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An overhead shot of caramel apple upside-down cake with apples and milk around it.
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4.74 from 19 votes

Apple Upside-Down Cake

This Apple Upside-Down Cake features a caramelized apple topping and a cinnamon vanilla cake. Easy to make and perfect for fall!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, fall
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Author Danielle



  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium apples peel, cored, and thinly sliced


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk or buttermilk room temperature


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9-inch cake pan well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

To make the topping:

  • Combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in a mixing bowl and stir until fully combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and evenly spread it on the bottom.
  • Arrange the apple slices in an even layer on top and set aside.

To make the cake:

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 3 to 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one, then mix in the pure vanilla extract. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed and mix again.
  • Add the dry ingredients on low speed in three additions alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix in each addition until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter. 
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan on top of the sliced apples.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then flip the cake out of the pan and onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Freezing Instructions: Wrap the cooled cake or slices tightly with plastic wrap and store them in a large freezer bag or storage container. The cake or slices will freeze well for up to 3 months if stored properly. To thaw the cake, place it in the refrigerator overnight, then set it out for a couple of hours on the counter so that it can come to room temperature.
Apples: Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Granny Smith apples are great options for this cake.
Milk: You can use either milk or buttermilk in this cake, but I prefer to use buttermilk because it helps to keep the cake moist.