I have a deeper, more meaningful post brewing right now, but in the meantime I’ll tide you over with this cake I made several weeks ago after noticing that my sister has an untouched apple orchard in her side-yard (she calls them “deer apples”! More like c’mere apples amirite?) and then cramming approximately 30 lbs of them into my suitcase for the flight back home.
When I arrived home, I promptly made an apple crisp, which I devoured for breakfast & dessert over the course of 2 days and decided not to write about because of a) my shame and b) everybody already knows how to make apple crisp, right? I mean, you can go ahead and try to make a healthy version using coconut flour, stevia, and some kind of yoga pose, but you’re always going to come crawling back to that magical trifecta that is crisp topping glory: oats, sugar, and butter. Trust.
After successfully eating a 9 X 13″ apple crisp by myself, I began scouring the blogosphere for a more original idea toward which I could use the remaining 28 lbs of apples sitting on my counter.
I found this recipe for a caramel apple upside down cake over at Sally’s Baking Addiction and was instantly intrigued.
I left out a couple of ingredients (walnuts, nutmeg) and created this little beauty.
To be honest, I wasn’t sold on it at first bite.
See “first bite” at the top right hand side?
So I took more bites. You know, for science.
So many, in fact, that I ended up eating the whole right side of the cake and had to start taking these artsy (?) photos of only the left side.
At which point, I realized that the problem was that sugared apples + caramel topping + a sweet cake wasn’t quite enough sugar for my extremely developed sweetness palate.
So I added a glaze. (bit of maple syrup + icing sugar + bit of melted butter until it’s a slightly spreadable but still gooey consistency).
Some people (aka everyone) would say it was unnecessary to add a glaze.
But I, personally, don’t think breakfast is complete without a frosting.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, divided
- 1 and 2/3 packed cups dark brown sugar, divided
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 medium apples - peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk - regular, soy, or almond (I used almond milk)
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Lightly coat a 9-inch pie dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Make sure your apples are sliced and ready to go.
- In a small saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter on low heat. When it begins to bubble, stir in 2/3 cup dark brown sugar. Continue to stir until smooth. Leave on heat for about 2 minutes until bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and vanilla extract. Allow to cool for 1 minute. Layer the sliced apples into the dish and pour the butter/sugar over top. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
- Using a handheld electric mixer, cream one stick butter and 1 cup dark brown sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in milk and mix until just combined. By hand, stir in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, flour, and baking powder. Do not overmix - stir until everything is just combined.
- Spoon or pour batter over the apples and bake for at least 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the very middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for exactly ten minutes before inverting onto a large serving dish.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for a couple days.