An Autumn Tradition Continues
It’s the perfect time to make this apple upside-down cake: apple season in New England. Apple season means that every New Englander must go out to an orchard, pick their own apples, and gobble a few hot cider donuts. Sean and I headed out two weeks ago with our good friends Ana and Jesse — it’s become a tradition for us to pick apples and then find a place for a round of mini-golf.
♥ Related: Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Sean and I picked a half bushel of apples which, as it turns out, is a whole lot of apples. After making apple cobblestones, apple sauce, and eating an apple a day for the last two weeks, we still had a dozen apples. It was time to invent a new recipe!
A Unique Recipe for Apple Cake
I’ve had the idea for this apple cake for a while. The base of the cake is a very reliable drop biscuit recipe from the folks at America’s Test Kitchen. It’s a recipe that Sean makes for us often as we can have hot biscuits for breakfast within a half an hour. I tweaked the recipe slightly adding warm Autumnal spices to go along with the sweet apple topping.
♥ Related: Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
The apple cake turned out awesome. The topping is super sweet, but the biscuit cake balances out the sweetness and offers a fluffy, buttery base. I love a sticky bun, and the topping really reminded me of eating a sticky bun, but without all of the time to make a yeast dough.
As with any apple dessert, this apple upside-down cake would be excellent served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and would be great for dessert or brunch (TBH, apple cake sounds great for breakfast too!)
Video: Watch Me Make This Cake
Apple Upside-Down Biscuit Cake
- ½ lemon
- 2 medium apples
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg freshly grated is best
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup toasted pecans chopped
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup buttermilk cold
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray or rub with butter. Line with a round piece of parchment paper that will fit your pan.
- Core the apples and cut into thin slices. Put the slices in a large mixing bowl and squeeze the lemon over them. Toss to coat. Add the cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg. Toss to coat so that all of the slices are coated well.
- Melt the butter in a small bowl. Once the butter is melted, add the brown sugar. Whisk until the butter and brown sugar is well combined. Pour into your pan and sprinkle the pecans over the sugar.
- Lay the apples over the pecans in an even layer — I used a radial pattern, but do whatever looks pretty to you.
- Make the biscuit cake. Melt the stick of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, take off of the heat and let cool a bit while you build the rest of the batter.Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl.In another bowl, add the buttermilk. Slowly stir in the melted butter. The mixture will get clumpy and this is exactly what you want. The cool thing about this recipe is that the buttermilk chills the butter into little beads of fat — this is what makes the biscuit fluffy because the butter beads release steam when cooking which makes the biscuits flaky.Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined and there’s no dry flour left in the bowl.
- Use a large disher or large spoon to drop biscuits over the apple topping evenly. Use your fingers or an offset spatula to spread the biscuits into a layer out to the sides of the cake pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the biscuits cake is golden brown and registers 190 degrees on a thermometer. As soon as this comes out of the oven, place a plate over the cake pan, and flip the cake out. There may be a little of the topping that sticks to the pan, but just scrape it off and add to the top of the cake. You can serve this immediately, warm, or at room temperature.
- Choose a tart & sweet apple like a Macintosh, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith.
- To toast your pecans, before chopping, place pecans on a pan in a 350F degree oven for 7 minutes. They will start smelling very nutty when they are done. Toasting gives the pecans an incredible nutty flavor and extra crunchy texture.
- You can use an 8-inch round or 8×8 square pan if you don’t have a 9-inch cake pan.
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