I love to bake, but these days with all my littles, this is the way things usually work around here. Oh, look at that pretty bag of bright green apples, what can I make with those? I rummage through the pantry to see what else I can use to conjour up to make something delish. Just so happened to be one of those very rare fall nights in Florida that there was chill in the air and I had to reach into the back of my closet for a jacket- Yes, I do own one of those things! Because me and the cold weather are not BFFs, I wanted to whip up something warm.
After I made this dessert off the cuff and totally without looking at Pinterest I might add( gasp, I know!), I ended up on there anyways. What to call this thing? Apples on the bottom+cake mix+caramel is what I searched. The ever so amazing search returned many pins with Apple Upside Down Cake. Here I was thinking I was being all original, agh. So out of my going-against-the-grain mentality, I left the cake after it cooled and didn't flip it. So take that Pinterest! Ok, I didn't mean it, I couldn't live life without it. So here you go, the perfect fall holiday dessert: Unflipped Apple Upside Down Cake.
What you'll need:
8-Granny Smith apples
1 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
3/4 Cup Water
7 Tbsp salted butter to room temperature or almost a full stick
1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
1 Cup dark brown sugar
6 Tbsp salted butter or 3/4 stick
Optional: 1/2 Cup heavy cream if you want more liquid consistency.
Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F to avoid that ugh, I forgot to warm the oven wait time. This temp is perfect for baking the apples and the cake, double yes! Peel 8 apples, then cut into small wedges. Toss in a glass casserole pan or bowl with granulated and brown sugar along with cinnamon until all wedges are coated. Place in the oven and bake until they pass the poke with a fork test and are tender throughout. This took approximately 20-25 mintutes. Mid-way through I stirred the mixture well to make sure we didn't end up with apple taffy.
While the apples were bubbling away, I went ahead and prepped the cake mixture. I opened the box and...what?!? Don't judge, I made the apples from scratch without using the can opener, so I at least helped myself out and used a boxed cake. I used yellow cake mix because I love the rich flavor it has that pairs well with the sugary apple goodness. I combined the cake mix, eggs, butter and water and voila, that was easy!
Once the apples were done, I put them in the base of a springform pan to cool. I wanted to have a free standing cake that you could see the pretty apples on the bottom, almost like a crust. You can easily make this in the same glass dish you cooked the apples in if you do decide to go to the dark side and flip the cake over. We can still be friends if you do, I promise!
Pour your cake batter over top of that yummy goodness and pop into the oven. About 3/4 of the way to looking ready, I added the 1/2 cup of brown sugar. If done too early, it would sink into the batter. This wouldn't be bad flavor wise, but I added atop for the benefit of a crunchy texture. Continue to bake until golden brown just like any other cake recipe, usually 15-20 minutes. I always stuggle with this part because I love a moist cake, but don't want to be the cause of food poisoning at a big holiday get together either. The struggle.
While the cake is cooling in the spring form for quite a bit of time, you can prep the caramel suace. I let it cool for longer than normal because I didn't want the apple mixture to spill out from underneath when I removed the sides of the pan.
In a small saucepan, I melted the butter and slowly added in the brown sugar until mixed well. Caramel has a fine line of going from delicious to burnt, so watch it carefully as it's ready within a few minutes. I repeat, if the kids are screaming in the other room because someone won't share, let them hash it out. Don't leave that pan! If you are wanting a more liquid caramel, this is where you would add the heavy creamer, but I wanted more of an icing consistency, so I omitted this time.
Remove your outside ring from the springform and place your cake on the platter or cake stand you want to display on, leaving the base pan intact. Grab a condiments container or old fashioned spoon and drizzle away. You can serve right away with some vanilla icecream or even warm up and pour a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!
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