For my family, the very end and very beginning of each year are time periods that jam-packed with celebrations for the holidays, of course, but we also attend multiple family birthday parties. It's just how the cookie crumbled for us that the majority of family birthdays, on both sides, are in the fall and winter months. Throughout the upcoming weeks, we'll stay busy attending and hosting parties so that means that I'll lean heavily on dishes that know are delicious, impressive... and easy. This Rustic Caramel-Apple Upside Skillet Cake is a perfect example of the sorts of recipes I keep around for special occasions.
Your friends and family will be treated to a feast for their eyes and their tastebuds when this cake is is served for dessert! And the best part of it all is that it will look like you spent hours working on it, when actually this recipe is super simple! That's pretty much a textbook example of a win:win deal if I've ever seen one, right??
Just as a side note, October is National Apple Month in the USA! So, even if you don't have any special events pending on your calendar before Thanksgiving or Christmas, National Apple Month is a perfect reason to make one of these pretty little cakes. This Rustic Caramel Apple Upside-Down Skillet Cake is a delicious way to pay tribute to one fabulous fall fruit!
I like to make this cake using dark brown sugar because we enjoy that extra pop of molasses flavor, but if you're not a fan of the same, light brown sugar can be used instead. Also, sweet, firm apples, like Gala or Fuji are my go to fruit for this cake and lots of other baked goodies too. Lately, I've been using my iron skillet for everything, so I just had to make this a skillet cake, but if you don't have an oven safe skillet around, you can use a 9-inch (9x2) cake pan instead.
I include a brief, instructional video I made for you here so you can see just how easy it is to make this pretty cake! For the time being, I let my hands do the talking in these videos and I don't add any dialogue. My 3 year-old daughter has a hard time with this and says I have to include a "thumbs-up" for her in each new video I make so she knows it's me.
If you have a minute, I'd love to see you subscribed over on my You Tube Channel, I'm working up lots more video recipes to share over there!
This recipe has been adapted from Betty Crocker (.com)
yield: 1 nine-inch round cake
Rustic Caramel Apple Upside-Down Skillet Cake
prep time: 35 MINScook time: 50 MINStotal time: 85 mins
This is an eye-catching, delicious dessert that's sure to impress. It's a gorgeous way to celebrate fall and National Apple Month in October!
For the Topping:
- 1 stick salted butter
- 3 medium apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced. (2 cups apple slices)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar (or substitute light brown sugar, if preferred)
For the Cake:
- 1-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (one stick) salted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
** you need a 9-inch oven-safe skillet or a 9x2 inch cake pan for this recipe
- Pre-heat the oven to 325°. First make the topping. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch iron skillet. Add apples and saute until tender. Stir in cinnamon, mix well and remove cooked apples from the pan and set them aside.
- Add 4 tablespoons more butter to the pan. Once butter is melted add in the brown sugar. Stir until sugar is completely moistened with butter (add more butter if necessary a tablespoon at a time).
- Turn off heat and use a silicon spatula to spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of the skillet (this makes topping layer). Then add the apple slices back to the pan. Arrange the slices over the brown sugar layer in a circular pattern. Set the skillet aside.
- Now make the cake batter. In the bowl of a stand-mixer or in a bowl using a hand-mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- In another medium-size bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture one half at a time, alternately with the buttermilk. Mix until batter is just combined.
- Using a silicon spatula, spread the cake batter evenly over the layer of apples in the skillet. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cook in the skillet, for about 20 minutes. While cake is still warm, carefully flip the skillet over and transfer the cake to a serving plate or cake stand. Let the cake cool completely. Enjoy!
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