We admit it, we love upside down cakes. They are incredibly simple, almost foolproof, and if you take just the tiniest bit of extra time to carefully arrange the fruit, they are beautiful. This cake combines all the flavors of a caramel apple—caramel, tart apple and just a little salt—into an easy to serve, elegant cake.
2 cups very thinly sliced tart baking apples like Granny Smiths, Honeycrisp or Braeburns, about 3-4 apples
1/2 cup salted butter
2⁄3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup salted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt for topping
Vanilla ice cream for serving
1. Generously grease a round 9-inch cake pan or 9-inch spring form pan. We typically use a spring form with foil over the bottom to ensure it will easily slide out of the pan.
2. Slice the apples with a mandolin to get them super thin, like paper. Or if that’s not possible, as close to paper as possible.
2. Make sauce - Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes until smooth and thickened slightly then pour the caramel sauce into the greased cake pan and top with the apple slices
3. Make cake. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Beat the remaining butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs and milk and beat until incorporated. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Pour the cake on top of the caramel and apple layer in the cake pan.
4. Bake for 45 minutes. Note: If using a springform pan, place pan on a cookie sheet in the oven to catch any drips. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cake should still be warm when you remove it from the pan.
4. Invert onto a pretty plate and tap the top until the cake comes out onto the plate, or pop the springform open and remove bottom. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with vanilla ice cream.