Quality Ingredients for Creative Cooks
Rose Levy Beranbaum's Apple Upside-Down Cake
Photograph by Ben Fink

Apple Upside-Down Cake

Rose Levy Beranbaum is the author of 12 award winning cookbooks. Her book The Cake Bible is in its 55th printing and was inducted into the International Association of Culinary Professionals Culinary Classics. Rose’s Baking Basics, with over 600 step-by-step photos, will be published on September 25, 2018. Her website is realbakingwithrose.com and you can also follow Rose on her blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. This Apple Upside-Down Cake recipe is from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes and is used with her very kind permission.

Serves 8 to 10
Prep time: Baking Time: 35 to 45 minutes

Caramelized apple and walnuts atop a tender butter cake are a fabulous combination, and Rose’s Bourbon Whipped Cream, also from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, would be the perfect accompaniment to balance the sweetness of the caramel. This cake is most delicious in the fall at the height of apple season and is much quicker to make than a conventional apple pie. Use baking apples that hold their shape well. Her favorites are Macoun, Northern Spy, Rhode Island Greenings and Golden Delicious.


Apple and Walnut Topping

1 1/4 1 1/4 pounds of apples (about 2 large), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick 3 1/4 cups 1 pound 454 grams
lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1 teaspoon
INDIA TREE Light Muscovado Sugar 1/3 cup firmly packed, divided 2.5 ounces 72 grams
unsalted butter 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), divided 2 ounces 57 grams
walnut halves 2/3 cup 2.2 ounces 66 grams


about 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature 3 1/2 tablespoons (1.7 fluid ounces) 2 ounces 56 grams
sour cream 1/2 cup, divided 4.2 ounces 121 grams
pure vanilla extract 1 1/4 teaspoons
bleached cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour) 1 1/2 cups (or 1 1/3 cups), sifted into the cup and leveled off 5.3 ounces 150 grams
INDIA TREE Caster Sugar 3/4 cup 5.3 ounces 150 grams
baking powder 3/4 teaspoon
baking soda 1/4 teaspoon
salt 1/4 teaspoon
unsalted butter at 65° to 75°F (19° to 23°C) 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) 4.5 ounces 128 grams
  • 9″ x 2″ round cake pan, encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with a parchment round
  • baking stone (optional)
This recipe uses the following INDIA TREE products:

Highlights for Success: To core apples, cut them in quarters and use a melon baller to scoop out the core. Slice each piece into three pieces. The baking stone helps to darken the caramel on the apples.


Preheat the Oven:

  1. Thirty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven, set a baking stone, if using, on the rack and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Make the Apple Topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the INDIA TREE Light Muscovado Sugar. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours. Drain the apples, reserving their liquid.
  2. In a small heavy saucepan, preferably nonstick, melt the butter. Use about 1 tablespoon to coat the parchment-lined bottom and the sides of the cake pan.
  3. Add the remaining Light Muscovado Sugar and the reserved liquid that has drained from the apples to the butter remaining in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a light-colored silicone spatula, then stop stirring, but leave the spatula in place to judge the color, and simmer for about 3 minutes, until bubbling thickly and deep amber in color.
  4. Pour this mixture (do not scrape) into the prepared cake pan, tilting to coat the entire bottom. Don’t worry if the mixture hardens; it will melt during baking. Place the apple slices, overlapping slightly, on the bottom and around the sides of the pan. Set aside.

Toast the Walnuts:

  1. Spread the walnuts evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes to enhance their flavor. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid over-browning. Cool completely. Chop coarsely and set aside.

Mix the Liquid Ingredients:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks, 2 tablespoons of the sour cream, and the vanilla just until combined.

Make the Batter:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, the INDIA TREE Superfine Caster Sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a silicone spatula, drop the batter in big blobs on top of the apples. Then smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula while keeping the apples in an attractive pattern.

Bake the Cake:

  1. Place the pan in the oven on the stone, if using it. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown, a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.

Unmold and Cool the Cake:

  1. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake at once onto a serving plate. Leave the pan in place for 1 to 2 minutes before lifting it off. If any apple slices have stuck to the pan, use a small metal spatula to place them back on the cake. Scatter the toasted walnuts on top. Serve warm or room temperature.
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