically pleasing but I always preferred the taste of apple cake. Lately, I’ve been craving one of those apple upside down cakes, so last night I made my own adapted from my sister’s original recipe. Basically I cut down on the dairy (I’m living in a ‘high-cholesterol household’) and replaced it. This recipe is made in a cast iron pan. I hope you have one.

Here’s how it goes:

Apple Upside Down Cake


¾ & ½ cup sugar
1 & 1/2 tbsp cold butter
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
1 whole egg plus 1 egg white
¾ cup soy milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 apples (granny smith preferred) peeled cored and cut into thin wedges

How to:

Pre heat the oven to 350F.

Pour ¾ cup sugar into a cast iron pan, turn heat to medium. Using a wooden spatula stir sugar till melted and turned into a golden brown caramel color. Spread caramel on bottom and walls of pan to completely cover. Remove from heat. Let cool for few minutes, till the caramel begins to harden. Add butter to pan and mix gently to incorporate into caramel. Set pan aside.

beginning to caramelize the sugar

beginning to caramelize the sugar

part-way through caramelizing the sugar

part-way through caramelizing the sugar

fully caramelized sugar

fully caramelized sugar

Meanwhile to make the cake batter, combine liquid ingredients in a bowl and mix for a minute or so. Add flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt and mix for another minute or so. Set aside.

To assemble the cake:

layering apples

layering apples

Lay wedges of apple at the bottom of the pan flat side down so it will look like a fan when cake is flipped out of the pan. Keep layering apple wedges until you run out. You should have a layer of about 1 ½ to 2 inches of apples covering the entire pan that rests on top of the caramel. Pour the batter over the apple slices. Gently spread it evenly with a spatula. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven. Let rest for about 5-10 minutes in the pan. Unmold the cake by turning it upside down onto a large platter. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes or serve at room temperature. It tastes delicious with black coffee or tea.

finished cake ready to be flipped out of pan

finished cake ready to be flipped out of pan

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RitaTower August 5, 2009 at 1:26 pm

mmmmmmm… good…looking!

Ana Maria Ribeiro August 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm

It looks delicious!
I will tell Tinha you wrote about the wonderful cakes
that she makes.

Heguiberto August 6, 2009 at 9:12 am

Hello Ana,
Thanks for visiting our blog. Please do tell her and that we miss you all down there 😉

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