Learning from Karen: Apple Upside Down Cake

I baked again! And this time, I adapted a recipe from Karen’s Contemplations and Ruminations. I tried the Apple Upside Down Cake! And it was gooood! (Please say that like Bruce Almighty!)

I made it for my in-laws when we visited them this weekend, and I am glad to say they liked it! It was the kids and the husband who liked it the most, I think. My man is a lover of all baked stuff, so I couldn’t go very wrong with this one! Also, Karen’s instructions and pictures are really helpful, so it was a breeze! Here is Karen’s recipe.

And now…


2 – 3 medium apples (or 2 large ones)

1 & 1/2 cup maida (flour)

2 heaped tsps baking powder

1 & 1/4 cup sugar

about 80 grams butter

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg


Baking dish

Baking oven (or microwave)


1. Peel the apples and slice them into wedges.

I like this dish with its pretty African shapes and colors

2. It will be very convenient if you have a helper to get rid of all the skins and seeds of the apples! My diligent helper did a pretty good job, I must say!

She emptied the skins onto the table and put them in the dish again to pose for this picture!!

Public announcement: At this point I felt like I will not be able to do any proper dinner-cooking, so I resorted to serving this and left over sambar from lunch, for dinner:

dhosa - a South Indian favorite and the savior of all working women throughout the country!

3. Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan, over a low flame, and add 1/2 cup of sugar to it. Stir constantly till the sugar melts.

I may have added a tad bit more butter than necessary...I'm not saying.

4. The sugar will melt to form a golden gooey liquid. This should probably be made into currency or something!! It’s that golden and precious!

The good stuff!

5. Please ignore the not-so-ideal-looking pan, and go to the next step before the sugar hardens into toffee. ‘Coz harden it will! I let it harden a bit too, just like Karen did! But don’t worry, you can totally dilute it again, but why bother if you can do it right the first time?

6. Now add the apples in and stir to coat them with the caramel syrup. Cook till the juice of the apples completely leaves them and mixes with the caramel and the entire thing becomes sticky, gooey, golden, sweet and brown, and you can’t resist sneaking a spoonful into your mouth!

7. Butter a baking dish and spread some flour over it. Now spread the apple caramel mixture at the base of the dish, making sure that the entire bottom of the pan is covered.

8. Let’s make the batter now. In a bowl, add all the remaining melted butter (I like the sound of that!), and the sugar and mix well.

I have no more pictures the next couple of steps. Seriously, do you think I was so skillful to photograph the ENTIRE process?!?! I’m glad I got this far without burning anything!!

9. To the mixture of sugar and butter, add the egg and beat well. You can also add the vanilla essence into the mixture.

10. Now add the flour and mix vigorously because you really want everything to blend together smoothly. You can add the milk gradually to loosen things up and form a smooth batter that is pourable. If you are greedy and disobedient like me, you can add some chopped nuts – I added cashews!

11. Pour the batter above the caramelized apple, and sit back and contemplate on how awesome this is going to turn out. Also, you can smell the divine perfume of vanilla and caramelized apples.

12. Stick it into the oven for about 30 – 40 minutes or you microwave it on high for 10 minutes. Open the oven and take a peek to make sure everything is going okay….if you are paranoid like me!

13. When it’s done, it should be brown, and slightly cracked in the middle – if you used the baking oven….head to Karen’s recipe to look at the picture. If you used the microwave, chances are you’re not really getting the brown look, rather it will look like this:

This looks alarmingly like the dhosa! But I assure you, it is very yummy apple cake!

I have poked a hole into the cake to make sure it is baked. I don’t have toothpicks at home (I have a 3-yr-old instead), so I used the end of my wooden spoon! You may now laugh your heart out at me…sigh.

Oh! Look at the pan from the side! It looks good enough to just scoop put and eat with some icecream!

14. Now comes the ‘Upside Down part. Take a large cake dish, or a stainless steel plate, if you don’t have those fancy things. I don’t have one because, never in my life did I expect I would be baking…So…

15. Place the plate upside down on the plate, and then carefully turn the entire thing upside down again.

16. Let the cake loosen itself from the pan and settle on the plate. Now you have the lovely apple top-side, and all is well with the world!

Oops! Sorry. I did it again!

Now, you can cut a piece, all warm and lovely, and eat it with vanilla icecream!


3 Responses to “Learning from Karen: Apple Upside Down Cake”

  1. Karen Xavier

    Love your little helper… and loved the little bit bout the dosa, it really is a life saver. Glad everybody liked the cake, it looks divine in the picture (I mean it), the white fluffy cake and the golden caramelized apples on top, scrumptious!

    • Jane Pauline Hamilton

      We should start an ‘I ❤ Dhosa' Facebook page…totally! And in it we will discuss the wonders of the ready made dhosa batter all day long!!

  2. Karen Xavier

    Ready made dosa batter… we grind it at home here in large quantities. My dad in law loves Dosa/idli so always there is stock in the fridge. Like the idea of the page though… maybe one already exists, let me check.

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