Apple Upside-Down Cake


If you've got a couple apples, you probably have everything else needed to make this dessert. It comes together in just 20 minutes of active time without having to pull out a mixer.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
1 9-inch cake

Tender, brown sugar-kissed fruit bakes into a buttery, vanilla-scented upside-down apple cake, creating a classic dessert that's just as delicious for breakfast with a cup of coffee. Feel free to stir a bit of ground cinnamon into the butter-brown sugar mixture or the cake batter. For a less-sweet dessert, omit the glaze and swap out the Golden Delicious apples for Granny Smiths. Properly stored, the apple topping keeps the cake moist for days. But we're guessing it won't last long enough for you to notice!



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted


  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. Make the apples: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, blend the butter with the brown sugar and salt. Spread the mixture evenly in the lined cake pan. Arrange the apple wedges in the pan in 2 concentric circles.

  2. Make the cake: In the same bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix the eggs with the milk and vanilla. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter and whisk until smooth. Scrape the batter over the apples and spread evenly. Bake the cake in the lower third of the oven until golden and springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.

  3. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Run the tip of a knife around the inside rim of the pan. Center a serving plate over the cake; carefully invert the the cake and plate. Remove the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Let the cake cool completely.

  4. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir the powdered sugar with the milk and drizzle it over the cake. Cut into wedges and serve.

Upsidedown Apple Cake

© Fredrika Stjärne

Make ahead

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.

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