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Apple Upside-Down Cake
Apple Upside-Down Cake Erin McDowell

We like to get creative with our apple desserts, from a braided Danish loaf to a rustic galette. So it should come as no surprise that we took a perfectly good cake and turned it on its head (sort of). In this recipe for apple upside-down cake, we place sliced apples on a bed of butter and brown sugar, then top the fruit with cinnamon-laced cake batter. Once the finished cake comes out of the oven, just invert it onto a plate. Serve it warm or at room temperature, a la mode or on its own.

Makes one 9-inch cake
Start to Finish: 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the Pan

4 tablespoons butter, softened

¼ cup brown sugar

3 apples, peeled and thickly sliced

For the Cake

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup sour cream

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with the 4 tablespoons of butter, using about 1 tablespoon to grease the side of the pan and the remaining 3 tablespoons to coat the base thickly.

2. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly into the base of the pan. Arrange the apples in concentric circles over the brown sugar, overlapping the slices slightly.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the 8 tablespoons of butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, then add the sour cream and mix to incorporate.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and then mix on low speed just until incorporated. Do not overmix.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan over the apple slices and spread the batter gently to the edge of the pan. Bake the cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

6. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes inside the pan, then use a butter knife to loosen the cake from the edge of the pan. Place a large plate on top of the pan and then flip the whole thing over, turning the cake onto the plate. Let cool for another 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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