I had family over last night for dinner. This seemed to be as good an excuse as any to bake something and believe me I am always looking for reasons to bake. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved baking, probably because you get to eat what you bake and there is nothing as good as home baked treats. While dinner preparation had a few snags along the way, in usual fashion I had dessert ready hours ahead of time.
For a while it looked like we might be having dessert for dinner but it all worked out quite nicely in the end. Butternut squash and sage ravioli turned into a lovely roasted butternut squash and sage soup with a roasted beet and fennel salad.
Today’s recipe developed over time with some help from my greatest cooking inspiration- my mom. There are many versions of this cake out there but I like this one as it has plenty of spices, a rich molasses flavour and it uses applesauce.
This fall I made applesauce, so it is nice to have some recipes on file that call for it. You can use store bought but homemade always taste better. If you buy the applesauce be sure to check the ingredients to make sure there is no sugar added or any other funny business in the ingredient list.
I used ambrosia and honey crisp apples and chose to leave the skins on as they were organic and looked pretty. Anytime it works to leave the skins on my fruits and veggies in recipe I do. The skins add texture, flavour, and provide additional nutrition. Oh and it’s less work.
In keeping with the season, the apples, ginger, molasses, and maple syrup in this cake provide the perfect end to any fall meal and will make the house smell unbelievable.
I served the cake with some thick yogurt sweetened with a little maple syrup but it is also delightful with a dollop of maple whipped cream on the side.
Apple Ginger Upside Down Cake
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
I have made this recipe with pears before and it is equally delicious. I would probably choose a firmer pear like a bosc but any kind will do. It may seem like there are a lot of steps but the cake comes together fairly quickly.
- 2 medium apples
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup applesauce
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 10 inch cake pan.
- Slice apples about ¼ inch thick.
For the topping
- Melt a ¼ cup of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add the maple syrup. Let the mixture cook for about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour into the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange apple slices decoratively over syrup.
For the cake
- In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves and salt.
- In a small bowl whisk together the molasses, applesauce and fresh grated ginger.
- Either by hand or in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs and mix until incorporated.
- Alternately mix in the flour mixture and the molasses/applesauce mixture in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour.
- Pour batter over the apples, spreading evenly and being careful not to disturb the apples. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-50 minutes, until it springs back and a tester comes out clean.
- Cool cake in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge, then invert a large plate over the cake pan. Using potholders to hold the cake pan and plate tightly together, invert the cake onto the plate. Don’t hesitate here, just go for it! If any of the apples stick to the pan, just stick them back on to the cake.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with maple yogurt or whipped cream.
- Note: Do not use a spring form pan with a removable bottom as the syrup will leak out and that would be messy and sad.