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Anna's October Bake Off: Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake


Posted by : Anna Olson, Thu, Oct 18 2012

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Thanksgiving officially launches the autumn entertaining season, so now it’s time to flex your baking muscles and try a dessert fit for a dinner party!

This Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake captures all the best of autumn baking – fragrant spices, fresh apples and caramelized sugar.  The caramelized sugar takes a bit of attention. Make sure you don’t walk away from the pan as the sugar boils, and brushing the sides of the pot as the sugar bubbles helps to keep sugar droplets from crystallizing (so that your sugar remains fluid).  If you are baking this recipe with your kids, be sure that they don’t take on this task, as the sugar reaches over 300 degrees F.

I’d like to hear your dinner party stories – what else you served for your meal, the occasion that brings you together and of course, photos of the spectacular dessert – even shots of your enraptured guests!  As always, get creative with presentation and what you choose to serve with the cake…a scoop of ice cream? A custard sauce? A salted caramel sauce?



Apples make an ideal upside down cake, since they caramelize so nicely and the juice meld with the sugar syrup, making for a shiny glaze when the cake is inverted.

Makes one 9 inch cake
Serves 12

Caramel Apple Layer:
3  apples (Spartan, Mutsu or Cortland), peeled, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
2 Tbsp  water
1 Tbsp  lemon juice
1 cup  sugar
¼ cup  unsalted butter

¼ cup  unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup  sugar
½ cup  packed dark brown sugar or demerara sugar
4  eggs at room temperature, separated
1/3 cup  sour cream
1 tsp  vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp  baking powder
½ tsp  ground cinnamon
¼ tsp  salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 inch cake pan and place it on a parchment-lined baking tray.

2.  For the caramel apple layer, arrange the apples tightly together in the bottom of the prepare pan.  Pour the water and lemon juice into a small saucepot, and then add the sugar and butter.  Bring this mixture to a boil without stirring and continue to boil, occasionally brushing the sides of the pot down with water, until it is a rich caramel color, 4 to 6 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and pour the caramel over the apples, coating them as much as possible (but don’t worry if they are not completely coated).  Set aside while preparing the cake.

3. Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together.  Add the egg yolks, sour cream and vanilla and beat until blended.

4.  In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and stir this into the butter mixture.

5.  In another bowl, whip the 4 egg whites until they hold a soft peak and fold them into the cake batter in 2 additions.  Scrape the batter overtop of the apples and spread evenly. 

6. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes.  Run a knife around the inside edge of the cake pan and place a serving plate overtop the pan.  Flip the cake over and lift the pan off, revealing the caramel apple top.


Here's how Bake Off works:    

  • Our hostess with the mostess, Anna Olson, picks a recipe middle of every month 
  • You make the recipe (follow it or add your creative flair) 
  • Email us (giveaways@foodnetwork.ca) a picture and short descriptive blurb before November 14th 9am ET for your chance to win! Anna will pick the winner (We are giving away a $100 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and an autographed copy of Anna's cookbook).  

Anna_OlsonProfessionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network's Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun! 








Posted: by Anna Olson
Filed under: Bake Off

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