• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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Brown Sugar Apple Upside Down Cake with Apple Cider Caramel and Spiced Walnuts

The other weekly challenge over at Food52 was for Apple Cake. Living in the Hudson Valley means some of the best selection and variety of apples I have ever seen. I love the orchards this time of year, and the farm stands, and the smell of cinnamon, spices, and sweet appley goodness coming out in all it’s best forms, including cider (cider doughnuts – a love of mine that will have to be addressed another day). Anyway, I feel like cider is a great way to amp up the flavor of an apple cake, so I smothered my apple upside down cake with apple cider caramel and served it warm. Yum yum.

Brown Sugar Apple Upside Down Cake with Apple Cider Caramel and Spiced Walnuts


Makes one 8″ cake.
Leftover Potential: Save some of the caramel to serve over ice cream or with apple pie!

Apple Cider Caramel:
1 quart apple cider
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a large pot, bring the apple cider to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, and simmer the cider until it reduces to about a cup. Do not stir the cider after this point (it may crystallize if over-agitated).
2. Continue to reduce the cider until it begins to get thick and caramelize. When the caramel is thick and could coat a spoon, remove the pot from the heat.
3. Stir in the butter and salt. Spread half of the caramel at the bottom of a greased 8″ cake pan. Reserve the other half of the caramel.
Spiced Walnuts
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

1. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the walnuts, and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and continue to cook, tossing to coat. Let cool completely before using them to garnish the finished cake.

Brown Sugar Apple Upside Down Cake
2 Honeycrisp apples, quartered, cored, and very thinly sliced (about 1/8″ thick)

5 oz butter
1 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

    1. Fan the apples into the base of the prepared cake pan (with caramel in the base) into a circle, with the points of the apples going to the center. Set aside.
    2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping well after each addition. Add the vanilla, mix to combine.
    3. Alternately add the milk/heavy cream and the dry ingredients, mixing just to combine.
    4. Scoop the prepared batter the pan atop the apples. Bake at 350 until baked through, about 15-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
    5. Scoop the prepared batter the pan atop the apples. Bake at 350 until baked through, about 15-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Serve the cake warm, topped with reserved apple cider caramel and the spiced walnuts.


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11 Responses

  1. OOOOH your cake looks delicious. Anything with that much caramel has to be wonderful.

  2. Looks amazing, I wish I had a huge slice of that cake!

  3. This looks amazing! I love all that gooey caramel:)

  4. Apple cider carmel? Sweet jesus, yum yum yum.

  5. this looks amazing! I think I’m going to try it for my dinner party tonight, but I’m a little worried about inverting the cake. could you pls repeat step 5?

  6. Make sure your cake pan is well greased. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes before inverting. Then use an offset spatula to loosen the cake around the edges. You can also use the offset to try to loosen the cake from the base. I just loosened it around the edges and quickly turned it over while the cake was still warm, but not piping hot.

    Another alternative would be to use a springform pan with a removeable base. Again, grease it well and it should be fine!

    Let me know how it turns out!

  7. can another nut be used?

  8. Mmmm this sounds fantastic!

  9. Where is a “Printer Friendly” copy. I don’t need two pictures plus all the printing on the top and sides. Uses too much ink and paper.

  10. Hi-I just made this today and wonder if maybe the time is a little off…I ended up having to bake it an additional 30 minutes in order to get the middle baked! Of course, I had to turn the oven temp down a bit in order to do that, but in the end it baked without too much browning considering the extra baking time. At any rate, it looks beautiful-I haven’t tasted it yet…I’m waiting for my husband to get home…anyway, the PLAN is to wait for him…we’ll see how that works out!

  11. please add a “printer friendly” option to print the recipes! Thx.

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