The best whole apple caramel cake, an upside down apple cake oozing with caramel, this is a dream of a cake!
UPSIDE DOWN APPLE CAKE
Whole apples, caramelized sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins... a luxurious yet easy to make upside down apple caramel cake.
I was 19 years old the first time I ate this apple caramel cake. I liked it so much, it stayed with me for all these looooong years...
I thought about it many times, but never knew the recipe and somehow never came to the simple idea of doing a search on Google.
But recently, during one of those (guilty) hours one spends on Pinterest, I saw the picture of this luscious apple caramel cake (link in Romanian). As soon as I noticed that the name of the cake was written in Romanian, I knew I found my cake.
That was it! Those delicious baked whole apples, oozing in caramel and surrounded by that pancake-like, sweet batter. The upside down apple cake I had been dreaming of for years.
One day later I already had all I needed and I baked the apple caramel cake. It was even better than I remembered!
HOW DOES THE APPLE CARAMEL CAKE TASTE LIKE?
The upside down apple cake is overly sweet (lots and lots of caramel), but soooo delicious!
And if you like baked apples you will love this cake even more. The apples have the perfect consistency, they are filled with raisins, walnuts and cinnamon and the batter, which gets absolutely soaked in that caramel, is just amazing.
Although it is a simple sponge cake batter, the caramel makes it almost like a pancake in taste and texture, you will love it!
INGREDIENTS FOR UPSIDE DOWN APPLE CAKE
What apples to use for baked apple cake?
- It is preferable to use smaller apples, which weigh between 100 - 125 g/ 3.5 – 4.4 oz.
- Over the time I used several different sorts of apples. My favorite were the tart sweet and rather crisp varities, like Jonagold, Pink Lady or Braeburn.
- I love to fill the apples for this upside down apple cake with plum jam – the German Pflaumenmus, which is actually a plum butter, nicely spiced with cinnamon and other spices and not overly sweet.
- As the apple caramel cake is already very sweet due to all that caramel, it is preferable to use a less sweet sort of jam, either a fruit butter which contains less sugar or a jam made with sour fruit like red currants.
You will also need:
HOW TO MAKE THE CARAMEL?
I included a few step-by-step pictures, I thought it would be easier to have a picture to explain the procedure better.
I am especially thinking about the way of spreading the caramel in the pot, it was easy for me because I remember my grandmother doing the same thing when making Romanian burnt sugar cream or creme caramel or Romanian flan, but I thought that describing that using just words would not be explanatory enough.
In what pot to make the caramel?
- You will not need a baking tin to bake the apple caramel cake. I used a very old pot to make it, as caramelizing sugar in it did affect its whiteness a little bit.
- The pot has a diameter of about 22 cm/ 9 inch.
- Don't use a non-stick pan, the caramel will not stick to it, just take the oldest enamel pot you can find.
- Place the sugar in the pot.
- Shake the pot to spread the sugar evenly and place on the hob.
- Don't stir until the sugar starts to caramelize at the bottom, then start stirring slowly with a wooden spoon until the sugar caramelizes completely and has a deep brown, nice color.
- Don't let it get too dark or it will taste burnt.
- Hold the pot's handles and turn the pot around, very carefully, to spread the caramel all over the place including the walls of the pot, about halfway up the pot's walls.
- Please be very careful, the sugar is very hot!
- Set aside until the caramel hardens and starts getting some cracks. In the meanwhile prepare the apples.
HOW TO PREPARE THE APPLES FOR THE WHOLE APPLE CAKE?
- Check how many apples will fit in the pot you will use for baking the upside down apple cake.
- You will probably need between 7 and 9 apples, depending on their size. Any less than 7 and your apples are too large, you should try getting smaller ones. I needed 9 small apples.
- Peel the apples using a vegetable peeler.
- Remove the core of the apples using an apple corer, make sure you leave the apples whole.
- Turn the apples in the lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Set aside.
- Mix together the jam, walnuts, raisins and cinnamon.
- Fill the holes in the apples with this mixture, push the mixture down the hole with your finger.
- Place the filled apples in the pot with the caramel.
- Bake the apples for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on their size.
- Pierce them with a fork after this time, they should be almost done, but not too soft yet.
HOW TO MAKE THE BATTER FOR THE APPLE CARAMEL CAKE?
- Separate the eggs.
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
- Add 3 tablespoons of the sugar little by little and continue beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Fold the egg whites in the egg yolk mixture.
- Sieve the flour on top. Fold in carefully.
- Pour the batter over the apples and continue baking for about 25 minutes or until the batter is golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
HOW TO RELEASE THE CAKE FROM THE POT?
- Turn the cake out of the pan immediately after baking it, it works wonderfully, but if you leave it too long in the pan, the caramel will harden again and the end result will not be so pretty anymore.
- Release the cake from the walls of the pan with the help of a butter knife.
- Place a large platter over the pot and invert the cake onto the platter. This sounds more difficult than it is, it actually worked perfectly, better than I thought it would.
HOW TO MAKE THE CARAMEL TOPPING?
- Place 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cups sugar in a pan. Shake to spread evenly and let stand until it starts to caramelize at the bottom.
- Caramelize completely while stirring gently until the nice brown color is reached again. Add the cubed butter and stir to incorporate.
- Slowly add the water and continue stirring until the mixture boils.
- Let simmer for a few minutes, while stirring all the time until all the sugar clumps are dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Add the walnuts, coat them in the sugar sauce. Pour the caramel walnut sauce over the upside down apple cake on the platter.
- Let the extra caramel sauce ooze around the cake.
HOW TO SERVE THE APPLE CAKE WITH CARAMEL SAUCE?
You can serve the apple caramel cake lukewarm with vanilla ice cream. The combination between the slowly melting vanilla ice cream and the lukewarm apple cake cannot even be described, it is more than delicious!
You can also serve the upside down apple cake at room temperature with whipped cream. Make sure that the whipped cream is unsweetened, the caramel apple cake is sweet enough.
MORE APPLE CAKES
FRENCH APPLE CAKE - LOW FAT APPLE CAKE
MOIST APPLE CAKE AND CINNAMON CAKE
APPLE CRUMBLE CAKE - GERMAN CAKE
CINNAMON APPLE MUFFINS - WITH OIL
PIN IT FOR LATER!
Apple Caramel Cake - Upside Down Apple Cake
- Caramel and apples:
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 7-9 apples depending on size (See note)
- juice of ½ lemon
- 3 tablespoons plum jam or whatever you have
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 eggs medium Germany, large US
- a pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Caramel sauce:
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup walnuts chopped
Caramel and apples:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make the caramel: Place the sugar in a large and deep enamel pot of about 22 cm/9-inch diameter. Shake the pot to spread the sugar evenly and place it on the hob.Don't stir until the sugar starts to caramelize at the bottom, then begin stirring slowly with a wooden spoon until the sugar caramelizes entirely and has a deep brown, nice color. Don't let it get too dark or it will taste burnt.
- Spread caramel in the pot: Hold the pot's handles and turn the pot around very carefully to spread the caramel all over the place, including the pot's walls, about halfway up the walls.Please be very careful; the caramel is very hot!
- Set aside until the caramel hardens and starts getting some cracks. In the meanwhile, prepare the apples.
- Prepare apples: You will need 7 to 9 apples, depending on their size. They should fit in the pot comfortably. Peel the apples and remove the core (with an apple corer), leaving the apple whole. Turn the apples in the lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
- Mix the jam, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon.
- Fill the holes in the apples with this mixture, push the mixture down the hole with your finger. Place the filled apples in the prepared pot.
- Bake the apples for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on their size. Pierce them with a fork after this time; they should be almost done, but not too soft yet.
- Separate the eggs.
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Add 3 tablespoons of the sugar little by little and continue beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
- Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar until pale and fluffy. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and sieve the flour on top. Fold in carefully.
- Bake: Pour the batter over the apples and continue baking for about 25 minutes or until the batter is golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Immediately release the cake from the walls of the pan with the help of a knife.
- Invert the cake: Place a large platter over the pan and invert the cake onto the platter.
Caramel walnut sauce:
- Caramel: Place the sugar in a pan. Shake to spread evenly and let stand until it starts to caramelize at the bottom. Caramelize completely while stirring gently until the nice brown color is reached.
- Add the cubed butter and stir to combine.
- Simmer: Slowly add the water and continue stirring until the mixture boils. Let simmer on low heat for a few minutes, while stirring all the time until all the sugar clumps are dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Add the walnuts, coat them with the caramel and top the cake with this mixture. Let the extra caramel sauce ooze around the cake.
- Cool: Let stand until the cake is lukewarm and serve with vanilla ice cream or let cool completely and serve with unsweetened whipped cream.
Marvellina @ What To Cook Today says
Looks incredible Adina!!! You are so talented!!!
Miklos Kalman says
I am delighted and thanks for the feedback.
A quiet evening!
A wonderful cake! Mulțumesc pentru rețetă.?
Meghan | Fox and Briar says
What a wonderful fall cake! I've never seen anything like it, but it is beautiful and the flavors sound incredible!
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
wow it swims in caramel sauce...no wonder it's HEAVENLY!
I know!! I got hooked on to pinterest recently its quite addictive right and helpful too. THis cake looks divine!!
What a beautiful apple cake! I make regularly only two apple cakes (one is a very thin tart, so not really a cake... but it's my favourite by far), so I'd be delighted to see your creations.
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
I can't believe this has whole apples in the cake! What a treat. This looks really amazing!
It's nice to find a recipe that reminds you of childhood. The cake looks lovely. x
how unique! i really like that this is mostly apples, with a little bit of cake. very appealing dessert, adina!
Now this is an apple cake that I can really, really, really sink my fork into! What a treat!!!!
Sara & Miki says
Adina, ma bucur ca acest tort ti-a amintit de dulciurile din Romania, chiar daca acum esti pe alte meleaguri.
Te sarut si te mai astept!
Mersi mult! Ma uit pe blogul vostru regulat. 🙂
Erin | white plate blank slate says
This looks so good. My husband LOVES French tarte tatin so I'll have to give this a try.
I love a good apple cake but I've never seen one that leaves the apples whole. That just looks and sounds perfect. Getting a big bite of sweet apple with the caramel and cake has got to be one of the best bites of apple cake ever taken. I love this cake!!! Thanks Adina!