Apple Upside-Down Cake

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that we have a fairly large family. I have seven kids between the ages of 3 and 25. Three boys and four girls. My middle son’s 17th birthday was this week, and he let me choose a cake to bake for him.

I love pineapple-upside down cake, but since several family members don’t like pineapples, I never make it. I found this recipe for the apple version in the Culinary Arts Institute’s 250 Classic Cake Recipes cookbook from 1940, and decided to try it.

Apple Upside-Down Cake

  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 large baking apples
  • 1/2 c seedless raisins
  • 1 1/2 c sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 c shortening
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 c water

Melt butter in skillet or baking pan. Add brown sugar and stir until melted. Cool. Peel, core, and slice apples. Place on sugar. Sprinkle with raisins. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together. Cream shortening with sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Add sifted dry ingredients and water alternately in small amounts, beating well after each addition. Pour over apples and bake in moderate oven (350°F) 40 to 50 minutes. Turn onto plate immediately and serve with whipped cream. Makes 1 (9 inch) cake.


Turns out that I’m also a big fan of apple upside-down cake! The cake was moist and the apples tender. The raisins were a nice addition. It was sweet, but not overly so. We ate it with whipped cream as suggested, but ice cream would have worked well. It’s also fantastic on its own. The entire family loved the apple version, so this was definitely a win.

I found the 40-50 minute bake time to be accurate in my oven. The cake came out of the pan easily, and while my cake wasn’t as attractive as the photograph in the cookbook, it looked nice, too. I’ll make this cake again.

The recipe book has several variations of upside-down cakes. There are chocolate, rhubarb, and cherry versions as well as a few other fruits–and more options for apples and pineapples. I’m looking forward to trying them. Do you have a favorite upside-down cake recipe?

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