upper waypoint

Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake is a Gorgeous and Delicious Holiday Recipe

Save ArticleSave Article
Failed to save article

Please try again

A baked apple cake with spatula removing a slice
Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake is your new Fall tradition. (Stefani Renée)

Move over, pineapple, apples are taking over. Stefani Renée’s spiced apple upside down cake is perfectly sweet and moist. Best of all, this cake pops out of the pan fully decorated. This comforting recipe is sure to become a new Fall baking tradition.

Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 Minutes
Servings: 6-8




5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar, firmly packed
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 Apples (Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Granny Smith) sliced thin

1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
⅓ cup apple butter
½ cup half and half

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. You need a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 9-inch cake or pie pan. If using a cake or pie pan, butter and line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.

2. In a small pot or cast iron skillet (if using), melt 5 tablespoons butter, sugar and cinnamon. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Spread into pan or skillet. Arrange apples over the brown sugar mixture.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Add both sugars and continue to mix until butter and sugars are light and fluffy. Add eggs one until just combined. Add vanilla, apple butter, and mix until combined.

4. Alternate folding in half dry ingredients and half and half. End with dry ingredients. Do not over mix. It will only take a few turns to combine.

5. Spoon the batter over the apples. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

About Stefani Renée:

Oakland writer, photographer, and recipe developer Stefani Renée inherited her love of cooking and storytelling from her Granny Octavia.  While her grandmother’s side of the family hails from the South, Stefani Renée grew up in the Bay Area. You can taste this melding of Southern flavors with California flair in her new video recipe series Smackin’ Kitchen, streaming this fall on KQED Food’s YouTube and social channels.

When Stefani Renée is not developing or photographing recipes, she’s interviewing tastemakers for her blog and podcast Savor & Sage. Stefani is passionate about amplifying the work and expertise of BIPOC people in the food space and furthers this mission as a founding member of the Black food blogger hub Eat the Culture and as an advisory board member of Food Culture Collective.

lower waypoint
next waypoint
Samosas aren’t from India…Wait, what?Food Labeling: How to Identify Conventional, Organic and GMO ProduceWords on the Waves: Litquake in SausalitoSpringtime Delight: Rhubarb Puff-Tart PocketsWith Seafood Restaurant alaMar, Oakland Chef Nelson German Breaks From Black Chef Stereotypes