Maple-Apple Upside-Down Cake

November 14, 2010

October is a Birthday Marathon at the house of T. We start off with a bang (Miss M.), keep trucking through the middle (Dear Hubs) and bringing up the rear is my Daddy-O. It’s a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s good fun.

The girls sometimes complain that Halloween gets the short end of the stick, but in my opinion, it’s more important to honor the births of 3 amazing people than go all Martha Stewart on some pumpkins. So we paint them, slap on some googly eyes and glitter and hey, I think we do a pretty good job.

Most of you know that I rarely bake. I’m sorry about that, I really am. Hopefully, this recipe will put me back in your good graces, because it’s a winner. It’s delicious, it’s full of fall flavors, and best of all, it’s easy. Seriously easy. The hardest thing about it is waiting long enough for it to cool before you dig in.

The best thing about this cake? It tastes like a big apple pancake, so you don’t feel more than a pinch of guilt if you eat it for breakfast, which is what I did. Twice.

Whip this up for your favorite goblin (or birthday boy) and watch the smiles appear.

Maple-Apple Upside-Down Cake

serves 12

from Food and Wine magazine

1 cup pure maple syrup

3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

Creme fraiche or whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan. In a heavy large saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, lower heat and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup. Pour the thickened syrup into the cake pan. Arrange the apples in the in the pan in 2 concentric circles, overlapping them slightly.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a glass measuring cup, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the wet and dry ingredients, alternating, in 3 batches. Beat until smooth.

Scrape the batter over the apples and spread it in an even layer. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool on a rack for 45 minutes.

Place a  plate on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the plate.; tap lightly to release cake. Let the cake cool slightly and serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream.

I’m ranting about Thanksgiving food here. Come join me, would you?

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather November 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks throughout the day… This looks utterly delicious anytime of the day!


Phoo-d November 14, 2010 at 8:49 am

My first thought when I saw a photo of a cake was, “Holy smokes she baked something!” The cake looks marvelous and the fact that you ate it for breakfast means that the cake isn’t the only thing upside down! =)


Cathy November 14, 2010 at 10:54 am

I love, love, love to bake. I would post food stuff but I have a crappy camera (iPhone camera). Can’t do food without a pic I think.


BigLittleWolf November 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

This sounds absolutely scrumptious. This is the time of year for baking. (I can almost smell this in the oven.)


rebecca @ altared spaces November 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

Is there anything better than maple syrup???


Michelle November 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Any excuse to eat cake for breakfast is okay with me! This sounds delicious!


Contemporary Troubadour November 14, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Cake for breakfast! Count me in!! (I’m trying to convince D that we can totally convert a bran muffin batter into carrot cake — can you tell my ginger-and-spice tooth is acting up?)

As for birthday marathons, that would be March for us (if you count both sides, we have 7; thankfully, we all live too far away from one another to try to fete them all together). I suppose we have those June weddings to blame for the cluster. October would mean … the lead-up to Valentine’s Day is popular in the lineage of T?



Aging Mommy November 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I can see the appeal of this – easy to bake and it looks and sounds fabulous!


Emily Z November 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Kitch Witch, you’re in my good graces even if you don’t bake. I love reading your comments on my recipes. You’re almost always one of the first to comment, and it makes me happy. And I love reading your posts. You write so well. It’s fun to come over here and see what’s new. Your October sounds like my November. Speak of a birthday marathon… November 6 is my brother’s birthday. The 8th is mine. The 9th is my mom’s. The 10th is my uncle’s, and then the 11th is my cousin’s. The 16th is my parents’ wedding anniversary, the 17th is my wedding anniversary. Then Thanksgiving. Then the holidays.

Sorry to be long winded. Long story short, I can relate to what a busy month is like! It’s why I relish lazy weekends such as the one I just had! ;)


bryan November 15, 2010 at 3:00 am

You baked? And it looks like you knocked this one out of the park! This sounds like a pan full of Autumn, just wonderful.


ck November 15, 2010 at 4:42 am

Normally I prefer dinner-ish left-overs for breakfast, but I always make the exception when it comes to a baked good of the apple persuasion. This looks ridiculous.


Christine November 15, 2010 at 6:06 am

I am not a cake/pastry person at all. I could really just not eat it. So I forgive you!! But I suspect my husband would LOVE this.

And for the record, I’m practically ANTI-Halloween. I just cannot get into that darn holiday/occasion. Whatever the heck it is.



Tiffany November 15, 2010 at 6:13 am

We may have to try that with the pumpkins next year…I always end up doing all the work with the carving!! This sounds like a delicious dessert…we have birthday marathon in Feb-May…I feel ya!


Barbara November 15, 2010 at 7:02 am

For someone who doesn’t bake, you’ve done a bang up job on this cake!! Of course, maple is a killer addition to just about anything. :)

I tried the Martha Stewart pumpkin carving a few years back…a total failure.


Erica@PinesLakeRedhead November 15, 2010 at 8:45 am

Yum! Between baking with apples and baking with pumpkins I’m going to weigh 300 lbs by the time Christmas gets here.

Looks like the photo was taken in the early morning light?


Biz November 15, 2010 at 9:26 am

OMG, that has to be my favorite pumpkin I’ve seen all year – love it!

And I don’t bake much either, except for bread. I have been known to repeatedly forget to add sugar to muffins – about 10 times! My family never lets me live it down. :D


Keyona November 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

Dear heavens I will be making that this weekend! Yum to the E!


Futureblackmail November 15, 2010 at 10:23 am

Wow – this looks very tasty. And bonus – I know all of the ingredients AND where to find them!


Jenna November 15, 2010 at 11:16 am

That’s so funny . . . good job getting down and dirty and BAKING! =) I’m the exact same way–no, really. Out of all the recipes on my blog, there are only TWO baking recipes–Apple Muffins (by yours truly) and a bread that was a guest post from my sister. I keep telling myself I have to make these fabulous pumpkin mini muffins asap, but it’s just not happening. Maybe you could send me some virtual baking motivation through the karma of the internet.


Camille Brightsmith November 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

you baked! you baked!!! Are you baked?1 This is a shock and a yummy looking one at that.


Sherri November 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm

This sounds sooooo good. I have been really into some good baked goods recipes lately (the gathering of such recipes, that is), so… thanks for this.


Annelies November 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Maple- check. Apples- double check. Sounds like a winning cake to me. Especially if it can double as brekkie the next day…


Mrs.Mayhem November 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

First of all, super cute pumpkin. And it lasts longer than a carved one, too.

Second, yum. I have all of these ingredients, so I’m going to give it a go. Thanks.


Evan @swEEts November 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm

You know me and I love to bake.. you are definitely in my good graces with a cake like this- sounds delicious! Perfect for a fall birthday and who wouldn’t love a cake that tastes like apple pancakes!?


Bonnie November 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm

O.k., you are forgiven because this looks and sounds delicious. Apples and maple syrup go together like, hmmm, love and marriage (corny, I know). Please do not lapse in the baking department again!!



elizabeth November 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I kind of find it refreshing that you don’t bake that often–I always see the blogs I follow riddled with baked recipes, and I have to ask “what do you DO with all of the excess?” Thing is, we don’t have a big household so baked goods are likely to go to waste if I make them.

These look lovely, per usual–happy lots of birthdays to your family!


subWOW November 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm

This looks so good. A la mode. Yum.


theUngourmet November 15, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I was just thinking, as I hopped on my Wii and found out I’ve gained 6 lbs since the last time I was on the thing, that I could cut back a bit on my baking. Drats! You’ve ruined my plan. I will definitely want to try this recipe!


Rudri November 15, 2010 at 9:03 pm

This recipe looks user friendly. I am not a baker so here’s hoping I don’t mess it up.


Michele November 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I think I know what I’m having for breakfast on Saturday, and how I’m going to decorate my pumpkins next year :)


Kelly November 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I just passed this on to the girl making desserts for our holiday meal. Yum!


Sarah Trevino ~ Chefwife November 16, 2010 at 6:32 am

Saw you on Twitter and came on over to check out the blog. I tried this same recipe and it was delicious. I used agave nectar instead….the rest of the bottle must now be used for margaritas…..


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon November 16, 2010 at 6:52 am

Cake, now you’re talking my language. Although I don’t know if I can survive baking season without a 5 to 10 pound gain thanks to my Google Reader and Twitter. So much good looking food, so little time.


Meister @ Eat This Neighborhood November 16, 2010 at 7:39 am

I rarely bake, too, but it looks like when you do put your sweet tooth to it you do an incredible job. Anything that tastes like a giant, moist apple pancake is A-OK in my book!


SuziCate November 16, 2010 at 10:00 am

That pumpkin is priceless! That cake sounds like a perfectly yummy way to welcome the cool weather.


Velva November 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Happy Birthday to all those amazing October people in your life. Including you!
November is hectic month at our house. Two birthday’s. our wedding anniversary and then the onslaught of the Thanksgiving holiday.

I don’t bake much either. I think it has something to do with following directions. The maple-apple upside down cake looks really good. I would enjoy that with a really good, hot cup of coffee.

btw, your pumpkin rocks.


wizzythestick November 16, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Good lord your October is my November. Every week it’s a birthday so by the time my birthday rolls around in December I’m usually all caked out:-(


Belinda November 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I have my own Libra-thon from Sept. – Oct. then the holidays and then more birthdays through Jan.

Love the painted pumpkin and this cake looks delish!


pabaker November 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I made this last Saturday. One thing, though, I had a LOT of trouble getting it out of the pan. Followed instructions to the T. The maple syrup caramelized around the ring form seal. I had to cut the cake out. Also, there is a lot of cake and not so many apples. I will make this again and double the apples. Does anyone else have any comments on these issues?


TKW November 18, 2010 at 6:31 am

Pabaker: My cake came out fine except for a few stray apples that I just had to press back on top of the cake–how disappointing that yours wouldn’t release from the pan! I did butter and flour the HECK out of it beforehand…maybe that made a difference? I do agree that a few more apples would’ve been nice–if you increase the amount next time, I’d love to hear what you thought.


grace November 17, 2010 at 11:54 pm

after cinnamon and caramel, maple is my next favorite apple pairer. this is one fine cake, milady. happy birthday indeed.


Chaya November 23, 2010 at 11:35 am

The words apple and maple do it every time. They make cakes delicious with the hand of the chef. This could be a favorite, very easily.


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