I’ve been sick the past few days with the worst sore throat and achy fever I’ve had in recent memory. As of this morning, however, I was finally able to swallow without a stabbing scratching pain going down my esophagus, so I’m actually getting better, hurray!! Time seems to slow down when you’re sick, you forget what it ever felt like to just feel normal and not have a nagging pain or exhaustion hovering over you at all times. Food tastes bland; you know you’re hungry and should eat something – anything – for strength, but everything you think of eating just sounds unappetizing. In summation: being sick is just the worst. While I was laying in bed writing and working through my fever spikes, I kept thinking back to this Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake. I made it right before I got sick and it was just *so* wonderfully rich and cozy (I think the memory of it comforted me a bit, good food tends to have that effect!) I made it for a harvest party at my friend Sasha’s parents’ house and managed to get a little slice of it before it was inhaled within a 10-minute period (always a good sign).
The apples in this cake were so soft they were almost pudding-like, with the most delicious hint of caramel. This is because I made and poured a whole bunch of caramel into the bottom of the cake pan before placing the apples on it, and then pouring the cake batter over the caramel and apples. It was a good plan. The batter is wonderful in its own way, too – it relies on olive oil rather than butter for the fat, which delivers a smooth and rich flavor without weighing down the cake and making you feel heavy after eating it. It feels light and airy and has a subtle nuttiness to it, I used California Olive Ranch’s ‘everyday’ blend for it, this particular blend of olive oil has hints of green apple and a floral nose which paired perfectly with the baked apples in this Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake. I also used some almond meal in the batter which ended up imparting a ‘toasted’ flavor onto the cake once it baked up in the oven. And there’s orange zest (lots) and vanilla extract, too. Pretty much all the good stuff. It’s the perfect way to welcome the first apple harvest of fall, which has just arrived in full force here in Oregon. I’m looking forward to those rainy autumn days, nothing pairs quite as well with the pitter patter of rain hitting the window sill like the smell of apples and cake baking in the oven 🙂
I hope that you all enjoy the recipe for this warming Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake!
Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cream
- 3 small apples (peeled and cut in half vertically)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 cup California Olive Ranch 'everyday' olive oil
Grease an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment paper round. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the corn syrup, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and cream and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes, stirring every minute. Add the apples to the pan, cut side facing up, and allow to cook until they begin to release a bit of juice, about 4 minutes, without moving them. Flip them over and cook for another 4 minutes, then remove them and place the apples in the cake pan cut side facing down on the parchment paper. Pour the caramel from the skillet over the apples in the pan and place the pan in the refrigerator.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda until combined. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and orange zest at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the dry ingredients in two increments. Fold in the olive oil 1/4 cup at a time.
Pour the cake batter over the apples in the cake pan. Place the cake pan on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a serving plate, slice, and enjoy.
I recommend using California Olive Ranch's 'everyday' blend for the olive oil in this recipe