Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

April 6, 2015

Maple Apple Upside-Down CakeI recently received three jugs of pure maple syrup as gift from a several friends who visit from the mainland and Canada.  I love pure maple syrup on blueberry pancakes or waffles, but I don’t eat them often enough to make a dent in all of the syrup stashed in my cupboard. I thought this Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake would be a good way to start.  I first noticed the recipe in Food & Wine magazine.  It was developed by Joanne Chang, a well-known pastry chef and owner of Flour, a bakery in Boston.  I noticed that the recipe called for baking the cake for 1 1/2 hours!  This didn’t seem right so I searched around and found a couple of other versions of this recipe, one of them by Wendy of bookcooker blog.  Wendy says to bake the cake for 45 – 60 minutes. That made sense!

Granny Smith ApplesGranny Smith apples hold up well when baked.  Their tart flavor balances the sweetness of the maple syrup.

Peeled & Cored Granny Smith ApplesI long ago discovered the value of using a melon ball corer to remove the seeds and core of apples.  One single swoop and you’re done.

Apples over Maple SyrupArrange the sliced apples in two concentric circles over the thickened syrup.

Cake Batter over Apple SlicesSmooth the cake batter over the apples and bake until golden brown.

Baked Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Maple Apple Upside-Down CakeThe maple syrup infuses the apples and the cake.  Yummy.

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Maple Apple Upside-Down Cake

Serves 10 – 12

Adapted from Food & Wine and bookcooker blog


1 cup pure maple syrup

3 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and quartered, each quarter cut into 3 equal slices (the Granny Smith apples I bought were large but if you have smaller apples you can cut the apple into eighths)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk (I used lactose free milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice since there is no lactose free buttermilk available here on Maui)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 sticks Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened (or unsalted butter,  increase the salt to 1 teaspoon)

1 1/3 cups sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan with 3-inch high sides. (You may use a 9-inch cake pan with 2 1/2-inch sides.  You will not need all of the batter).

In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, then simmer over medium-low heat until very thick and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.  Pour the thickened syrup into the cake pan.  Arrange the apples in the pan in 2 concentric circles. If your apples are on the large side and you are using a 9-inch pan, you may not need all of the apple slices.

In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  In a glass measuring cup, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla.  In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 – 5 minutes.  Beat in the dry and wet ingredients in 3 alternating batches until the batter is smooth; scrape down the side of the bowl.  Mix until just combined.

Pour the batter over the apples and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 50 minutes.

Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the plate. Let the cake cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Might Also Like

  • Chef Amy at Remke Markets April 6, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Looks So Delicious!!! 🙂

    • Kiyo April 6, 2015 at 7:51 am

      Thanks Amy! I still have more maple syrup in my cupboard. I’ll try Maple Squares with Walnuts next. Aloha! Kiyo


    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

    Join other followers: