Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

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Caramel apple upside-down cake is just the dessert you need for fall! It’s rich, moist, and smothered in a scrumptious caramel glaze!

Can’t get enough of the caramel apple combination? Try out my tasty caramel apple cheesecake bars, cinnamon rolls, and french toast casserole!

Taking a slice out of caramel apple upside down cake, served on a white dish.

Moist and Delicious Caramel Apple Cake

Utah is finally cooling down. We’ve been loving it! Besides being able to wear my comfiest sweaters, fall is my favorite season because of the desserts! Time to put pumpkin spice aside for a second. I love pumpkin season but apple has a special place in my heart. I always have a bowl of fresh apples on hand because my kids and I love them so much. To be honest, I just got done obsessing over apple hand pies. Now it’s time for a perfect fall take on a classic upside-down cake! I can’t wait for you guys to try it!

Let’s talk about this caramel apple upside-down cake. Have you ever made a cake that you couldn’t stop eating because it was so amazing? Yeah, this was one of those. Holy cow it was amazing. When I flipped it upside down, the brown sugar caramel goodness on the bottom drizzled down the sides. The apples were perfectly soft and flavorful! You get those amazing fruity, fall spices in every bite. I had my slice with a scoop of homemade ice cream on top. Whipped cream tastes great, too! Honestly, though, this cake is so moist and flavorful, it tastes incredible served on its own!

Ingredients for Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

These are all of the ingredients you need for this perfect cake! It starts with your favorite fresh apples. Add in the delicious spiced cake and you have the ultimate fall dessert! I love that so many of these ingredients are things I already have in my kitchen.

  • Butter: Used in caramel glaze and cake base. Butter adds fat content for moisture and also gives your cake a rich flavor!
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar gives your glaze its amazing color and sweetness.
  • Cinnamon: A little ground cinnamon is key for the perfect fall flavor!
  • Apples: I use medium apples here, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Perfect for a light, airy cake structure.
  • Baking Powder: Makes your caramel apple upside-down cake nice and fluffy!
  • Salt: Salt is added to enhance overall flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds the perfect sweetness to your upside-down cake. It also melts down when baked for the perfect texture!
  • Eggs: Used to add moisture and bind everything together.
  • Vanilla: Adds a richer flavor. I like using pure vanilla extract for best results!
  • Milk: Used to make the cake batter nice and smooth. I like using whole milk for its fat content. The more fats in your cake, the more moist it will be!

Whipped Cream Topping

Adding whipped cream on top is completely up to you, but I think it is the perfect finishing touch! Once you make whipped cream at home, it is so hard to go back to canned!

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: This is the base of your topping.
  • Powdered Sugar: Adding a little powdered sugar gives your whipped cream its perfect sweetness. Keeps it nice and smooth, too!

Making Your Cake

Making a caramel apple upside-down cake is super easy! In just a few steps of mixing and baking, you’ll create a flavorful fall treat! It’s the perfect dessert to throw together for parties. These flavors are irresistible!

  1. Preheat Oven and Prep Pan: First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 9 inch round or square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Melt Glaze Ingredients Together: In a medium saucepan, melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat until melted. Then, add in the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour into the bottom of the greased pan. Next, arrange the apples over the brown sugar mixture.
  3. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Set bowl aside.
  4. Beat Sugar, Butter, Eggs, and Vanilla: In a large bowl or mixer, beat together 1 cup sugar, and ½ cup butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Mix in Flour and Milk: Next, beat in flour mixture alternating with the milk until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly.
  6. Bake: Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  7. Prepare Whipped Topping: Meanwhile, to make the whipped topping, beat whipping cream on high until soft peaks start to form. Add in 2 tablespoons sugar.
  8. Flip Cake and Serve: Run knife along the edges of the cake and flip upside down on a pan. Serve warm with whipped cream on top.
Process shots of preparing glaze and cake.

Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake Tips and Suggestions

This mouthwatering upside-down cake loaded with the sweet-tart combination of the caramel apple is absolutely delicious. As easy as it is to put together, here are some of my personal tips and tricks on getting the best results every time!

  • Grease Pan Well: Use a heavy coating of your favorite nonstick cooking spray before adding apples and cake batter into your pan! Add a little more when you think you’ve added enough. This cake gets really sticky when it bakes, and fruit is notorious for sticking to the bottom. A well-greased pan will help it slide out perfectly once its done!
  • Flavor Additions: Adding some chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds to your cake batter is so delicious! They taste great alongside fall spice.
  • Let Cake Cool: It’s important to let your cake cool for 10-15 minutes after pulling it out of the oven. This will help it set into place! Don’t let it cool completely, though, or it may become dense and hard to slide out of the pan.
  • Choosing Apples: I like using tart baking apples like Granny Smith or Jonagold in desserts. If you want a sweeter cake, opt for Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp apples!
  • Toppings: Aside from ice cream or whipped cream, top your caramel apple upside-down cake with chopped nuts or even some homemade salted caramel sauce for extra decadence!
A full caramel apple upside-down cake on a white serving dish.

Storing Leftover Cake

Because this tasty caramel apple upside-down cake has a high moisture content, it will only stay good for a few days. Wrap it tightly and store it in the fridge to keep it fresh for as long as possible!

  • In the Refrigerator: Either store your cake in an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. It will keep for 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: If you want to serve your leftover cake warm, pop it into the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
Close-up of a slice of apple cake with caramel glaze.

A Reader’s Review

“I made this Sunday for a family dinner. There were four of us, and only one slice of cake left. I think it went over well!!!” -Ashley

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

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A delicious apple upside down cake that is perfectly moist and has a caramel glaze on top!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 8 Slices

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium apples peeled, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk

Whipped Cream topping:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 inch round or square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat until melted. Add the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil and remove it from heat. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour into the bottom of the greased pan. Arrange the apples over the brown sugar mixture.
  • In a medium-size bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and salt. Set bowl aside.
  • In a large bowl or mixer, beat together 1 cup sugar, and ½ cup butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla.
  • Beat in flour mixture alternating with the milk until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly.
  • Bake 55-60 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to make the whipped topping beat whipping cream on high until soft peaks start to form. Add in 2 tablespoons sugar.
  • Run a knife along the edges of the cake and flip upside down on a pan. Serve warm with whipped cream on top.

Notes

Updated on October 6, 2021
Originally Posted on September 21, 2014

Nutrition

Serves: 8

Calories555kcal (28%)Carbohydrates70g (23%)Protein5g (10%)Fat30g (46%)Saturated Fat18g (90%)Cholesterol128mg (43%)Sodium262mg (11%)Potassium193mg (6%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar51g (57%)Vitamin A1065IU (21%)Vitamin C2mg (2%)Calcium82mg (8%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel apple cake, caramel apple upside down cake, upside down cake recipes
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Hi, just a heads up. The directions for the upside down cake are messed up. The last several are repeats.

    I really enjoy your posts 🙂

  2. I will try making this creation soon, looks yummo 🙂 How do you stay so slim with all the goodies you make? You also have a lovely looking family. :):)

  3. The measurement for the first addition of cinnamon is 1/2 tsp but the instructions read 1/4. Which one is correct? It looks and sounds wonderful! I want to make this for church tomorrow

  4. Can’t wait to make this, I love anything apple! I am going to change one or both of the cinnamon amounts to apple pie spice, I Love Apple Pie Spice!

  5. I love upside down cakes. I usually make peach or pineapple. My Aunt made an apple years ago and I have been wanting to do it ever since. This looks amazing and I cannot wait to try it. However, I think I will do it in a cast ion frying pan. My Grandma taught me that. Thank you. Can’t wait.

    1. I’m trying this recipe for the first time and just put it in the oven. I wish I had thought of using a cast iron skillet instead of a cake pan! Thanks for the idea–filing it away for next time!

  6. The ingredients list calls for 1/2t cinnamon (twice), but the recipe class for 1/2 and 1/4t. Which measurement is correct?

  7. Your ingredients are little confusing, you say 1/4 cup of butter yet the instructions you have 1/2 cup butter, and also 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon is listed twice, but the recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon and 1/2 teaspoon.

    1. Whipping cream is heavy cream that you whip to make whipped cream. It should be by the half and half in the grocery store.

  8. Can’t wait to make this! I just had spinal fusion surgery last week; but I think I can stay on my feet long enough to put this in the oven tomorrow. It’s going to be great … I just know it!!

  9. Hi! Wondering if i use a springform pan, won’t the syrup ooze out? When I make upside-down pineapple cake I don’t cook the sugar and butter – so this is a bit same except for that step with the syrup

  10. Hi this cake looks awesome! Do you think I cd prep it all, freeze it raw and then pop in oven on day I want it? Thank you

  11. This looks beautiful! Is there a particular kind of apple that works best for this? I usually bake with Granny Smith apples because they hold up better during the baking. Would the tartness of the Granny Smith work okay with this recipe?

  12. Great recipe! Turned out just as I hoped it would and was a success with my in-laws last night! Will keep it and definitely make it again. Thanks:)

  13. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Made it tonight for Thanksgiving…Looks and smells fabulous. I am sure it will be a huge hit!

  14. I made this last week for a family get together. Going to another event and my husband begged me to make and bring it again. That is a HUGE complement! It is wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  15. I made this today. It was wonderfully delicious! Easy to make and turned out just like the picture. This is a keeper! Thank you!

  16. Made this tonight turned out great!! My daughters insisted I make caramel sauce to drizzle over the cake (brown sugar,

  17. I just made two of the caramel apple upside down cakes for a nearly-autumn bake sale fundraiser. Of course, we had to try a slice before wrapping up the other pieces. This recipe is DELICIOUS! It will be one of my go-to autum baking favorites. Thank you!

  18. My grandson asked me to make a caramel apple coffee cake for him. I found your recipe, beautiful cake and delicious.

    1. I have used spray and flour to coat the pan. Sometimes that helps the cake fall out easily. For the apples, maybe bigger slices when adding them to the bottom. Once I pour the cake batter over top I immediately place in the heated oven.

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